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The Gowanus Studio Space

Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 11:00 AM - Monday, July 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

Brooklyn, United States


Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Trajinera Workshop at GSS Ended $65.00 $4.57


Event Details

Come help build a large pre-hispanic mexican barge at The Gowanus Studio Space as part of SEAWORTHY: a summer of boat inspired artwork, workshops, and adventures.

3 Weekends Starting July 2nd and 3rd, through July 17th.

$65 donation!

Join artist and designers Natalia Porter and Ben Cohen on a 4 week long adventure in building one of Mexico's most Emblematic watercraft: the Trajinera. Traditionally used for shipping crops in and out of the fields and on the canals of Xochimilco, these 30ft long craft equipped with a dining table and chairs are predominantly now used for the enjoyment of local and non-local tourists.

The Trajinera is an emblematic Mexican boat that has existed for centuries. Today, it is still popular in Xochimilco, a rural part of southern Mexico City, best known for its canals and chinampas, which are left from what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico during Tenochtitlan, the capital of the abounding Aztec Empire in the 15th century. Often referred to as "floating gardens," chinampas were artificial islands, a method of ancient Mesoamerican agriculture. The canals are a vestige of the area’s pre-Hispanic past, which has made Xochimilco a World Heritage Site.

To build this Trajinera, Natalia has employed the help of two architecture students at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana – Xochimilco, to research the design and construction techniques of these boats. We will be using these plans to build “Xochitl”, our replica Trajinera here in New York. After launching in the Gowanus Canal “Xochitl” will serve not only as a place of cultural exchange, but as a tool and platform for the discussion of different issues, including Mexican Immigration in and around New York City, in partnership with the Mexico Now Festival and the Queens Museum of Art.

Trajinera Workshop Schedule:

Day 1: JULY 2nd
  • Introduction and Slideshow By Natalia
  • Shop Safety by Ben
  • Review of the plans
  • Division of Labor
Day 2: JULY 3rd
  • Cut Pieces
  • Organize Pieces
  • Label ALL PARTS
Day 3 : JULY 9th
  • Break up into 3 teams
  • Begin Assembly of All three hulls.
Day 4: JULY 10th
  • Finish 3 Hulls
  • Test Fit them Together
  • Start Canopy
Day 5: JULY 16th
  • Finish Canopy Structure and Canvas Stretching
  • Cut out Facade
  • Prime
Day 6: JULY 17th

No boat building experience is necessary, but come understanding that you will be working with equipment such as a table saw, which need to be used carefully. Do not wear baggy clothes or long pieces of jewelry that may get caught in these machines.


Feel free to email any questions to: or to

For more info on Seaworthy visit



Have questions about BUILD A TRAJINERA at THE GOWANUS STUDIO SPACE? Contact The Gowanus Studio Space

When & Where

166 7th Street
Brooklyn, 11215

Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 11:00 AM - Monday, July 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

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The Gowanus Studio Space


In an era when art encompasses infinite amalgams of visual media, The Gowanus Studio Space encourages inter-disciplinary exchange and provides affordable access to facilities for artists and designers.  Offering exhibition, curation and production opportunities, the studio is an incubator for new ideas and an inroad to today's insular art world.  

The GSS' 40+ members rent low-cost studios and storage and have 24-hour access to a woodshop, print studio and large common workspace.  GSS was established with little funding in industrial Gowanus in 2007, and is now in the final stage of an ambitious move to a new 7500 sq-ft home.


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