Agency—Agency is an award-winning New York City-based architecture and design studio directed by Tei Carpenter. The practice seeks out an expanded role for architecture by engaging buildings, objects, interiors, infrastructures, speculations, and environments. The studio’s recently completed work includes a new non-profit headquarters in downtown Houston and a winning entry for LA+ Journal’s island competition. Agency—Agency’s work has been exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture and the 2016 Venice Biennale. In 2018, Agency—Agency was named one of the New Practices New York by the American Institute of Architects.
big brothers big sisters houston headquarters

Houston, Texas, USA.
2014—2018, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen, George Hewitt, Adelina Koleva, Nora Leon, Elizabeth Stanfel.
Executive Architect:  Method Architecture
Photography: © Michael Vahrenwald

A new 20,000 sf headquarters for national non-profit mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters located in downtown Houston. Manipulation of color and standard building systems allows for increased visibility of the organization through a dynamic faciality on the exterior and creates openness with a three-story atrium at the entry. Within the context of Houston’s car-centric culture, the building is designed to be experienced at a range of scales and speeds.
big brothers big sisters houston headquarters

Houston, Texas, USA.
2014—2018, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen, George Hewitt, Adelina Koleva, Nora Leon, Elizabeth Stanfel.
Executive Architect:  Method Architecture
Photography: © Michael Vahrenwald

A new 20,000 sf headquarters for national non-profit mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters located in downtown Houston. Manipulation of color and standard building systems allows for increased visibility of the organization through a dynamic faciality on the exterior and creates openness with a three-story atrium at the entry. Within the context of Houston’s car-centric culture, the building is designed to be experienced at a range of scales and speeds.
big brothers big sisters houston headquarters

Houston, Texas, USA.
2014—2018, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen, George Hewitt, Adelina Koleva, Nora Leon, Elizabeth Stanfel.
Executive Architect:  Method Architecture
Photography: © Michael Vahrenwald

A new 20,000 sf headquarters for national non-profit mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters located in downtown Houston. Manipulation of color and standard building systems allows for increased visibility of the organization through a dynamic faciality on the exterior and creates openness with a three-story atrium at the entry. Within the context of Houston’s car-centric culture, the building is designed to be experienced at a range of scales and speeds.
big brothers big sisters houston headquarters

Houston, Texas, USA.
2014—2018, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen, George Hewitt, Adelina Koleva, Nora Leon, Elizabeth Stanfel.
Executive Architect:  Method Architecture
Photography: © Michael Vahrenwald

A new 20,000 sf headquarters for national non-profit mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters located in downtown Houston. Manipulation of color and standard building systems allows for increased visibility of the organization through a dynamic faciality on the exterior and creates openness with a three-story atrium at the entry. Within the context of Houston’s car-centric culture, the building is designed to be experienced at a range of scales and speeds.
fisheries observation pavilion

Nunavik, Quebec, Canada.
2016, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen.

Sited atop a rock outcropping in the tundra of northern Quebec, this design/build pavilion is for the observation and conservation of spawning Atlantic salmon. A flip of the ridge line reorients the traditional pitched roof silhouette using readily available local materials with non-standard joinery details. A custom camouflage print is under development based on textures and colors of tundra flora such as caribou moss and lichens.
fisheries observation pavilion

Nunavik, Quebec, Canada.
2016, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen.

Sited atop a rock outcropping in the tundra of northern Quebec, this design/build pavilion is for the observation and conservation of spawning Atlantic salmon. A flip of the ridge line reorients the traditional pitched roof silhouette using readily available local materials with non-standard joinery details. A custom camouflage print is under development based on textures and colors of tundra flora such as caribou moss and lichens.
fisheries observation pavilion

Nunavik, Quebec, Canada.
2016, Built.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Min Chen.

