Teddy Cruz is an American architect based out of San Diego, and Tijuana, Mexico. Born and raised in Guatemala, Cruz continued his education at Cal-Polytech, San Luis Obispo, and later at Harvard University. He now is a professor of visual studies at the University of California, San Diego.
Most noted for drawing his architectural inspiration from Tijuana’s shanty-towns, Cruz tackles urbanization by devoting himself to the development of affordable, mixed use complexes with room for public interaction and community.
In Border Postcard: 2000, Cruz depicts San Diego and Tijuana’s symbiotic dichotomy through a collection of trash, and photo fragments explaining how “the urban infrastructure of San Diego is recycled into the fabric of Tijuana.” Cruz describes his visual works as “mini-manifestos” for his practice. He stands at the forefront of his industry calling for a realignment of the ideals of architecture with the people the buildings are tied to.
“Building a practice is selecting what you really want to do, it’s about saying no to certain things . This [affordable housing] was an area I wanted to concentrate on… It precisely grew out of a sense of dissatisfaction.””The poetics in architecture remain too isolated from the poetics of the city.” “By inserting our practice and research and building to expose the composition of power, we are able to think what our intervention may be.”