Letters to the Mayor: Panama City

March 17sth – April 27th, 2015

JUNTA | Espacio de Arquitectura


#LetterstotheMayor     @storefrontnyc


Letters to the Mayor: Panama City is part of Storefront for Art and Architecture’s initiative Letters to the Mayor. Organized by JUNTA | Espacio de Arquitectura, Letters to the Mayor: Panama City took place just before the Mayoral elections.



Established and emerging voices, including Ricardo Arosemena, Marie Andree Soundy, Gilberto Guardia, Darién Montañez, Margot Lopez, Alfredo Martiz, Brooke Alfaro, Juan del Barrio, a group of students from the School of Architecture of the University of Panama, among others.


Local Curators

Johann Wolfschoon and JUNTA Espacio de Arquitectura


Mayoral / Architect’s Desk

The Mayoral/Architect’s Desk was conceived and fabricated as a piñata, a very popular object in Panamanian celebrations. Piñatas typically represent personalities, characters, or heroes of local pop culture. They are ceremoniously broken open at the end of parties to reveal surprises hidden inside. The design of the Mayoral/Architect’s Desk was produced by a group of local artisans in collaboration with JUNTA.


Wallpaper by

Oscar Melgar


About Letters to the Mayor

Letters to the Mayor is an itinerant exhibition that displays real letters written by architects to their city mayors. Initiated by Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2014, has traveled to more than a dozen cities across the globe, including Bogota, Mexico City, Athens, Panama City, Taipei, Mariupol, Madrid, Lisbon, and Buenos Aires, among others.

Letters to the Mayor invites a hundred architects to write a letter to the Mayor as a means of bringing innovative ideas and visions of the city closer to the decision-makers, and vice versa.

Throughout history, architects have engaged with this responsibility and the structures of economic, political, and cultural power in different ways and with varying degrees of success. With the rise of globalization and the homogenization of the contemporary city, the role of the architect in the political arena has often been relegated to answering questions that others have asked. In their pursuit to design the next economically driven cultural-iconic-touristic object, an increasing number of architects, as well as political leaders, have neglected to recognize the potential of design to participate in the advancement of public life.

Letters to the Mayor questions this dynamic, and invites local and global architects to deliver their thoughts directly to the desks of elected officials, and simultaneously into the public consciousness.



Letters to the Mayor is part of Storefront for Art and Architecture’s initiative Architecture Conflicts, a project which purpose is to identify pressing issues, ongoing conflicts, and design solutions in relation with the most important urban problems today. Architecture Conflicts is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.