Sited atop a rock outcropping in the tundra of northern Quebec, this design/build pavilion is for the observation and conservation of spawning Atlantic salmon. A flip of the ridge line reorients the traditional pitched roof silhouette using readily available local materials with non-standard joinery details. A custom camouflage print is under development based on textures and colors of tundra flora such as caribou moss and lichens.
drift house

West Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA.
2015, Built.
Photography: © Justine Hand / Remodelista

An extensive renovation of a 1950’s beach house on Cape Cod blurs interior and exterior spaces by lifting existing collar ties, introducing large graphic window elements, and replacing a stud wall with a wide sliding glass door. The design incorporates custom millwork and a playful custom rope and pulley window system, a nod to the house’s nautical context. For further coverage of this project, please visit this link.
drift house

West Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA.
2015, Built.
Photography: © Justine Hand / Remodelista

An extensive renovation of a 1950’s beach house on Cape Cod blurs interior and exterior spaces by lifting existing collar ties, introducing large graphic window elements, and replacing a stud wall with a wide sliding glass door. The design incorporates custom millwork and a playful custom rope and pulley window system, a nod to the house’s nautical context. For further coverage of this project, please visit this link.
drift house

West Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA.
2015, Built.
Photography: © Justine Hand / Remodelista

An extensive renovation of a 1950’s beach house on Cape Cod blurs interior and exterior spaces by lifting existing collar ties, introducing large graphic window elements, and replacing a stud wall with a wide sliding glass door. The design incorporates custom millwork and a playful custom rope and pulley window system, a nod to the house’s nautical context. For further coverage of this project, please visit this link.
testbed

Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA.
2017, Speculative
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Ashely Kuo.

First prize winner of Arch Out Loud’s “Nuclear” international competition to design a marker system to deter inadvertent human intrusion to the Nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for a duration of up to 10,000 years. The design proposes an experimental climate engineering site by deploying an array of carbon sequestration strategies to generate an active marker system that passively stores one form of energetic byproduct—carbon dioxide—in the surface above another: the transuranic waste secured below. Please visit this link for further information.
testbed

Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA.
2017, Speculative
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Ashely Kuo.

First prize winner of Arch Out Loud’s “Nuclear” international competition to design a marker system to deter inadvertent human intrusion to the Nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for a duration of up to 10,000 years. The design proposes an experimental climate engineering site by deploying an array of carbon sequestration strategies to generate an active marker system that passively stores one form of energetic byproduct—carbon dioxide—in the surface above another: the transuranic waste secured below. Please visit this link for further information.
testbed

Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA.
2017, Speculative
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Ashely Kuo.

First prize winner of Arch Out Loud’s “Nuclear” international competition to design a marker system to deter inadvertent human intrusion to the Nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico for a duration of up to 10,000 years. The design proposes an experimental climate engineering site by deploying an array of carbon sequestration strategies to generate an active marker system that passively stores one form of energetic byproduct—carbon dioxide—in the surface above another: the transuranic waste secured below. Please visit this link for further information.
pla–kappa: a cautionary tale of accumulation

North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
2017, Speculative.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Ashley Kuo

A speculative design for a new floating island, archipelago, and ecosystem in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre coproduced between nature’s ocean currents, organic matter, and accumulations of human-made waste. Selected as a winner of the LA+ Imagination Competition and included in a forthcoming publication. Please visit this link for further information.
pla–kappa: a cautionary tale of accumulation

North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
2017, Speculative.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Ashley Kuo

A speculative design for a new floating island, archipelago, and ecosystem in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre coproduced between nature’s ocean currents, organic matter, and accumulations of human-made waste. Selected as a winner of the LA+ Imagination Competition and included in a forthcoming publication. Please visit this link for further information.
pla–kappa: a cautionary tale of accumulation

North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
2017, Speculative.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Ashley Kuo

A speculative design for a new floating island, archipelago, and ecosystem in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre coproduced between nature’s ocean currents, organic matter, and accumulations of human-made waste. Selected as a winner of the LA+ Imagination Competition and included in a forthcoming publication. Please visit this link for further information.
bidirectional core sample

New York, New York, USA.
2016, Exhibition.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Andrea Chiney, Jesse McCormick

