Independent Projects Spotlight: Atlas of Public Power + The Making of Radical Farms

Two grant recipients of The Architectural League and NYSCA’s Independent Projects grant program present their work.

July 1, 2024
12:00 p.m.

Recipients of the Independent Projects grant program explore completed and in-progress work in a series of lunchtime conversations.

Independent Projects is a competitive grant program that is open to New Yorkers who work in any of the design fields. Administered as a partnership between the League and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Independent Projects supports self-generated projects in design practice and research that seek to answer the question: where can design go next? 

The program will feature presentations by recent grant recipients followed by a discussion and audience Q&A, moderated by a member of the League’s staff.

The 2024 Independent Projects application period closed on May 22. Stay tuned for announcements later this summer with the results of this cycle and the 25 projects selected for funding! You can see the full list of projects from last year’s grant recipients on the League’s website, as well as the 2022 cohort.

Spotlight Projects

Atlas of Public Power: Mapping the evolving shape (and social struggles) of New York State’s energy grid
Andrea Johnson
New York, NY and Upstate Regions

Andrea Johnson explores the role of design in distributive energy systems as a catalyst for social and environmental justice through the publication of an Atlas of Public Power. The project will also develop a public, interactive website that conveys the history of public power in New York State and the tensions and possibilities for a more just and equitable energy system with the Build Public Renewables Act. The Atlas project seeks to generate awareness of energy as a set of social and cultural values, spark citizen curiosity, and energize a movement for a public power system that benefits everyone.

Hard Labor, Soft Space: The Making of Radical Farms
Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee
Hudson River Valley communities

Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee explores the impact of race, capital, and property in the building of agrarian settlements in the US. Through drawings, interviews, and a short film, Lee’s work forms a comparative genealogy of utopian agrarian projects, starting with 19th- and 20th-century Abolitionist movements and extending to the current wave of more than 30 radical farms in upstate New York. Focusing on rural approaches to social, racial, and economic liberation in the Hudson Valley, the project links Abolitionist communities to land justice projects located throughout New York State. 

About the presenters

Andrea Johnson is a researcher, designer, and educator whose work explores the intersection of urban landscape infrastructure, socio-environmental flux, and climate uncertainty. Her work has included numerous publications as well as proposals and strategies to re-envision New York City’s infrastructure, from food systems to land use on Rikers Island. Johnson teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and Barnard College.

Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee is a spatial practitioner and researcher who currently teaches at Bard College as the 2022-2024 Architecture Fellow. She is the founder of the Office of Human Resources (OHR), a critical design studio that explores the intersection of spatial, racial, and material politics as systems of liberation, especially in rural settings.



The 2024 Independent Projects Partnership is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.