Medellín Diagram

The Center on Global Justice explores inequitable urbanization as a global phenomenon, and investigates cities in Latin America and elsewhere that have produced successful political and civic strategies, both top-down and bottom-up, for reducing inequality in the city.  These cases serve as critical alternatives to failed urban policy in San Diego, the U.S. and across the world.

The Medellín Diagram, is an iterative diagram of political and process that enabled Medellín, Colombia’s  legendary urban transformation in the last decades.  Developed by CGJ researchers Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman in collaboration with Medellín-based urbanist-architect Alejandro Echeverri and Frankfurt-based graphic designer Matthias Görlich, the ​Medellín Diagram is a visual tool designed to advance public knowledge by challenging a prevailing perception that Medellín’s transformation is primarily about architecture and infrastructure.  In fact it is a story about equitable political and civic process.

Public exhibition of the Medellín Diagram
Diagrams of Power, Onomotopee, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2019)

Diagrams of Power, Onsite Gallery and the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto (2018)

Visualizing Citizenship: Seeking a New Public Imagination, solo show, Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman with Matthias Görlich, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2017)

UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts, San Diego (2016)

The Shenzhen Biennial, Shenzhen (2016)

Citizen Culture: Art and Architecture Shape Policy, The Rubin Center, El Paso, TX (2015)

Citizen Culture: Art and Architecture Shape Policy, The Museum of Art in Santa Monica (2015)

World Urban Forum, UN-Habitat, Medellin Museum of Modern Art, Medellín, Colombia (2014)

Publications about the Medellín Diagram
Fonna Forman and Teddy Cruz, “The Medellín Diagram,” Catalogue Essay in Diagrams of Power, ed. Patricio Davila (Eindhoven: Onomatopee Projects), 2019

Fonna Forman and Teddy Cruz, “Global Justice at the Municipal Scale: the Case of Medellín, Colombia,” in Institutional Cosmopolitanism, ed. Luis Cabrera. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 189-215.

Fonna Forman and Teddy Cruz, “Latin America and a New Political Leadership: Experimental Acts of Co-Existence,” in Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good, eds. Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson and Dominic Wilsdon, Boston, MA: MIT Press, 2017, pp. 71-90

Fonna Forman and Teddy Cruz, “Changing Practice: Engaging Informal Public Demands” in Informal Markets Worlds – Reader: The Architecture of Economic Pressure, eds. Helge Mooshammer, Peter Mörtenböck, Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2015, pp. 203-223.

Fonna Forman and Teddy Cruz, “Medellín is the Future” in Medellín: vida y ciudad, ed. Isabel Garcés, Municipality of Medellín, on the occasion of the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum, April 2014.  Link to:

Fonna Forman and Teddy Cruz, “The Medellín Diagram,” Catalogue Essay, in Notebook on Time: Citizen Culture: Artists and Architects Shape Policy, ed. Lucía Sanromán, Buró–Buró, 2013.

“Visualizing Citizenship,” Domus, May 31, 2017

“Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman: Visualizing Citizenship,” e-flux Architecture, April 25, 2017

“La experiencia de Medellín es ahora una guía,” El Colombiano, April 10, 2014.

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