Friday, August 31, 2012


This is the original article in English, without revisions of Etnicidad Mexico americana y morfología urbana fractal en Los Angeles, published with this reference:
Etnicidad México-Americana y Morfología Urbana Fractal en Los Angeles. (Mexican American Ethnicity and Fractal Urban Morphology in Los Angeles). In Area Número 14, pág. 79 a 89. October 2008. ISSN 0328-1337 

The article has a story behind, the Journal for researchers Area, from the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism in Buenos Aires, is bilingual, publications are accepted in Spanish or English. As the subject was related to USA, I sent the paper in English. But from the three reviewers, one of them, complaint because of the language, it looked ¨too much American¨, the other two reviewers accepted the paper as is with minor corrections.
The editor, suggested me to write it again in Spanish, and the other version was edited and revised, not this one. So, please if you´re going to quote any paragraph, consider it as  my personal  translation of the reference above.


At the beginning of the SXXI it arises a recognition of the simultaneity and exchange, independence and inseparability of the historical, social issues and space dimension of our lives.  
The study of the urban forms is related to the spatiality of the human life. (E. Soja, 2000) and they begin with the mere body, with the construction and representation of oneself wrapped in a complex relationship with the environment. 
On one hand, our actions and thoughts give form to the spaces that surround us, but at the same time the big socially produced spaces in which we live, give form to our thoughts and actions.  The mental field is conceptualized as imagery, symbolic representation, reflexive thought. This is the mental map that makes us experience a city.
Our development as space bodies takes place in different scales, from the body, to distant geographies, rooms, houses, neighborhoods, cities, regions, etc. (Soja, 2000). Each physical form will be then recognized as a product of the collective human action and it is susceptible of change according to the circumstances 1

In the field of urban studies, what is primarily viewed is the built environment or the physical shapes to support the human activities. But, the urban form can be described in terms of fixed qualities, as the built environment (physical structures as buildings, monuments, parks) and also in non tangible patterns of land use, economic wealth, cultural identity, relations, behaviours, which we consider as closely related to the built environment.
The city space can be studied in its concrete, physical forms and the patterns that they take, as physically and empirically perceived. These configurations and processes are mappable and can be measured. The measurements are indications or social situations in a certain historical context.


Since the contemporary city has many layers of superimposed built forms, what is called a palimpsest, on studying the  current urban morphology of a settlement or city we need to seek for the sotial-historical reasons and primary shapes of the patterns conformed at last. Many authors, have related Los Angeles to fractal patterns. Our aim is to study a particular immigrant group, the Mexicans and the consequent urban form of this migration.
From the very beginning, Los Angeles was a polycentric city, as it is the product of the old pueblos. The decentralization in municipalities was due to industrial activities, one of the most important the petroleum’s.
Los Angeles has been considered immigrants' wellcomer from all over the world and fundamentally of the frontiers. But, the old Los Angeles was exclusivist, especially when it was regarding Mexicans and Mexico American residents (Chicanos)2.
The problems grew in 1850, after the war finalization between Mexico and USA, and they continue in the XXI century in the modern metropolis. 
The bud of bubonic pest in 1924,  was attributed to the extremely poor conditions of the immigrants’ shacks. Their demolition and the fires caused by sanitary reasons, drove to a radical change in the morphology of the city. 
Through the time new arrivals of Mexicans occurred and Los Angeles could no longer reject its Mexican cultural roots and their models of cultural appropriation.
Most of the Mexican immigrants settled down in the Southwest. In 1930, 30% of Chicanos lived in California. Their occupations were in more part in the system of intercity trains, with non specialized classification or semi specialized. 
The great increment in the Mexican immigration modified the Chicanos’ residential models. They settled down at homes of cheap construction, in the old neighborhoods, causing overpopulation. Observing pictures of this situation, a chaotic urban model is discovered, without " order " except for the incipient streets. The patios used to be covered with precarious, adjacent roofs and superimposed to other neighboring roofs or of the same unit. The Euclidian order was verified in the streets grid, and not so strictly, if we take into account that the streets followed the mountains geography and in some sectors they bend to accompany the different levels. Inside it there was no order in Euclidean terms. 

