2018 New York State Council on the Arts League-sponsored Independent Projects Grantees

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in its Independent Projects category annually awards $10,000 project grants to professionals in the architecture, design, and historic preservation fields. Individuals must apply through a nonprofit sponsor. This year NYSCA awarded eleven grants throughout New York state to individuals, of whom five were sponsored by the League.

Look for information on the 2019 cycle of grants this spring. More information on the program, including a complete list of past League-sponsored projects and grantees, is available on the NYSCA competition page and in our ongoing series of Project Reports by past winners.

Introducing the 2018 League-sponsored grantees:

The Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture 1960-2015
Lori Brown

Within global compendiums, there is no book in English solely examining women working within the built environment. This encyclopedia will begin to fill this void and provide a wider and more inclusive array of architectural examples about the role women contribute to our built world. The project will put forward a far more diverse idea of how architecture is practiced and will promote a wide range of women’s engagement. As New York is an epicenter for architecture in the U.S., the focus during the grant year will be researching women and their contributions to New York state’s built environment.

Lori Brown’s creative practice examines relationships between architecture and social justice issues with particular emphasis on gender and its impact upon spatial relationships. She is the author of Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters and Hospitals and editor of Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture. Her current projects include Birthing Centers, Borders and Bodies and The Bloomsbury Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture with Dr. Karen Burns. She is the co-founder and leads ArchiteXX in New York City. She is Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University and a licensed architect in New York.


The Plasticshed
Tei Carpenter
If a watershed in ecology describes a system that guides the way water moves through a bounded region, The Plasticshed will explore the circulation, processing, and accumulation of the plastic waste stream of New York City, beginning at its moment of discard, through its infrastructures and local waterbodies. Through an immersive short film and mindfulness coloring book, the project aims to expand the public’s environmental imagination about The Plasticshed through a series of speculative designs that propose alternative scenarios focusing on plastic waste as it pertains to buildings, landscapes, and waterways.

Interior View at Sims Material Recovery Facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Photo: Tei Carpenter

Tei Carpenter is founder of Brooklyn-based design studio Agency—Agency. She is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Director of the Waste Initiative. Carpenter’s design and research work into architecture’s entanglement with emerging natures has been exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture and at the 2016 Venice Biennale. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Brown University and her Master of Architecture from Princeton University where she was awarded the Howard Crosby Butler Traveling Fellowship in Architecture.


Civic Architecture: Z+B
Emma Fuller
Civic Architecture: Z+B examines the work of the New York landscape architects Zion & Breen in relation to the particular character of the post-war American city. Within a deconstructed urban terrain of vacant lots and fracturing highways Zion & Breen recognized the opportunity for new scales of green space in orchestration with the evolving infrastructure. As an extension of the projects of Olmsted and Vaux, Zion & Breen advanced park space as a pivotal civic element that reconfigures the city plan. With an eye to this lineage of American landscape architecture this project examines the work of Zion & Breen as a means to project into the 21st century.

Proposed Downtown Expressway in Richmond, VA. | 1966 Study

Emma Fuller is a graduate of the Cooper Union. She has recently co-founded the design practice of Fuller/Overby after a decade with Diane Lewis Architect. Fuller’s work focuses on architectural matter and memory, initially explored through a series of public exhibitions titled Richmond as a Work of Art. Current projects include a ground-up courtyard house in North Carolina and the realization of an artist residence and studio in Soho designed under Diane Lewis. She has been recognized by the Branch Museum and The Storefront for Community Design for her work in Richmond, VA. Fuller has received fellowships and grants from the IPA, the Maryland Historical Society, and CultureWorks for her writing and research projects.


Architecture and Stuff
Silvia Fuster
With over 50,000 facilities across the country, self-storage is the fastest growing commercial real estate sector in the United States. What does an obsession with shopping and over-consumption mean for the architecture of storage? The project seeks to explore this issue and the potential for these prolific, yet utilitarian spaces to foster social interaction.

Image courtesy Travis Wise/Flickr Under a CC by 2.0 License

Through research, spatial analysis, and the prototyping of a new design for self-storage units, Architecture and Stuff will ask us to consider new roles for our “stuff” and the architecture that houses it.

Silvia Fuster is a practicing architect and Principal of VAMOS Architects, a sociologically-driven design firm based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She received her Master of Architecture from Harvard University and her Bachelor of Urban Studies and Architecture from Brown University. Prior to forming VAMOS, Fuster worked with Denise Scott Brown of Venturi Scott Brown and Associates; WORK Architecture Company in New York; and Carlos Ferreter in Barcelona.  She has taught at IE School of Architecture and Design in Segovia, Spain, as well as summer design studios at Harvard University and Cornell University. Fuster grew up between New York and her parents’ native Barcelona.


This is not your door:
Spaces of Exclusion in New York—The Lottery, the Membership, and the Application
Alejandra Navarrete Llopis
This is not your door: Spaces of Exclusion in New York—The Lottery, the Membership, and the Application explores the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion at three different scales in New York City: the domestic spaces of mixed-income developments resulting from inclusionary housing programs; the leisure interiors of social clubs offering privacy, security, and comfort; and the educational settings of colleges and universities responding to contemporary discussions on fair admission, minorities, and diversity. The aim is not only to unveil the relationship between the legal frame and the places we inhabit but also to envision alternative models of inclusion and accessibility.

Private pool at One Riverside Park apartment. Photo: Evan Joseph and Extell Development Company

Alejandra Navarrete Llopis is a New York-based architect and founding partner of Nami Studio, a design and curatorial office working on public and private projects in Europe and the U.S. Navarrete was trained at ETSAMadrid and graduated from the MSc in Advanced Architectural Design program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute. Together with the After Belonging Agency, Navarrete was Chief Curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016. Her work has been recently recognized by the Graham Foundation and with a FAD Thought and Criticism Award.