SUPERFRONT

A non-profit organization dedicated to experimental design, creative exchange, and promoting contemporary architecture for an interdisciplinary world.



People

Photo by Shirelle T. White.  Founder Mitch McEwen (c) with founding Board Members Sarah Millsaps (l) and Nili Gilbert (r).

Board Members

 

Annie Barrett
Board Member and Program Committee Chair

Annie is an architectural designer based in Brooklyn, NY.  As a project manager at Architecture Research Office since 2008, she has lead award-winning architecture and urban design projects that leverage form to create meaningful, useful places. She has taught at the University of California Berkeley and the Parsons School of Design. Barrett holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Isabella Bruno
Board Member

Isabella works between spatial design, communication design and performance to more fully investigate how people and space perform. She established BRUNO, an exhibition design firm working outside of traditional frameworks, to investigate how our methods of communication can inspire or even instigate physical and social responses. In 2010, Isabella re-performed the works of Marina Abramovic as part of “The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art. She blogs about performance and interviews artists in a unique format at performanceritual.com. Isabella holds a Masters in Exhibit Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and will be teaching a course on exhibition design at Fordham University in Fall 2012. She is part of the #WHOWNSPACE collective with DSGN AGNC, Not an Alternative, and DoTank:Brooklyn.

Michael Holland
Board Member

Mike Holland is the Chief of Staff at NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress, which is focused on the emerging field of “urban informatics.” He earned his PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1999 after a brief postdoc at Penn State, Mike joined the White House Office of Management & Budget as the program examiner overseeing the Department of Energy’s Office of Science—now a $4.7 billion program (FY2014) and the largest source of funding for basic research in the physical sciences. He has also worked as a science policy staffer at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and the House of Representative’s Science Committee. Prior to coming to NYU, he was staff director for the Under Secretary for Science in the US Department of Energy.

Mark Gardner, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP
Board Member, President, and Development Committee Chair

Mark is a practicing Architect in Brooklyn, NY. He is a partner at Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects.  Mark currently teaches as a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.  He takes a serious interest in the nexus of architecture and art, a nexus of longstanding importance both to his professional practice and to his writings.  Mark was a contributor to Johanna Saleh Dickson’s Pamphlet Architecture 23 Move/Sites of Trauma (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) and co-author of Stephan Jaklitsch, Habits Patterns Algorithms (ORO, 2009).  He is committed to practicing architecture as a socially beneficial art form.  Mark is an Executive Committee Chair for NYCOBA, the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).  Mark received his Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Design and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Anne Guiney
Board Member

Anne is the Executive Director of the Institute for Urban Design. Previously, Guiney was the editor of the New York edition of The Architect’s Newspaper, and was part of the original team that launched the newspaper in 2003. Prior, she was an editor at Architecture magazine and Metropolis, and has written widely on architecture and design for other publications, including Architect, MARK, ID, and Details. She has also worked as a consultant organizing high-profile architecture competitions (working with Jones | Kroloff), including the commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Parrish Art Museum, and the Portland Aerial Tramway.

John Hartmann
Board Member

John is a founding partner of Freecell, a design and fabrication studio in Brooklyn, NY. Freecell’s work encompasses furniture, interiors, exhibitions, and art installations. The studio was named as an Emerging Voice in 2005 by The Architectural League of New York. John and his partner’s work has been on view at the Artists Space, the Henry Urbach Gallery, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Most recently, their project “LightHearted,” a participatory installation, was exhibited on Duffy Square in Times Square. John received his degree from The Cooper Union. He was a recipient of the Rome Prize in 2006 and a MacDowell Colony residency in 2010. He has taught at both the Rhode Island School of Design and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Ersela Kripa
Board Member and Secretary

Ersela is a lead principal of AGENCY, a research and design practice established by Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller in New York City. By drawing on a wide range of design technologies and research initiatives, the practice hopes to redefine the role of the architect and designer in an increasingly urbanized, and globalized world. Designers must embrace society’s changing needs if they are to remain a vital and significant part of cultural production. Students and practitioners must master not only the traditional spatial, aesthetic, and organizational skills long attributed to architectural endeavor, but become increasingly savvy in societal structures, political policies, and ethical practices, in order to address the needs of a rapidly changing world.

