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Más que Arquitectura: Recording the architectural voice of Yucatán

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Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Ángel Sánchez and Javier Alonso recorded several demos of what would become their radio show, long before Kiss FM radio decided to pick them up.

Alejandro Vales, Augusto Quijano, Jorge Carlos Zoreda, Mario Peniche and Javier Muñoz, in the set of Más que Arquitectura. Photo: Courtesy of Más que Arquitectura

As young architecture students eager to prove themselves, they wanted to create a platform that would bring the architectural world of Yucatán together. Ángel notes that there’s a lack of sense of community among architects in Mérida, which they decided to address in their initiative.

“Groups are very well established,” Ángel notes. “They are defined by the school you attended, the places where you develop, the style with which you design. And it creates an unnecessary disconnection. At the end of the day, we intend to create the best architecture possible, and for that to happen we have to learn from each other.”

Lupita Ávila and Mauricio Ramirez, on set. Photo: Courtesy of Más que Arquitectura.

This realization inspired them to start a radio show on which established experts, students, and lovers of architecture, in general, could share their ideas. The idea became “Más que Arquitectura” — “More than Architecture” —, early 2016. 

“It became our first professional experience, too,” says Ángel. “Neither one of us was very enthusiastic about joining a firm at the time, and we thought this would be a great way of introducing ourselves to the world of architecture in Mérida — by getting to know one another.”

Ángel notes that much of his own design philosophy has been largely influenced by his time on the show. 

Edgardo Bolio, on set. Photo: Courtesy of Más que Arquitectura

“It’s like having a constant lecture, in a way,” laughs Ángel. “It’s been a very valuable tool, not only from an educational perspective but from a networking one, too. We’ve built very good relationships through the program, we can now ring up an architect we admire and invite them on a project, or ask them for advice.”

As with every other business, the pandemic has pushed the project into different stages, turning it into more of a podcast than a radio show, but Ángel says they’ve welcomed that change with excitement. 

July 2021 interview with Workshop, an award-winning Yucatecan firm.

“Considering the new safety procedures, the show had to be modified. We used to record directly in the booth, and air live, but we are now recording in open spaces, sharing our pre-recorded shows on radio and other digital platforms, and it is helping us grow a lot in the podcast universe.”

The intention of “Más que Arquitectura” is to continue putting a spotlight on what Yucatán has to offer, and making sure it reaches every nook and cranny of the country.

Javier Alonso and Ángel Sánchez, hosts of Más que Arquitectura.

“We are creating incredible things, and for the world to see we have to show it off ourselves,” Ángel shares. “We are not reluctant to explore beyond Mérida, not at all, but we want to look at what we have nearby first. There’s so much to see, I don’t think we’ll ever finish.”

Listen to “Más que Arquitectura” Wednesday night at 8:30, via Kiss F.M. 97.7, or find them on Spotify, YouTube, and their Facebook page.

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