Factor Eficiencia and 5468796 Architecture Use 2,500 Buckets in Mexico City Installation

One Bucket at a Time by 5468796 Architecture and Factor Eficiencia with structural engineer Studio NYL. Photography by Jaime Navarro.

Some call it extortion, others thievery. However you label it, blocking parking spaces with concrete barriers, planters, or empty buckets to extract fees from drivers is common-place in Mexico City. Referencing the hijacked spots, One Bucket at a Time invited passersby to interact with it during Mextrópoli, the city’s architecture festival.

The Mexico City installation during the four days of the Mextrópoli festival. Image courtesy of Factor Eficiencia.

After collaborating remotely, 5468796 Architecture flew down from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to work on-site with a local firm, Factor Eficiencia, on the temporary installation, which incorporated 2,500 gray plastic 5-gallon paint buckets and 1,300 feet of yellow nylon rope. Tying everything together was a process that took five days to complete, and the result was a wavelike curve that thousands of visitors climbed, played, and lounged on. Left free-standing, 100 additional buckets functioned as perches for impromptu conversations.

Demonstrating how public space can be reclaimed, the installation celebrated the power of design to engage and inspire. “The value was beyond that of the purely sculptural qualities,” 5468796 Architecture co-founder Sasa Radulovic says. Nevertheless, those qualities were noteworthy. Now that Mextrópoli has ended, the online conversation continues about One Bucket at a Time, as eye candy for Instagram.

Plastic buckets and nylon rope were used in construction. Image courtesy of Factor Eficiencia.

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