Ersela Kripa is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia GSAPP and a registered architect and founding partner of AGENCY, a design and research practice which leverages spatial design and spatial information to counteract forms of global and urban inequality. From the practice’s position on the US–Mexico border, 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 events that violate human rights.
Ersela’s awards include the Rome Prize in Architecture, the Emerging Voices award from The Architectural League of New York, the Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the MacDowell Fellowship, among others.
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. Her works have been published extensively including Bracket, e-flux, Scapegoat, MONU, Volume, and others.
Ersela holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia GSAPP and a B. Arch from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. 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 public lives.
Ersela’s academic positions include: Associate Professor and Director at Texas Tech University College of Architecture (CoA) – El Paso; Director of Projects at POST (Project for Operative Spatial Technologies), a CoA research center; and Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Architectural Education.
Kripa’s recent book, FRONTS: Military Urbanisms and the Developing World (AR+D, 2020), co-authored with Stephen Mueller, compiles original urban research and analysis, revealing a growing geography of codependence between the global security complex and the urban morphologies of the developing world which it increasingly incriminates.