Jun 3rd 2023

In partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, join Hyde Park Art Center exhibition artist, Edra Soto, and Chicago Architecture Biennial artists-in-residence, Human Scale, for a discussion about designing community spaces through the lens of identity, and drawing inspiration from LatinX culture and design practices.


About Edra Soto:

Edra Soto is a Puerto-Rican born artist, curator, educator, and co-director of the outdoor project space, The Franklin. Soto instigate meaningful, relevant, and often difficult conversations surrounding socioeconomic and cultural oppression, erasure of history, and loss of cultural knowledge. Growing up in Puerto Rico, and now immersed in her Chicago community, Soto’s work has evolved to raise questions about constructed social orders, diasporic identity, and the legacy of colonialism. Soto has exhibited extensively at venues including El Museo del Barrio (NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL), ICA San Diego, (CA) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY). She has been awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, the Illinois Arts Council Agency Fellowship, the inaugural Foundwork Artist Prize, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant and the Bemis Center’s Ree Kaneko Award among others. Soto exhibited and traveled to Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Cuba as part of the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. Soto holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico. The artist lives and works in Chicago.

About Human Scale

Human Scale is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2018 by a group of architecture students with the goal of using their skills to make a positive impact in their communities.

Our mission is to design and build functional, beautiful, and meaningful public spaces in historically disinvested neighborhoods across Chicago. As a result, our work seeks to improve mental and physical wellness, promote civic responsibility, highlight heritage, and culture, and foster strong inter-generational relationships within the communities we work in. Human Scale was co-founded by Aylen Pacheco and Jorge Luis Mayorga.

About Aylen Pacheco

Aylen Pacheco is an architectural designer with a passion for equity in community development. During university, her passion for inclusive design led her to co-found Human Scale, a 501(c)(3) design-build nonprofit with the goal of using architecture to make a positive impact in underserved communities around Chicago. Aylen’s interest in community-led projects also led her to join Beehyyve as an Associate Partner where she develops design and construction documents for high rise, adaptive reuse, commercial, and affordable housing projects. As a young woman in architecture, Aylen aims to strengthen community engagement through accessible and inclusive civic spaces.

Jorge Luis Mayorga

Jorge Luis Mayorga was the President of the UIC American Institute of Architecture Student chapter. He helped make the chapter more active by organizing firm tours, professional development events, and planning trips to the AIA National Forum. He also helped raise funds for local design build projects through his involvement in the Freedom by Design team. He volunteered and helped organize the AIAS Forum 2014 and the Snafoo Midwest Quad Conference 2017.

In 2015, he volunteered for the Chicago Architecture Biennial in the following exhibitions: Mark Wasiuta, Marcos Sanchez, Adam Bandler + GSAPP Exhibitions; Plan:B Architects’ Hollow Trunk project; and Kuehn Malvezzi + Armin Linke + Marko Lulic exhibition of House of One. In 2016, he enrolled in the Architecture Association Visiting School in Haiti where he had the opportunity to design a house with bamboo as both an ecological savior, and response to the disproportionate devastation of the 2010 earthquake. He worked in a team composed of a local interior designer, local construction worker, and himself as an architecture student. Jorge graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree. In 2015, his studio project was admitted to the School of Architecture’s Year End Show.

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