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 an installation commissioned by BMW Mini for the A/D/O Water Futures research and design program. Agency—Agency’s work has been exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Center for Architecture and the Venice Biennale. In 2018, Agency—Agency was honored as one of the New Practices New York by the American Institute of Architects.
model projections

Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia GSAPP, New York, New York, USA
October 4 - December 15, 2018, Exhibition Design
Design Team: Tei Carpenter, Minjae Kim, Sadie Dempsey
Curatorial Team:  Jennifer Gray, Irene Sunwoo, Tiffany Lambert
Text:  Columbia GSAPP Exhibitions
Photography: © James Ewing

Model Projections investigates the complex pathways between architecture and its representations through an examination of the practice of model making. It explores the ephemeral registers of architectural production, revealing the model itself as a site of collaboration, negotiation, and speculation—not unlike the full-scale building that it anticipated. The exhibition design is an immersive installation and display system that uses off-the-shelf materials—drywall fragments, exposed metal studs—to evoke an architectural work-in-progress. Embracing the artifice and provisional nature of models, the exhibition design oscillates between multiple scales, intertwining the materials and methods of model making and architectural construction.
model projections

Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia GSAPP, New York, New York, USA
October 4 - December 15, 2018, Exhibition Design
Design Team: Tei Carpenter, Minjae Kim, Sadie Dempsey
Curatorial Team:  Jennifer Gray, Irene Sunwoo, Tiffany Lambert
Text:  Columbia GSAPP Exhibitions
Photography: © James Ewing

Model Projections investigates the complex pathways between architecture and its representations through an examination of the practice of model making. It explores the ephemeral registers of architectural production, revealing the model itself as a site of collaboration, negotiation, and speculation—not unlike the full-scale building that it anticipated. The exhibition design is an immersive installation and display system that uses off-the-shelf materials—drywall fragments, exposed metal studs—to evoke an architectural work-in-progress. Embracing the artifice and provisional nature of models, the exhibition design oscillates between multiple scales, intertwining the materials and methods of model making and architectural construction.
model projections

Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia GSAPP, New York, New York, USA
October 4 - December 15, 2018, Exhibition Design
Design Team: Tei Carpenter, Minjae Kim, Sadie Dempsey
Curatorial Team:  Jennifer Gray, Irene Sunwoo, Tiffany Lambert
Text:  Columbia GSAPP Exhibitions
Photography: © James Ewing

Model Projections investigates the complex pathways between architecture and its representations through an examination of the practice of model making. It explores the ephemeral registers of architectural production, revealing the model itself as a site of collaboration, negotiation, and speculation—not unlike the full-scale building that it anticipated. The exhibition design is an immersive installation and display system that uses off-the-shelf materials—drywall fragments, exposed metal studs—to evoke an architectural work-in-progress. Embracing the artifice and provisional nature of models, the exhibition design oscillates between multiple scales, intertwining the materials and methods of model making and architectural construction.
new public hydrant

New York, New York, USA
2018, Installation
In Collaboration with Chris Woebken
Team: Tei Carpenter, Chris Woebken, Arianna Deane, Ashely Kuo, Zeynep Ugur

New Public Hydrant engages with the fire hydrant as a small-scale water infrastructure in New York City to inspire surprising new forms of public interactions surrounding our emergency infrastructure and the city’s high quality drinking water supply. The installation includes three “hydrant hacks”: Hydrants for All is a multi-species fountain, Hydrant on Tap is a bottle fill station and Hydration Space is an immersive microclimate sprinkler. Commissioned by BMW Mini for A/D/O’s Water Futures research program curated by Jane Withers. More coverage and information about the project on Fast Company, Dezeen and Urban Omnibus.
new public hydrant

New York, New York, USA
2018, Installation
In Collaboration with Chris Woebken
Team: Tei Carpenter, Chris Woebken, Arianna Deane, Ashely Kuo, Zeynep Ugur

New Public Hydrant engages with the fire hydrant as a small-scale water infrastructure in New York City to inspire surprising new forms of public interactions surrounding our emergency infrastructure and the city’s high quality drinking water supply. The installation includes three “hydrant hacks”: Hydrants for All is a multi-species fountain, Hydrant on Tap is a bottle fill station and Hydration Space is an immersive microclimate sprinkler. Commissioned by BMW Mini for A/D/O’s Water Futures research program curated by Jane Withers. More coverage and information about the project on Fast Company, Dezeen and Urban Omnibus.
new public hydrant

