Launch Slideshow

Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture.

American Academy in Rome: Rome Prize

American Academy in Rome: Rome Prize

  • Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpB8A%2Etmp_tcm20-835063.jpg

    Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture.

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    Noah Kalina

    Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture.

  • 2010 Rome Prize winners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency created the project Hackable Infrastructures: Inhabiting the Margins of Contemporary Rome while at the American Academy. The project looks at marginal and informal settlements around the city. This map shows the strategic sites they investigated.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpB86%2Etmp_tcm20-835019.jpg

    2010 Rome Prize winners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency created the project Hackable Infrastructures: Inhabiting the Margins of Contemporary Rome while at the American Academy. The project looks at marginal and informal settlements around the city. This map shows the strategic sites they investigated.

    600

    2010 Rome Prize winners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency created the project Hackable Infrastructures: Inhabiting the Margins of Contemporary Rome while at the American Academy. The project looks at marginal and informal settlements around the city. This map shows the strategic sites they investigated.

  • Mapping data, such as where squatters live in the urban fabric, gave the Agency team a way to target a population that is usually invisible to governments and planners.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpB87%2Etmp_tcm20-835031.jpg

    Mapping data, such as where squatters live in the urban fabric, gave the Agency team a way to target a population that is usually invisible to governments and planners.

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    Mapping data, such as where squatters live in the urban fabric, gave the Agency team a way to target a population that is usually invisible to governments and planners.

  • Kripa and Mueller used photography to document existing conditions around Romes ill-defined urban edge.

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    Kripa and Mueller used photography to document existing conditions around Romes ill-defined urban edge.

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    Kripa and Mueller used photography to document existing conditions around Romes ill-defined urban edge.

  • Agency reached out to local architects, community advocates, city officials, and urban planners with the hope of developing participatory design strategies.

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    Agency reached out to local architects, community advocates, city officials, and urban planners with the hope of developing participatory design strategies.

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    Agency reached out to local architects, community advocates, city officials, and urban planners with the hope of developing participatory design strategies.

  • Agencys Super Levee Urban Farm from 2010 looks at the role of infrastructure in light of future climate change. As sea levels are expected to rise, their design proposes a series of levees around Manhattan.

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    Agencys Super Levee Urban Farm from 2010 looks at the role of infrastructure in light of future climate change. As sea levels are expected to rise, their design proposes a series of levees around Manhattan.

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    Agency’s Super Levee Urban Farm from 2010 looks at the role of infrastructure in light of future climate change. As sea levels are expected to rise, their design proposes a series of levees around Manhattan.

  • Each levee protects the waterfront with a system of ecological improvements: fish farms, marshes, and dune habitats.

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    Each levee protects the waterfront with a system of ecological improvements: fish farms, marshes, and dune habitats.

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    Each levee protects the waterfront with a system of ecological improvements: fish farms, marshes, and dune habitats.

Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture

It would be wrong to think that 2010 Rome Prize winners Ersela Kripa, 32, and Stephen Mueller, 30, have spent their time at the American Academy in Rome holed up on the historic grounds of the Villa Aurelia. Hoping to use architecture to address humanitarian and economic crises, they took their studies to the streets. Kripa and Mueller, partners in New York–based Agency Architecture, are investigating the marginal and informal settlements that are booming around the city’s urban edge.

The grandpappy of emerging-architect programs, the American Academy is celebrating its centennial this year. The Rome Prize, the academy’s most prestigious honor, supports the interdisciplinary research of architects, artists, writers, and scholars. During its residency, which runs through this month, Agency is reaching out to local architects, community advocates, city officials, and urban planners with the hope of developing participatory design strategies to help those most in need. “We’ve moved away from a tradition of architect-as-master-builder, and it’s becoming difficult to sustain the current paradigm of architect as a coordinator of specialists,” Mueller explains. “The more we can support innovative models of practice, the better chance the profession has to evolve, and [to] respond appropriately to changing global conditions.”