COMUNAL was founded in 2015 in Mexico City by Mariana Ordóñez Grajales, architect graduated from the Autonomous University of Yucatán. In 2017 the architect Jesica Amescua Carrera, a graduate of the Universidad Iberoamericana, joins the team.

For our team, architecture is not an object, it is rather a participatory social process, alive and open, that allows villagers to express their ideas, needs and aspirations, always placing them at the center of projects and decision making.

We address the problems of habitability in rural communities with a comprehensive and complex vision. Interested always in the approach of adequate solutions to the socio-environmental conditions of each region, we collaborate with various professionals depending on the needs of each project.

Our work combines architecture and engineering for the technological innovation of construction systems with regional materials and the conservation of vernacular typologies, which results from the exchange of knowledge among residents, specialists and technicians.

We firmly believe in our profession as a tool that can help improve the quality of life of communities through processes that trigger autonomy, empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Mariana Ordóñez Grajales

Chetumal, Quintana Roo 1986. Architect graduated from the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY). She has a master’s degree in “Architecture, Design and Sustainable Construction” from the University of the Environment (UMA) with the project “Social Production of Housing”.


In 2013, she founded the Civil Association “Centro Bambú”, an organization focused an organization focused on giving technical training workshops to the people of the Northeastern Sierra of Puebla with the aim of improving housing conditions in the region. During 2014, it collaborates with the Social Development Secretariat (SEDESOL) to develop a manual of ecological technologies and good constructive practices for the Justice Centers for Women in the country. In February 2015 she founded “Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura” with the purpose of bringing architectural services to rural and urban communities in Mexico with limited resources. During the years 2016-2017 was recognized with the scholarship “Young Creators” of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts with the project “Architectural Activism”, which questions the role and social responsibility of the architect.

In 2017, she was senior lecturer at the Iberoamerican University (UIA) in the Vertical Workshop: Regenerative Impact Projects and she is studying the Master’s Degree in Housing at Universidad Centro with the purpose of continuing to expand his knowledge about the subject.

Jesica Amescua Carrera

Mexico City, Mexico 1983. Architect graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA). She has a master’s degree, with honorable mention, in “Analysis,Theory and History of Architecture” by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and currently she develops the PhD research project “The paradigms of complexity in the morphological transformation of public space in informal settlements” at the same institution (UNAM), financed by the National Science and Technology Fund (CONACYT).

From 2004 to 2010, she worked at Gaeta Springall Architects and from 2014 to 2017 she was an associate architect in this office. Also in 2014, she collaborated at Gaeta Springall Architects as Co-Curator in the Mexican Pavilion of the 14th Venice Biennale. From 2010 to 2012, she was a FONCA- CONACULTA scholarship holder at the program “Promotion of Projects and Cultural Coinvestments” with the museographic and research project “The Vernacular Art Inside the Informal Settlements” (Johannesburg, Nairobi and Mexico City), exposed in MUCA Museum (UNAM), Iberoamerican University (UIA) and Faro de Oriente Cultural Center in Iztapalapa.


From 2015 to 2017, she was senior lecturer at the Iberoamerican University (UIA) in the Vertical Workshop: Regenerative Impact Projects, and since the beginning of 2017 she is associate partner at Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura.