Skip to content

Diverse Peoples, Arid Landscapes, and the Built Environment

Research Open House 2021

View from the edge of the Rio Grande river
Rio Grande Valley in Las Cruces, NM. Credit: John Acosta
Ane Gonzalez Lara
School of Architecture, Undergraduate Architecture

Southern New Mexico is a land of harsh contrasts, sublime landscapes, and silenced stories. The region selected for this work, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, encompasses the counties of Socorro, Doña Ana, Sierra, Otero, and Luna.

Infographic of topics covered in research
The project covered various, intertwined topics including health, the environment, infrastructure, and the economy.

Since 1598, this land has experienced multiple waves of colonization, resulting in a multicultural community where Indigenous tribes, Spanish descendants, Mexican immigrants, and many others cohabitate. Today, around 336,000 New Mexicans call these five counties home, over a stretch of land that covers 24,212 square miles.

Southern New Mexico is defined by its people and landscapes. By analyzing the connection between the two, one can start to understand the issues the area faces today.

To see more on this project and watched the roundtable via The Architectural League please visit:

The assistance of Meryem Es Saoudi in editing and transcribing the video interviews is gratefully acknowledged.

Thank you to The Architectural League and the American Roundtable jurors for this outstanding opportunity to use their platform to feature the stories, topics, and voices included in this report.