Often, two or three stalls (shacks) were built in a small lot, leaving very little free space. A census of 1928 of blocks in the heart of the city, reported 317 houses containing a population of 1509 people - an average of 40 houses for block and 4.8 people for house. The illumination and ventilation usually remained poor and the plumbing under substandard conditions. 
By middle SXX mainly white, relatively poor southerners concentrated near the industrial zone, separated by a “ cotton courtain” (Soja, 2000) along Alameda Av. From the black ghetto to the West (located primarily within the city of Los Angeles). Better off white working class families began moving to the fringes of Los Angeles County and beyond
Mexican Americans were clustered in and around the barrio of East Los Angeles. Without a substantial tax base or significant degree of control, these areas imploded with poverty, overcrowding and a housing and employment crisis. The federal government, however, was focused elsewhere: the “military industrial complex” since Pearl Harbour to Korean and Vietnam wars. The presence of white strategic military personnel at work exploded again against Mexicans and East L.A. was kept as a barrio of segregated immigrants 3.
The following aerial pictures belong to a sector in East Los Angeles. They have been taken from Google Earth, and though we estimate are taken in the last years, we cannot determine exactly in which one The urban morphology inside the streets grid is composed by regular houses but , as historically shown, arranged in an irregular pattern. The most respected is the front set back and the inner blocks areas are covered with constructions. As an indication of the presence of illegal constructions, to confront the overcrowding.

fig 3. EAST LOS ANGELES- Aerial View

By 1967 the Blacks gangs in South Los Angeles moved to Compton City, displacing the white population. They remained being majority till late 1970 when Mexican illegal immigration began to be felt. In 1990 entire neighborhoods had been transformed… .
 Though the tract census shows an increasing population of Mexicans inserted in other communities, the every day observation shows that one community is pushed by another and the tendency is to remain in isolated clusters.

In present times, Los Angeles is becoming a city of rich and poor, with those of middle class that go away every time but toward the suburbs. The city began the decade with but of 372.000 units of overcrowded dwellings, of which 102.000 were severely overcrowded. And the situation continues worsening, from 1990 to 2000 the city population incremented in 300000 people and the numbers of housings has grown, for the same lapse of time, in 30.600. (Data from the Report of the Housing Crisis Task Forced, year 2000).
Chicano inhabitants, as a dynamic system, have found a way to accommodate: even bungalows on narrow, deep sites were –are- very adaptable.  


Family structure is an important aspect of ethnicity. For Mexicans, “family” means an extended, multi generational strong tie group of persons, who have specific social roles. Mexican and Chicanos are very family oriented. And those who moved to US tended to work and live in ethnically homogenous settings. Historically, male Mexican immigrants come first. Subsequently, relatives and friends follow the immigrants, completing the family units . Then, extended family and friendship networks form in the following years.
They keep the family structure as they  should have done in the rural areas of Mexico: the nuclear family, the secondary kin, and the fictive kinship. “Typically, the Chicano extended family also includes compadres, or fictive kin. As godparents (padrinos) of a child, compadres or coparents have a special link with the real parents of the child. ….Mexican Americans are believed to value familism more highly than Anglos and to know more relatives, see them more often.”(Keefe and Padilla, 1987)

The first generation of immigrants, less acculturated, less educated and lower in socioeconomic status, become barrio residents. For Keefe and Padilla it is impossible to say whether barrio residence reinforces one’s ethnic identity or whether those with loyalty to the ethnic group choose to live in the barrio. In our opinion, and just for the conversations held with those coming first, they establish wherever they have a contact, a friend or relative of a friend or any known person: a fictive kin who will help him offering any room, tent, garage, or mobile home. So, not necessarily the barrio is the first establishment.
This strong ties with real and fictitious families generate a fractal growth and modification of the urban morphology, and its first reason is to assist the immigrant/s in finding a location, usually precarious as the poor are likely to have relatives who are equally poor, with few resources to support visiting and exchange (Keefe and Padilla, 1987)5

People who migrate logically stand to lose their primary family, but contact is maintained with relatives over distances. This does not end here, but a process of feedback is produced, a phenomena of transnational families influenced by the families living in USA.


