Cruz, based in San Diego, is part of an emerging group of socially conscious younger designers who explore architecture as an agent of social change and a critique of the status quo. Cruz’s goal is to affect existing environments through analysis, infrastructure, and policy; he believes that the reorganization of political structures is necessary for economic or social advancement. Radicalizing the Local directly confronts the transborder conflict between the United States and Mexico with a largescale, borderlike graphic. Cruz and his team surveyed a sixty-mile section of the border area, charting the changing landscape and its shifting circumstances, including conditions of development, in a panoramic photocollage—dramatically asserting the power of design at a site of economic and structural inequality.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.