The annual Samuel Ratensky Memorial Lecture was initiated by the AIANY Housing Committee in honor of Samuel Ratensky (1910-1972), an architect and NYC housing official who was responsible for major housing initiatives in the city from 1946 to 1972, and who served as a mentor to the many architects who worked in his programs. The lecture series honors individuals who, like Ratensky, have made significant lifetime contributions to the advancement of housing and community design. This year’s lecture honors Tatiana Bilbao of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO who will present “Architecture: A Social, Common, and Public Language.”

Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO is a Mexico City-based architecture studio founded in 2004. At the core of the studio’s practice is an analysis of the context surrounding projects, which scale from masterplans to affordable housing typologies. A goal of the work is to both contribute to its surroundings while remaining flexible to absorb shifting needs. Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO pursues architecture through multidisciplinary perspectives. The practice promotes a collective environment with a diverse staff of architects, academics, and model makers. The working method uses hand drawing and iterative models to keep design and development rooted in spatial and not digital exploration. The studio’s architectural work includes: ESTOA, an institutional building on the UDEM campus that has received the special CEMEX Award on 2021; the Culiacán Botanical Garden; the Pilgrimage Route in Jalisco; a social housing prototype displayed at the 2015 Chicago Biennial that costs under $8,000 USD; three buildings of housing in Lyon la Confluence; a research center of the Sea of Cortez on Mazatlan; and, more recently, the Mexican American Cultural in Austin Texas and a Masterplan for the National Park La Huasteca.

In 2019, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO was the featured architecture firm in the Architect’s Studio series of exhibitions hosted by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. The studio’s work has been featured at the Graham Foundation, Chicago Architecture Biennial, Venice Biennale, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Museo Amparo, T-Space Gallery, and Centre Pompidou, among many other institutions. The firm’s most recent exhibitions were at SFMOMA and the Architekturzentrum of Wien in 2021, followed by Aedes Architekturforum of Berlín and the Danish Architecture Center in 2022.