In this series, trace the evolution of lamesadevenn, an international collaborative of architects, product designers and communication specialists who are redefining how and why we design. They’ve brought in journalist Seth Biderman and illustrator Nacho Durá to chronicle their “living projects,” like the Rancho—a live/work space designed to foster community and sustainable values in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Forget the architectural academics bespeckled in thick-rimmed glasses, arguing over theoretical issues or self-serving competitions—this isn’t a standard story, and these aren’t the usual suspects.
In late 2010, lamesadevenn hooked up with La Mesita, an emerging social profit organization in New Mexico. The convergence of spirits and philosophy was too compelling to ignore. Lawyer Todd Lopez, the driving force behind La Mesita, and lamesadevenn architect and project coordinator Christian Alba began searching for a site to make their dreams reality.
A joyous moment: The site that Alba and Lopez discovered, on the developing southside of Santa Fe, offered the space, the views, and a promising pack of neighbors. The land also came with a well, utility lines, an access drive and very liberal building covenants. If lamesadevenn had as much money as it did ideas, they would’ve bought the place on the spot.
Site in hand, lamesadevenn began developing a design and program that would be cutting-edge and strikingly original—and of questionable feasibility.