New York, NY
Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller are founding partners of AGENCY, an award-winning research and design practice established in New York City in 2006. By drawing on a wide range of design technologies and research initiatives, the practice works to establish the architect as a tactical operator in an increasingly urbanized, and globalized world. AGENCY engages contemporary global culture through a range of commissioned architectural projects, speculative proposals, urban research, film, and photography. In each project, the practice strives to identify and capitalize on what makes each client, site, or social context truly unique, taking advantage of circumstance to propose new modes of living. The partners were featured as one of ARCHITECT Magazine’s Emerging Talents in 2011.
Partners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, are the recipients of the 2010-2011 Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome, a prestigious fellowship supporting advanced research and creative work through a one-year residency in the city of Rome. Their project, entitled “Hackable Infrastructures : Inhabiting the Margins of Contemporary Rome” addresses the city’s escalating housing and sociological crisis, proposing new architectural and urban typologies to enable the productive co-habitation of necessary civic improvements and emerging informal environments.
The partners were recipients of a highly selective MacDowell Colony residency fellowship in 2009, where they completed research and design for their upcoming book, entitled Elements of a Tactical Urbanism, which catalogs and extrapolates successful design and development tactics in informal environments throughout the world. Demonstrating a unique ability to turn apparently overwhelming disadvantage into a unique combination of self-expression, subversion, and subterfuge, these neglected social enclaves provide an alternative to the historically failed models of explicit urban planning.
AGENCY is the winner of the 2010 ONE PRIZE, an international design competition for creating productive green space in cities hosted by Terreform 1. AGENCY’s speculative proposal for a new coastal urban infrastructure aims to safeguard cities against future disaster from rising sea levels. Super Levee Urban Farm capitalizes on the need for urban improvement, expanding the necessary infrastructural and environmental interventions to propose a more productive urban and personal life. The project proposes a global system of levees, serving as a new brand of urban farms at the city’s edge, preserving local ecologies while protecting cities from emerging dangers.
AGENCY’s work has been exhibited internationally, most recently through invited participation at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, Sofia Architecture Week, Eme3 International Architectural Market in Barcelona, and SUPERFRONT Gallery in Los Angeles.
New York, NY, US