Comparing settlements.

People react in many ways to environments.  To understand the groups’ identity and culture, the researcher can study the cues in these items:

1)      The fixed structures: streets and buildings in cities, walls, ceiling, floors, etc. The way in which these structures are arranged, their spatial  organization, location, materials, and so on, communicate a certain meaning. Even the space organization of the buildings and their relations to larger scales have a pattern with a specific meaning.
2)      Semi-fixed feature elements: changing the scale to a domestic one, we can take street furniture, street signs, artifacts, houses furniture, curtains, decoration, landscapes layouts, colors, clothes, etc. These elements tend to communicate more meaning than the fixed structures, as they are personalized and exempt from the Codes.
3)      Non fixed feature elements: related to the human occupants or inhabitants of settings, their spatial relation (proxemics), their body positions and postures (kinesics) 6.
4)      Other cultural meanings, as arts, written word, mythology, etc.

The human mind basically works trying to impose meaning to the fixed and non fixed structures. By this way, they are an expression of culture and identity and we can evaluate how the group feels in the habitat, react to it. In Los Angeles and Orange County chicanos’ dwellings, once they take possession, they complete them (through additions and icons), changing them (in a cultural way). All these findings are cumulative and allow us to make predictions on urban form (Rapoport, 1986).
Though complexity in morphology is always present in the mexican immigrants’ areas, there are different reasons that make them more or less complex. Let’s remember that the Building Code is the same, applied for all houses and the Zonning code will change in each city, but basically, we are considering 5’ set back at the sides, 15’ to the back, 20’ to the front in average. Given these regulations, it could be expected to find the same urban morphologies. We shall see the subtle differences in urban morphology based on ethnic composition. Fractal geometry will be a tool to demonstrate major differences based on the roughness of borders and occupation of land.

Statistical Data of Ethnic composition in percentages. Year 2000


The investigation on urban fractality is based on aerial photographs of areas of the cities above. The sectors involve around three standard residential blocks, significantly showing the urban shape. For the beach cities, the areas are not on the coast, as in this case the lots are very narrow with high density houses in three stories, just for the lots’ value. We tried to use the same scale, as much as possible. Anyway, any change in scale is compensated for bigger or smaller streets and landscape areas (empty areas for the drawings).
The patio covers, gazebos, tents, decks, garages, storages, trellis were taken as part of the covered area.
The great quantity of trees7 and cars (and their shadows) in some cities, plus the changes in roof colors, made us impossible to convert the jpg files directly into binary files to calculate the fractal dimension with ImageJ. So, the criteria was to insert the files in AutoCad, draw all the borders for occupied areas and then fill them in.  It was the only way to avoid confusion in the shapes and occupancies.

The order in the following chart will reflex the descendant percentage of Hispanic in order to see if the Hispanic/white ethnicities (as majorities) are related to fractal urban morphology .

These results let us conclude that the areas with majority of latinos (and it has to be clear here we mean now Mexicans and chicanos) have the highest fractal dimension, let us say, the more complex urban morphology and development of borders, with lots of atomized shapes as a consequence of higher rates of poverty.
 There is a positive association between socioeconomic status and acculturation. Acculturation includes Protestantism, residence outside  the ghetto or barrio and contact with Anglos. Those who live outside barrios are more likely to associate with Anglos on a personal basis, but some researchers have found that upward mobility and residence outside the barrio do not  necessarily result in social assimilation. In our experience, if Mexicans do not assimilate to Anglos’ habitats they are immediately denounced to the City authorities by their Anglos neighbors. The usual case is the Mexican family renting a room to another immigrant family. His Anglo neighbor will always call the City inspector. If the Mexican American does not mend the situation, he will be pressed until selling his house.

