Emerging Voices winner profile


AGENCY | Photograph from "Border Dispatches" showing New Mexico's Otero County Processing Center. Credit: AGENCY

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

AGENCY won a 2018 award.

The El Paso-based firm, which was founded in 2010, blends architecture, urbanism, and advocacy. Partners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller use research, publication, and design to explore broad-ranging issues such as material ecology, government policy, and ethics.

Representative projects include:

  • Fronts, a research project and book focusing on the relationship between military doctrine and informal urbanism
  • Breach, which explores the simulated environments developed to train military and security forces
  • Border Dispatches, a series of Architect’s Newspaper articles about the US–Mexico border.

Kripa and Mueller were raised in Albania and St. Louis, respectively, and hold degrees from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Both teach at the Texas Tech University College of Architecture in El Paso.

Recipients of the Rome Prize, they have exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Shenzen–Hong Kong Biennale, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Learn more on their website.