New York, New York, USA
2018, Installation
In Collaboration with Chris Woebken
Team: Tei Carpenter, Chris Woebken, Arianna Deane, Ashely Kuo, Zeynep Ugur

New Public Hydrant engages with the fire hydrant as a small-scale water infrastructure in New York City to inspire surprising new forms of public interactions surrounding our emergency infrastructure and the city’s high quality drinking water supply. The installation includes three “hydrant hacks”: Hydrants for All is a multi-species fountain, Hydrant on Tap is a bottle fill station and Hydration Space is an immersive microclimate sprinkler. Commissioned by BMW Mini for A/D/O’s Water Futures research program curated by Jane Withers. More coverage and information about the project on Fast Company, Dezeen and Urban Omnibus.
flatiron crossings

New York, New York, USA
2018, Competition Finalist
Client: Van Alen Institute and Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Minjae Kim, Ashely Kuo

A finalist for a holiday installation in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park, Flatiron Crossings re-forms New York City’s language of small-scale traffic management infrastructure—crosswalks, delineators, speed bumps, and channelizers—to create an immersive, animated and luminous field that encourages congestion and public interaction. As a literal “crossing” that engages the public as a space of rest, discovery and interaction, the project takes a cue from the site’s iconic intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. A grid of internally illuminated, gently flexing poles are finished with retroreflective paint to produce a glowing, glittering experience with the interplay of people, headlights and phone flashes.
flatiron crossings

New York, New York, USA
2018, Competition Finalist
Client: Van Alen Institute and Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Minjae Kim, Ashely Kuo

A finalist for a holiday installation in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park, Flatiron Crossings re-forms New York City’s language of small-scale traffic management infrastructure—crosswalks, delineators, speed bumps, and channelizers—to create an immersive, animated and luminous field that encourages congestion and public interaction. As a literal “crossing” that engages the public as a space of rest, discovery and interaction, the project takes a cue from the site’s iconic intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. A grid of internally illuminated, gently flexing poles are finished with retroreflective paint to produce a glowing, glittering experience with the interplay of people, headlights and phone flashes.
flatiron crossings

New York, New York, USA
2018, Competition Finalist
Client: Van Alen Institute and Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
Team: Tei Carpenter, Arianna Deane, Minjae Kim, Ashely Kuo

A finalist for a holiday installation in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park, Flatiron Crossings re-forms New York City’s language of small-scale traffic management infrastructure—crosswalks, delineators, speed bumps, and channelizers—to create an immersive, animated and luminous field that encourages congestion and public interaction. As a literal “crossing” that engages the public as a space of rest, discovery and interaction, the project takes a cue from the site’s iconic intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. A grid of internally illuminated, gently flexing poles are finished with retroreflective paint to produce a glowing, glittering experience with the interplay of people, headlights and phone flashes.
hearth warmer

New York, New York, USA
2018, Competition Finalist
Client: Times Square Arts Alliance and the Center for Architecture
Team: Tei Carpenter, Minjae Kim, Carsten Rodin

Hearth Warmer is a finalist for the annual Valentine’s Day installation in the center of New York City’s Times Square. It is a performative public installation comprised of a circular frame table with a hot, artificial rock at its center, offering the city a new hearth that radiates heat throughout the day and night. Made of a high gloss red and pink ombré metal frame illuminated on its interior with a custom radiant artificial hot rock made of polished recycled red, pink and silver aggregates at its center, the project invites visitors to come together around the universal enjoyment of warmth in the winter.
big brothers big sisters houston headquarters

Houston, Texas, USA.
2014—2018
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, Competition Winner
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, Competition Winner
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, Competition Winner
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, Competition Winner
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, Competition Winner
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, Competition Winner
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.
2017, 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.
2017, 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
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
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

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

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

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, Associate AIA, is an architectural designer, educator and founder of Agency—Agency. She is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and 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 has been supported by a number of international organizations including the New York State Council on the Arts and BMW Mini. Recent design work and writing have appeared in Architect Magazine, The Avery Review, Fast Company, and Urban Omnibus. Previously she has taught at Brown University, Cornell University 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