The investigations results show that the odds of poverty among immigrants are nearly triple those of native-born Mexicans. But these odds decline by about 16% for each additional 5 years in the USA. (Crowley, Lichter, Quian, 2005). Here, we found the never-ending cyclic succession of events, as every day more immigrants are entering the country and more of them become acculturated. Acculturation implies subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns and is a prerequisite for assimilation.

Curiously, El Monte shows a low result, but it is easily explained when we investigate its history.
El Monte history shows the following ethnic composition through years:
1910: white immigration for the exhuberant farms .
1930: 20% of Mexican population as workers for farms. They lived in immigrants camps.
            5% of Japanese immigrants living in the farms.
            Both groups’s children had to attend to immigrants schools, separated from the white children, who attended different schools.
1940: Demographic explosion, for the small aircrafts factories in the zone.
2000: 72% hispanic population, 18% Asian, 7 % white.

The urban morphology has long been mixed with the different activities, and the results for 2000 show the most complex use of land, compared to other chicano’s cities in California.
The following is the use of land in percentages:

58%            Residential
11%     Retail
10%            Industrial (specially Longo Toyota)
7%            Office/retail
14%     Others.
The percentages of industries-retails- offices are the cause of empty spaces destinated to parkings, so D takes lower values than any other cities with higher percentages of residential use.

Comparing to the other morphologies, El Monte has big cells (industries) and small cells (houses) in the same lots.
For Santa Ana, in Orange County, the empirical observation shows many illegal and alternative constructions. An alternative is the tent. The City inspectors cannot apply the Zonning Code on this ephemeral  constructions 8.
 It could be expected a higher result for D, but , the city is under planning inspectors pressure and we estimate that the tendency will be to reach lower D in the future, as a consequence for demolitions and additions in second story,  just for the change in the FAR (land occupancy) from 50% in 2005 to 35% in 2006.
The morphology of Compton, though the high composition of blacks, does not show any special difference comparing to other latino cities. We see a reason here: the immigrant demand for family housing has allowed older African-American residents to have unexpected gains in home sales, as an aspect of “ethnic succession” (Mike Davies, 2000).

Huntington Beach and Newport Beach are cities with higher composition of white. At first sight,  -the same for the selected blocks in Downey- the arrangement of houses is following a non fractal order, as kind of tiers. The cells shown in Downey and Newport Beach are bigger and the few small shaded areas are for gazebos and patio covers. Cells in Huntington Beach are typical for three bedrooms and two cars garage in one story. In this case, the cells are copied (literally speaking), mirrored and rotated, what left the neighborhood in a complete state of uniformity.
It is not surprising the high value of D for Newport Beach, as the lots are narrower and the houses very big.

It is important to notice that D is not an indicator of different morphologies; as seen above, different arrangements could have similar D values. So, we propose to measure D as an indicator for borders roughness. The higher D value, the higher roughness.

Now, analyzing edges, their complexity is consistent with the chicano culture: the higher values for the highest latino areas; and looking inside this morphology, it makes sense finding more partitions: the Mexican Americans and natives in regions outside the S West are less likely to own their own homes and they are more likely to live in multiple families households.  

Studying  one and four blocks of East Los Angeles and  we can see the fractal properties of urban morphology based on the –certain- autosimilarity of D values. And what is more, D value is approximately the same for bigger areas of the same neighborhood.


