Elena Tudela: Rethinking design through risk and resilience


3835 Campus Drive
Architecture Building (145 ARC)
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Library with a courtyard in the middle and mountains in the background.
Image Caption
Agora Library in San Pablo de las Salinas, Mexico. Courtesy of Oficina de Resiliencia Urbana.
Spangler Lecture, part of the Fall 2024 Architecture Lecture + Event Series. The lecture is open to the public; workshops are for the MAPP Community only.

SPANGLER LECTURE  09/11  |  4:30 - 6 p.m.  |  Auditorium    

WORKSHOP 1 - 9/12   |  4 - 6:40 p.m. | URSP 708  

WORKSHOP 2 - 9/13   |  9:30 a.m. - 12 noon  |  ARCH 655 

WORKSHOP 3 - 9/13   |  2 - 4 p.m.  |  ARCH 700


Elena Tudela

Co-founder, Oficina de Resiliencia Urbana 

About the lecture:

Designing with risk and resilience breaks down our sense of order and habitual structures of seeing and understanding the world. Adopting this lens requires accepting uncertainty, yielding control, integrating design with non-design, and being open to multiple desirable scenarios. It demands a keen sense of observation, recognizing that architecture is co-produced and that, in this way, we can better decide where and when to design or withdraw. It also requires a spatially and temporally multiscale approach, which brings us closer to mapping tools and visualization resources. Since resilience is a capacity, neither good nor bad, it requires clarity of objectives and whom we build resilience for. We seek resilience for vulnerable human and non-human collectivities, which involves coordination and mediation between distinct needs, aspirations, and visions. The lecture will focus on the use of risk and resilience concepts, borrowed from ecological and social sciences, as lenses through which to rethink design, prompting the reflection on our role as designers of the urban environment and the impact our work can have in shaping the future.


About the speaker:

Elena Tudela in a white blouse

Elena Tudela has a Degree in Architecture from the Facultad de Arquitectura at UNAM and a Master's Degree in Architecture in Urban Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, she is a PhD Candidate in Architecture at UNAM. She was urban design coordinator of the project Parque Hídrico Quebradora in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, that received the 2017 – 2018 Regional and Global Gold award from LafargeHolcim Sustainable Awards. She worked at the General Office of Strategic Projects of the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing of Mexico City and at the Public Space Authority, also of Mexico City’s government. She is an associate professor at the Facultad de Arquitectura UNAM, and co-founder of the Office of Urban Resilience ORU, urban design firm specializing in water infrastructures, landscape, and public space, recently awarded as Emerging Voice for the Architectural League of NY 2023. She co-curated along with Isadora Hastings and Mauricio Rocha Mexico’s National Pavilion “Displacements” at the 17th Architecture International Exhibition Biennale di Venezia 2021. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Public Space, and the Resilience Council of Mexico City. In 2023 she was accepted as a member of the National Architecture Academy. 

Program / Center Affiliation