Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller focus on researching contested spaces and the relationships that humans form with these complex environments. Kripa and Mueller founded Agency Architecture as recent graduates amidst the Great Recession, and produce urban strategies, architectural projects, art installations and research publications on a variety of scales. Their work attempts to address the ways in which designers can contribute to the crucial conversation about places like border towns, shanty-towns, intersections and the internet- environments where informal but extremely meaningful interactions occur.
The pair, both currently instructors at Texas Tech University College of Architecture, El Paso, Texas, USA, believe that the struggles resulting from rapid urbanization, ecological instability, and widespread resource depletion create exponential opportunities for designers to identify and change these issues through architectural interventions.
Kripa and Mueller recently received a 2018 Emerging Voices award from The Architectural League of New York and were previously winners of the Rome Prize, where they studied the Roma community within Rome. The pair have recently assembled a compendium of writings and projects called Elements of A Tactical Urbanism, which looks at emerging forms of urbanism and development. From studies on the significance of the militarization of places like border towns and prisons to the ‘borderless-ness’ of dust, these social justice thinkers are attempting to expose the hidden causes and meanings of social and political problems.
By providing the public with elusive data as well as designing interventions to address the revealed issues, Agency Architecture’s work is an important tool for designers attempting to affect needed change throughout the built environment.
Join Kripa and Mueller on Social Design Insights with host Eric Cesal as they discuss the ability of democratized information to fight existing power structures and the ways that designers can contribute to national conversations about the informal spaces that result.