“Certain forms are taken for granted and strongly resist change, since societies like these tend do be very tradition oriented. This explains the close relation between the forms and the culture in which they are embedded, and also the fact that some of these forms persist for very long periods of time. With this persistence the model is finally adjusted until it satisfies most of the cultural, physical, and maintenance requirements.”(Rapoport, House, Form and Culture, chapter 1, 1969)

As the fractal shape of cities is not a direct manifestation, it is necessary to look for the hidden pattern; the fractal structure can be easily identified with aerial pictures, and the data can be transformed  to get a model between theory and reality. Every step has to be immerse in interdisciplinarity, as to avoid reading the objects only in their conditions as objects, in the strict sense of epistemology.

One of the conditions to demonstrate if a certain urban shape is fractal or not, is the autosimilarity through scales. 

In regional scale, in terms of spatial organization Los Angeles, since its beginning is was a primate barrio with small satellites (now polycentric barrios), but the segregated city  is shaped by class and race; watching the ethnicity maps, we see a city within a city.

“In every instance, the second language or racial group is concentrated in one or two sprawling districts with various small outliers. There is none of the complex fractal geometry that characterizes Latino Los Angeles with its hundred Spanish-speaking neighborhoods and subdivisions radiating from the old Eastside core . ….The Anglo-majority neighborhoods, mostly near the beach or in the foothills, are becoming a gilded periphery to the bustling Latino metropolis in the coastal plain…” ( Mike Davies, 2000)

Spatial logic is revealed in the industrial land-use zoning, occupied now by latinos,9 and the incorporation of former migrant labor camps into the geographic boundaries of the metropolitan area. (See Anne Santiago, 1989). For Mexican Americans, it seems that they will always be set apart, despite any acculturation for their propensity to be geographically stable and to build up large local kin networks.
New models of research, indicate –without denying the discrimination by other groups- that ethnic groups do not assimilate because members find it psychologically rewarding to be with “their own kind”. This typical behaviour was advantageous for realtors in the old times, who excused themselves of not selling properties to Mexicans and other no Anglo communities . “ Barrioization allowed those concerned with segregation to offer that one could even count on the ethnic populations of Southern California to do the work of segregation themselves! “The Japanese, Mexican and colored population have segregated themselves in groups largely according to their own wishes”, stated a satisfied realtor from Riverside”. (W. Deverell, 2004)

Changing the scale to barrios10, (neighborhoods) the situation is different. In an effort of finding an identity, in the 1970’s the chicanos simplified their cultural heritage considering themselves of indigenous origins of Southwestern Aztlan, leaving behind the diversity heritage of Olmec, Tarascan, Zapotec, Mayan, Moriscos and even Conversos… The spatial organization seems to reflex the diversity; it becomes disaggregated, a mixing of different size cells, confronting the Code in “instant slums” built with any kind of construction materials in the homeowners’ hope of getting an extra income. The slums include substandard partitioned garages, and basements conversions.
“Latinos are struggling to reconfigure the “cold” frozen geometries of the spatial order to accomodate a “hotter”, more exuberant urbanism”. (M. Davies, 2000)
The materials layers are reflected in the social processes which give them birth: in other related words, “successive waves of immigrant newcomers continually refresh the Latino population, producing continuous demographic change and layering of the family structure and household composition”. (R. Suro, 2002)

As we’ll see in another paper, the autosimilarity is demonstrated between the barrio scale and the domestic scale, as D reaches values rounding 1.70-1.80.

We suggest that there are some specific reasons for which cultural Mexican (chicanos) areas in California are really strong and keep their urban characteristics. Mexicans become assimilated more slowly than other ethnic groups.
Concentration, complexity, plurality of materials, culture –identity- and poverty is historically related . Income is lower for individuals who live in highly concentrated areas. It seems that those who have low incomes might choose live in concentrated areas because the rents are lower11. (Lazear, 2005). As housing demand exceeds supply, interaction between Hispanic subgroups will increase. (Anne M. Santiago, 1989). “This is consistent with the findings of Schnare who suggests that as the population gets larger, there is a filling in of residential areas which diminishes the likelihood of contact with other groups”. (Anne Santiago, 1989)
The step forward to a better social position, on the other hand, consequently indicates a loss of identity (associated to ethnic religion)12 and fractality in urban forms, though the kin ties are still kept.

