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YA+K's "Trans 305" construction site
YA+K's "Trans 305" construction site
Stéphanie Lemoine

IVRY-SUR-SEINE — The Plateau special planning district in this small town south of Paris could almost be mistaken for a regular construction site. Since 2007 the multidisciplinary artist Stefan Shankland has guided the construction of some 1,000 apartments according to an “action research” program launched by the city government and developed over the course of 10 years.

The idea? “To integrate art with the transforming city,” by putting into place a HACQ ("high artistic and cultural quality") project.

This particular initiative, called Trans 305, is meant to open the construction site to the public for performances, expositions and guided visits. The installation of signs with information around the perimeter of the site — a legal obligation for the developers — has also become an opportunity to work with a graphic designer and art students, which resulted in signs that were publicly inaugurated.

Transdisciplinary approach

Last year a group of architects who call themselves YA+K opened a space on the edges of the special planning district that is meant to serve as an incubator. From April to June the spot hosted various workshops, inviting artists, local residents and student designers to come up with prototypes for the street fixtures.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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