Pavilion of Buckets Crests in Mexico City
A wave of buckets crested in Mexico City earlier this year, acting as a temporary installation to inspire residents to reclaim public spaces.
The flexible structure, designed by firms Factor Eficiencia, 5468796 Architecture and Studio NYL, functioned similarly to a carpet—it could be rolled and formed into a number of different shapes.
One Bucket at a Time
What made the piece flexible is its construction—dozens of regular painter’s buckets connected with a grid of rope, set in a triangular shape. The temporary pavilion stood at 100 square meters, providing a source of dynamic public engagement.
In the streets of Mexico City, the same kinds of buckets are used by local "viene viene entrepreneurs" to illegally claim sections of street parking, along with public parking lots. For those desperate to find parking on main thoroughfares running through the increasingly overcrowded city, the business owners charge drivers an extra fee to park in those spaces.
Since these endeavors operate beyond the oversight of the government—the viene viene are known to bribe police—those who do not pay to park in these spaces are often threatened by the paint bucket placers.
Known as One Bucket at a Time, the installation was a response to this takeover of public space, and encouraged interaction from people of all ages with its flexible functionality. With the viene viene controlling up to several blocks per business with buckets, the pavilion stood as a unique space that existed beyond those illegally enforced boundaries.
The design firms created One Bucket at a Time for Mextropoli 2017, an architecture event held in the spring that attracted over 50,000 attendees including artists and tourists alike. Throughout the festival, designers sought to create a conversation about the future of the city through architecture.
When the festival was over, the buckets were circulated back into the city.