MARIA'S

This project is a mission to give voice to the multiple faces of Maria, as a repressed and marginalized people, through a multi-layered story of emancipation and political justice in Lima, Peru.


The design in Maria’s is based on the research of Mathematics of Resistance, which it, in turn, affects by adding new variables to its formulas. It focuses on improving Maria’s sidewalk through a network of solidarity and ownership that supports them, one already inherent to Lima, so that when Maria finds themselves in situations of conflict they are not alone. A network of street vendors which has the ability to be as fluid and dynamic as the obstacles Maria faces and combines design with the human element to improve the urban language and create a new street-architecture by addressing four levels of need. The first is Maria’s primary needs of infrastructure, so vendors have an additional function (toilet, information exchange, or broadcasting); the second is the vendor’s need for legitimacy, through electric and water plugging connections from the city; the third is the need for identity, so the vendors take the architectonic language of religious (vault), domestic (stairs) and institutional (arch) power and combine it with their inherent performability, the curves, and colors of neo-Andean design + a new gothic structural, material and formal style; and the fourth is addressing the conceptual ideologies discussed in Mathematics of Resistance. Furthermore, the vendors retain the performability of the existing kiosks and each of them opens in a particular way that modifies the space they inhabit. 

Maria’s sidewalk is not a solid, fixed two-dimensional space. It is a dynamic, complex and constantly shifting space, where the obstacles act by removing the sidewalk itself from under her, leaving voids and a fragmented sidewalk that she needs to navigate. 

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Street Vendor + Information Exchange

This street vendor opens by separating the two halves of the arch to create a larger virtual arch, which becomes a threshold on the sidewalk and automatically modifies the behavior of those who pass through. The outer sides of this arch are the information boards, and the inner sides are flexible vending spaces that can be distributed according to the type of sales. Its structure is made out of color coated aluminum, that works according to gothic network structural principles. This is covered in tinted transparent acrylic in order to showcase the simultaneous strength and delicacy of the structure and the vendors. The color coating depends on its type of sales, so it helps to shape the new language of the street and so it is easier for people to recognize from afar.

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Street Vendor + Broadcasting Space

This street vendor opens by rotating the two halves to create to semicircular spaces, which generate a safe space for the users, from which to broadcast or shop. The larger semicircle is designed as a flexible vending space that can be distributed according to the type of sales, and the smaller semicircle is for broadcasting. Its structure is made out of color coated aluminum, that works according to gothic network structural principles. This is covered in tinted transparent acrylic in order to showcase the simultaneous strength and delicacy of the structure and the vendors. In the smaller semicircle, the movable pieces serve as storage space for the equipment and as additional seats and tables. The color coating depends on its type of sales, so it helps to shape the new language of the street and so it is easier for people to recognize from afar.

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Street Vendor + Public Toilet 

This street vendor opens by lifting the exterior structure to reveal the space underneath and create a taller and safer interior space bathed in light that comes in through the vault. Two of the exterior walls are flexible vending spaces that can be distributed according to the type of sales, one holds the plumbing and the fourth wall has an external sink and door. Its structure is made out of color coated aluminum, that works according to gothic network structural principles. This is covered in tinted transparent acrylic in order to showcase the simultaneous strength and delicacy of the structure and the vendors. All of the interior walls are solid, as to lend privacy and safety to the bathroom. The color coating depends on its type of sales, so it helps to shape the new language of the street and so it is easier for people to recognize from afar.

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Photography: Magdalena Wierzbicka