We also suggest that Chicanos and Mexican immigrants transplant fractal urban forms from Mexico to U.S. through the history. Even the fractal morphology of Mexican archaeological cities like in Mayapan have been proved. ( see Brown, Witschey and Lievobitch. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 12, No. 1, March 2005)

Nowadays, (Citing Peter Ward) in relation to Mexico slums, Davis calls out the “heterogeneity of irregular settlements that undermines collective response by dividing settlements on the basis of mode of land acquisition”… (Davis, 2006)

An excellent example of fractality constituted by composition of fragments of materials (trash from the factories) is seen in the Tijuana, frontier as an alternative technology. People uses cars tires to fix the lots’ slopes, and for the houses, parts of plastic, wood, appliencies (electrodomésticos), cars’ bodies, etc. (See Eloy Mendez Sanz, 1996).

These fragmented –fractal- intuitive designs are also part of the domestic scale and are  –as we have seen illustrated by the old pictures- historically incorporated in the culture, as buildings, festivities (see above the picture of altar in the Dia de los Muertos) and in some aspects of art .13
Further investigation in arts, novels, music, clothes, etc. will help in definitions.
Primarily we can sustain that Mexican culture, extended to Chicano rich culture with indigenous roots, 14 has fractal characteristics with a constant value for D between 1.70 and 1.80 in all aspects of scale, that cannot be hidden even under the hardest Codes of Building and Planning impossed by other cultures.


(1)   Edward Soja refers to this situation as “socio spatial dialectic”. Things in space and thoughts about space, as we see it, are inseparable.
(2)   Chicano and Mexican American seem to have different meanings. “Chicano” is both an ethnic and political designation; it is a label created in the US and by the Mexicans themselves. In Anthony Reyes’ interview, he likes “Chicano” because it indicates that a person is American without denying his Mexican heritage. On the other side, Anna Fuentes feels that Chicanos are too “radical” and too violent for her taste. Finally, Anna decided to call herself “Mexican American” (see Keefe and Padilla. Cultural Blends chapter, page 87 and 93 in Chicano Ethnicity).  Both words together implies “Anglo”, transitively a Mexican American feels “in between” the two cultures.
(3)   This ideology was supported by the Movie Industry in a fierce attempt to any radical multiracial labor community.
(4)   The cited project was initiated in 1994 in conjunction with the Compton Local Planning Council, the Compton California Unified School District and UCLA students and faculty to address the tensions between African American and Mexican American communities.
(5)   The problem for accommodations is aggravated by the rate of fertility in Mexican women: Mexican Americans had an average of 5 siblings in the 1980’s. (Anglos counted 2.5). See Keefe and Padilla, 1987. They have also proved that there is no decline in extended familism with social and economic assimilation and urbanization. On the contrary of what is typically thought, wealthy Chicano keep their kinship by paying big parties.
(6)   See the publications of Edward T. Hall on the subject.
(7)   Despite of those planted by Public Works, trees are valued in this investigation for both reasons: they could imply high quality areas and evoke rural habitats. Their presence could be so strong as to be avoided completely. This is the case for some suburbs in Bogotá, Colombia. Trees are not planted by settlers as they evoke rural areas related to drugs and guerrillas. (Conference by arch. Trujillo, in UGYCAMBA, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism of Buenos Aires).
(8)   The FAR or occupancy percentage of use of land has been changed from 50% to 35% in 2006. Legally, most houses cannot grow anymore, at least on first floor. Though chicanos have no possibilities to increase the area in order to gain more bedrooms to rent, the alternative solution appears to satisfy the necessities. The  addition of tents or the single room mobile home on wheels.
(9)   Anne Santiago states that level of Hispanic-Anglo segregation will diminish over time as the Hispanic population assimilates into mainstream American society. This not taken for guaranteed, because as she also  notices, the 1970’s brought increased levels of segregation between  them. (See Anne M. Santiago, Patterns of Residential Segregation Among Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans in U.S. Metropolitan Areas. 1989
(10)                      The ethnic boundaries are materialized by barrios. The “barrio” is defined as the heart and soul of the Chicano “place” community. And even, if Chicanos live outside the barrio, they still interact in a network of “personal communities” beyond and including the barrio community. The network barely supports other ethnic groups as Blacks, Anglos, Asian Americans and minorities.
(11)                      In our experience, we cannot take only the rooms and divided garages. The mobile home on wheels is also found in many lots as a trick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          for inspectors. When the mobile home is without wheels, and, in some cases with concrete steps to get into it, the City inspector would ask to remove the mobile home. But, without  fixed elements around, it has to be permitted. This temporary “dwelling” is typically for immigrant men alone in order to have a “bedroom” and a small kitchenette; the bathroom is used in the primary house. When the spouse joins him, they go to a bedroom inside a house or a garage and leave the mobile home for another man.
(12)                      We mention religion intentionally. In Mexican roots, catholic religion is highly representative of indigenous rites and icons, which, like altars are complex in their organization. Becoming protestant is loosing the indigenous rites. And loosing fractal cultural images.
(13)                      Gerardo Burkle Erizondo (2004) from the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas has made a research on archaeological art shapes. He found fractal patterns in the designs and D values were between 1.883 to 2. The software was Benoit Program version 1.3. In the tables he shows values of 2.018 which, could be only justified by a deficient definition of images or filters.  See Gerardo Burkle Elizondo: Fractal Geometry in Mesoamerica. And Gerardo Burkle-Elizondo, Nicoletta Sala, Ricardo David Valdez-Cepeda, "Geometric and Complex Analyses of Maya Architecture: Some Examples", pp. 57-68 in Nexus V: Architecture and Mathematics, ed. Kim Williams and Francisco Delgado Cepeda, Fucecchio (Florence): Kim Williams Books, 2004.
(14)                      The suggestion is based on fractal patterns found by researchers in the Aztec culture. The fractal organization of Spanish’s descendants houses and decoration patterns is not a typical characteristic in another American countries that had been historically colonized by Spanish. Here, we refer specifically to Argentina, Chile, Perú, Uruguay.


