Tatiana Bilbao

From Stories to Spaces

“To find new ways of living that could allow any person on the planet to exist with dignity.”

Architect Tatiana Bilbao opened her eponymous studio in 2004 with the aim of integrating social values, collaboration, and sensitive design approaches to architectural work. Prior to founding her firm, Bilbao was an advisor in the Ministry of Development and Housing of the Government of the Federal District of Mexico City, and during this period she was part of the General Development Directorate of the Advisory Council for Urban Development in the city.

Cumbaya, Ecuador, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO 2018, © Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

Her studio’s work intersects with research leading to design for diverse circumstances and in reconstruction or crisis scenarios. At the core of the studio’s practice is an analysis of the context surrounding projects, which range from masterplans to affordable housing typologies. The work’s goal is to both contribute to its surroundings while remaining flexible to absorb shifting needs.

 Bilbao holds a recurring teaching position at Yale University School of Architecture and has taught at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Architectural Association in London, Columbia University GSAPP, Rice University, University of Andrés Bello in Chile, and Peter Behrens School of Arts at HS Dusseldorf in Germany. Her work has been published in periodical including The New York Times, A + U, and Domus. Bilbao was recognized with the Kunstpreis Berlin in 2012 and was named as an Emerging Voice by the Architecture League of New York in 2010. She also won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture Prize by the LOCUS Foundation in 2014, as well as the Impact Award 2017 Honorees for Architizer A + Awards, Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal of 2020, and the Marcus Prize Award in 2019.


Research Center for the Sea of Cortez in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México, Collage by Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO


Bilbao says, “The place that we inhabit, the home, the house, the apartment, housing—whichever the name or form—the physical space that protects us and allow us to exist is no doubt the most fundamental space in our lives.”

“Our current mode of living imposes a life on the majority of the population that prevents them from having a space that actually allows them to exist. As architects, we urgently need to produce the necessary questions, so that as a society we are able to find new ways of living that could allow any person on the planet to exist with dignity. I believe it’s through different methods of thinking, writing, drawing, and doing that we can achieve this.”

Edificio Roble, Arboleda, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO 2017, @ Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO


As a mentor, Bilbao is looking to work with any person interested in the way we inhabit this planet “and is willing to believe that it is possible to become the Other in order to imagine how we can dwell in the future.”

“We will think, draw, cut, paste, glue, add, extract, abstract—but mostly, think. Imagine, create. In the words of Mies van der Rohe, “The house of our time does not exist, nevertheless, the evolution on the way we live demands its realization.” (Die Form nº7, June 1931)


Watch the video statement to find out more about what Bilbao is looking for in applications: