Letters to the Mayor: Panama City

March 17th – April 27th, 2015

JUNTA | Espacio de Arquitectura


#letterstothemayor     #letterstothemayorpanamacity     @storefrontnyc


In collaboration with the JUNTA | Espacio de Arquitectura, Storefront presents Letters to the Mayor: Panama City as part of the global Letters to the Mayor project. Each iteration presents a collection of letters by more than 100 architects, addressing the most pressing issues facing their city. 


Letters to the Mayor: Panama City invited the following architects to write to Mayor of Panama City just before the Mayoral elections:



Orlando Acosta, Brooke Alfaro, Ricardo Arosemena and Marie Andrée Soundy (ASARQ), Gonzalo Casís, Charlotte Elton, Enric Font and Isaac Martinez (OPENENERGY), Gilberto Guardia, Gabriela Kinkead Boutin, Margot Lopez, Alfredo Martiz, Darien Montanez, Rodrigo Noriega, Thilo Nuessgen, Mir Rodriguez, Adrienne Samos, Ela Spalding, Students of the School of Architecture at the University of Panama, Galdys Turner, Miriam de Zafrani and Elias Zafrani





Local Curators

Johann Wolfschoon and JUNTA Espacio de Arquitectura


Mayoral Desk / Architect’s Table Design

The Mayoral Desk / Architect’s Table 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 Desk / Architect’s Table was produced by a group of local artisans in collaboration with JUNTA.


Wallpaper Design

Oscar Melgar





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, the project has traveled to more than 15 cities across the globe, including Bogota, Mexico City, Athens, Panama City, Taipei, Mariupol, Madrid, Lisbon, and Buenos Aires, among others. See here for a list of iterations.  


Letters to the Mayor invites 100 architects in each city to write a letter to their 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. 


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 with the purpose of identifying pressing issues, ongoing conflicts, and design solutions in relation to the most important urban problems today. Architecture Conflicts is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.