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Myriam B. Mahiques es arquitecta, graduada en la Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires (FAU) en 1986. Ha colaborado en diversos Estudios y Empresas Constructoras, y  emprendido proyectos y construcciones en forma independiente, en Buenos Aires y California (USA), incluyendo concursos y exposiciones en el área de arquitectura y pintura. En el ámbito académico se desempeñó como Jefa de Trabajos Prácticos en la cátedras de arquitectura Goldemberg y desde el 2002 hasta 2004 en Grinberg. Ha sido Investigadora para el Instituto EFUR (Función de la Evolución Urbana);  Investigadora en el FOINDI (FADU), unidad temática “Tecnología para la Megalópolis” y “La Técnica en el Hombre Primitivo”. (Director: Prof. Consulto Arq. Horacio Pando). En el año 2001 obtiene la beca NuevaTec, otorgada por el Ministerio de Educación y la Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo, para desarrollar el tema “Morfología Urbana y Diseño Fractal”. Lugar de trabajo: The International Mathematics and Design Association (Directora: Dra. Vera W. de Spinadel). Actualmente es JTP de la Secretaria de Investigacion (FADU) y doctorando en el tema “Morfología Urbana y Diseño Fractal”. Directora: Doctora Vera W. De Spinadel, directora del Centro de Matemática y Diseño (MAyDI) (FADU) y codirigida por el Ph. D. Physics Nikos Salingaros, Profesor de Matemática y Consultor de Arquitectura y Urbanismo en el Depto de Matemática Aplicada de University of Texas at San Antonio, USA.. Realizó diversas publicaciones y presentó trabajos en congresos nacionales e internacionales.

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