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DSGN AGNC (Design Agency) is an architectural, urban design and art studio that experiments with new forms of space creation through political engagement. We work with stakeholders and trans-disciplinary teams to create comprehensive research that can be used to propose a variety of spatial designs, targeted policies and actions that seek to increase agency at various scales — from pamphlets to strategic urban design plans to architectures to landscapes.
DSGN AGNC arises, in part, from a concern about the state and level of investment in Public goods, services, structures and spaces today. What are the kind of public spaces, such as housing, plazas, parks, and institutions that can encourage robust democratic processes?
DSGN AGNC has been exploring how a critical architectural and design approach can operate in this context. We never start a project with a product in mind, meaning that we let the engagement and research process lead us to the right mode of response to any given question or situation. We are as likely to organize around a piece of policy as we are to create a map or design a built structure.
Our work is rooted in a methodology that uses engagement and critical discourse to open up possibilities for change in the processes by which architecture and cities are made. This process also postulates that no product is ever final — designs, buildings, ecologies and urban systems demand broad and holistic community-based processes that can change over time with both constants and variables.
Through our projects we have learned the value of:
Working without distinctions of whether something is art, architecture, ecologies, urbanism, or…
Every project begins by listening to local stories. Stories give clues on what needs to be designed…
AGONISM IN THE FACE OF CONFLICT
Begin a project by mapping out and revealing the spatial, social and policy conflicts that a community faces and then help create collective agendas with a set of strategies and tactics that can create broad-based coalitions of different stakeholders — leveraging local and political support.
Don’t impose. Let design ideas arise from the contexts you are working within. Design can be more effective if it arises from a process and takes into consideration local conditions.
DSGN AGNC is a research and design studio founded in 2009 as a platform to experiment with forms of political engagement by Quilian Riano (Principal).
Brooklyn, NY, US