A design for a souvenir for Brooklyn Community Board 07, commissioned by the Storefront for Art and Architecture for its Souvenirs: New New York Icons exhibition. The souvenir is imagined as a bidirectional core sample that excavates past strata and projects physical layers of the city into the future. Conceptualized as a composite artifact, the souvenir is a physical fragment of a place that acts as both a repository of memory and fetish object to reflect upon dark or buoyant futures. To purchase your own Bidirectional Core Sample, please visit this Shapeways link!
bidirectional core sample

New York, New York, USA.
2016, Exhibition.
Team: Tei Carpenter, Andrea Chiney, Jesse McCormick

A design for a souvenir for Brooklyn Community Board 07, commissioned by the Storefront for Art and Architecture for its Souvenirs: New New York Icons exhibition. The souvenir is imagined as a bidirectional core sample that excavates past strata and projects physical layers of the city into the future. Conceptualized as a composite artifact, the souvenir is a physical fragment of a place that acts as both a repository of memory and fetish object to reflect upon dark or buoyant futures. To purchase your own Bidirectional Core Sample, please visit this Shapeways link!
suite 303 salon

New York, New York, USA.
2013, Built.
Photography:© Chandra Glick

Located in a historic cast-iron building in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood, this renovation for celebrity stylist April Barton’s Suite 303 Salon maintains an open floor plan, while using the salon’s main elements, such as a color bar and hair washing station, as space defining anchors that concentrate activity. The design integrates custom light fixtures and mirrors, a graffiti mural by artist Jordan Betten, and a custom light box by artist Leo Villareal.
suite 303 salon

New York, New York, USA.
2013, Built.
Photography:© Chandra Glick

Located in a historic cast-iron building in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood, this renovation for celebrity stylist April Barton’s Suite 303 Salon maintains an open floor plan, while using the salon’s main elements, such as a color bar and hair washing station, as space defining anchors that concentrate activity. The design integrates custom light fixtures and mirrors, a graffiti mural by artist Jordan Betten, and a custom light box by artist Leo Villareal.
feral urbanism: reimagining detroit

Detroit, Michigan, USA.
2011, Speculative.

An architectural speculation on the latent value embedded in vacant property lots typical of post-industrial cities. Re-appropriating water infrastructure, this project keeps existing houses and institutions intact seeking to build a lightweight, open and flexible intervention. It overlays a new industry of sustainable aquaculture over Detroit’s industrial past, juxtaposing a synthetic, cultivated nature with a city that has gone wild.
feral urbanism: reimagining detroit

Detroit, Michigan, USA.
2011, Speculative.

An architectural speculation on the latent value embedded in vacant property lots typical of post-industrial cities. Re-appropriating water infrastructure, this project keeps existing houses and institutions intact seeking to build a lightweight, open and flexible intervention. It overlays a new industry of sustainable aquaculture over Detroit’s industrial past, juxtaposing a synthetic, cultivated nature with a city that has gone wild.
feral urbanism: reimagining detroit

Detroit, Michigan, USA.
2011, Speculative.

An architectural speculation on the latent value embedded in vacant property lots typical of post-industrial cities. Re-appropriating water infrastructure, this project keeps existing houses and institutions intact seeking to build a lightweight, open and flexible intervention. It overlays a new industry of sustainable aquaculture over Detroit’s industrial past, juxtaposing a synthetic, cultivated nature with a city that has gone wild.
about
Tei Carpenter is an architectural designer, educator and founder of New York City-based design studio Agency—Agency. She is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation where she directs the Waste Initiative, an applied research and design platform.

Carpenter’s design and research work into architecture’s entanglement with emerging natures has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and will be included in Water Futures, a forthcoming exhibition at A/D/O. Recent design work and writing have appeared in Architect, Cite, Plat and RIBA Journal. Previously she has taught at Brown University, Cornell University, City College of New York and at Rice University as the Wortham Visiting Lecturer. Carpenter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Brown University and her Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University where she was awarded the Howard Crosby Butler Traveling Fellowship in Architecture.
contact
Agency—Agency, LLC
(646) 493–4906
603 Bergen Street, Suite 201
Brooklyn, NY 11238
info@agency-agency.us