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Marie Saldaña

Assistant Professor

School of Interior Architecture

My work combines traditional historical research and writing with the expanded representational strategies practiced in architectural design and new media art.

My current research is focused on the northern frontier of New Spain in the early modern period, and asks how material culture in conjunction with social history can tell a story of the “interiority of the frontier”, or the ways in which the borderland was constructed through the private lives of the individuals who made their homes in a region that was both far from centers of imperial control yet increasingly contested by rival powers both European and Native. Using the Rio Grande as a geographical line of connection, my research explores the social and material factors that led to the eventual development of northern New Mexico and South Texas as distinct cultural and architectural legacies, and asks what their commonalities can teach us about the broader conditions of frontier life: how the spaces settlers constructed as individual family units fit in to the wider social and political configuration known in today’s cultural imaginary as the borderlands.

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles, 2015
  • M.Arch., University of California, Los Angeles, 2010
  • M.A., Archaeology, Durham University, Durham, UK, 2002
  • B.A., Humanities/Music, University of Southern California, 2001

Expertise & Interests

  • Archaeology & architectural history: Early modern northern New Spain: material culture, social history, and interiority
  • Expanded representational strategies: new media art; generative/procedural modeling; interactivity, audio+visual

Courses Taught

  • IARC 275 – People, Spaces, Experiences & Politics
  • IARC 425 | ARCH 523 – Research Methods for Designers
  • IARC 425 | ARCH 523 – Interior Perspective on Art