AGENCY principals Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller will present recent work that uncovers and shapes emerging cross-boundary territories of urban and environmental concern.  Selected projects and research initiatives provide a series of speculations, demonstrating design’s ability to uncover, harness, and disturb extra-jurisdictional grounds at nested scales of territory, property, and particulate.

AGENCY is a design and research practice which leverages spatial design and spatial information to counteract nascent forms of global and urban insecurity. From the practice’s position on the US/Mexico border, which provides a base of operations and context for discrete interventions, AGENCY’s work reveals and enacts emerging publics. Working in protracted, conflictual contexts, the practice consistently shifts the narrative, developing targeted methods to identify, appropriate, and subvert subperceptual urban and atmospheric phenomena.

Kripa and Mueller are the authors of FRONTS: Security and the Developing World (Applied Research and Design, forthcoming), which uncovers a growing geography of codependence between the global security complex and the urban morphologies of the developing world which it increasingly incriminates.

Kripa and Mueller are the recipients of the 2018 Emerging Voices award from The Architectural League of New York, the 2010-2011 Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome, and MacDowell Colony residency fellowships in 2009 and 2013. 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 work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism, the Venice Biennale, the Berlin Biennale, Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, and the Richmond Art Center.

Ersela Kripa is a registered architect and founding partner of AGENCY. Born and raised under communist dictatorship in Albania, Ersela’s work is particularly focused on uncovering the machinations of the securocratic regimes that surveil and control our public lives. Ersela is an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech College of Architecture – El Paso, a vibrant architectural program steps from the US-Mexico border, where she focuses on curriculum directly related to binational relations as they affect infrastructure, public space and migration. Ersela holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University.

Stephen Mueller is a registered architect and a founding partner of AGENCY. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Stephen has taught at a variety of institutions, including Washington University in St. Louis, and the Texas Tech University College of Architecture – El Paso program, where he directs the Dust Institute studio, an architectural interrogation of transnational dust migration and its growing impact on life and the built environment.  The studio speculates on the impact of migrational airborne particulates on the bodies, devices, and constructions that share the borderland.

Find out more about Agency.


This event is co-sponsored with the Department of Architectural Studies