Sarah Millsaps Towles
Founding Board Member and Treasurer

Sarah is a licensed structural design engineer in new construction, renovation, adaptive reuse, and preservation with Stroud, Pence & Associates in Raleigh, NC. She worked for many years with Robert Silman Associates in Manhattan. Sarah is a decorated combat veteran and holds her M.S.E./B.S.E. from Johns Hopkins University.

Staff

 

Stephen Klimek
Program Director

Stephen is a Brooklyn based architect and designer committed to social practice and community-based urban revitalization. Previously he has worked at Van Alen Institute, Hester Street Collaborative, UPSTATE: Center for Design, Research, and Real Estate, the Syracuse University Office of Community Engagement & Economic Development, The Near Westside Initiative and several other community development nonprofits. He has taught studios in Industrial & Interaction Design and his work and projects have been exhibited at the 2012 Venice Biennale “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.” He received is MArchII and BArch from Syracuse University.

Previous

 

Mitch Mcewen
Founder

Mitch is Principal of A. Conglomerate, an emerging design practice that specializes in cultural projects, public space, and consulting for artists and arts institutions.  A recipient of the The New York State Council on the Arts 2010 Independent Projects awards for Architecture, Planning and Design, she was granted a residency fellowship in architecture at the Akademie Schloss Solitude for 2012-2013.  Mitch has been profiled for her work as both a designer and architectural curator by ARTnews, Architect magazine, Architectural Record and PIN-UP magazine.  She has taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP and Instructor at NJIT College of Architecture. She holds an M.Arch from Columbia GSAPP and A.B. from Harvard in Social Studies. Since founding SUPERFRONT in January 2008, she has curated more than fifteen exhibits and published 4 exhibition catalogues, leading SUPERFRONT in producing public exhibits in venues that include New York’s Governor’s Island, the Pacific Design Center in LA, the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Marygrove College in Detroit, and an abandoned loading dock in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Andrea Wenglowskyj
Program Director, 2012

Andrea is a practicing artist, researcher and independent curator. She was awarded a 2011 Fulbright grant in in Ukraine, where she examined the country’s fast-changing contemporary art scene, worked with artists and small art organizations, and lectured extensively at universities and to community groups. Committed to social practice, she is a co-founder of ||| (3-art), a curatorial collaborative that brings contemporary art to underserved communities. Prior to Superfront, she worked with the UBS Art Collection and Storefront for Art and Architecture. Her work has been exhibited nationally. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University, and her BFA in Photography from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Manuel Avila
Architect-in-Residence, 2011

Manuel developed a nomadic research project, CROWN HEIGHTS PARTICIPATORY URBANISM, which was chosen as one of 10 winners for the Institute of Urban Design‘s By the City | For the City ideas competition.  Avila’s work was exhibited at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.  Avila’s notion of Participatory Urbanism is founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, business owners, governmental entities and local community organizations to collaborate in the imagination of pluralistic public spaces. Manuel Avila is an urban designer and a resident of Brooklyn since 2008.

Chloë Bass
Detroit Program Director, 2010-2011

Chloë Bass is an artist and public practitioner. Chloë has received commissions from the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival, the Bushwick Starr’s Bushwhack Festival, and 3rd Ward’s Moviehouse. Recent artistic work has been seen at Exit Art, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, ITINERANT Performance Festival, Glasshouse, Panoply Performance Laboratory, SCOPE Art Fair, Fountain Miami, Agape Enterprise, and the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for the New City (Farm City). She is a 2011 & 2012 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Individual Artist Grant Nominee. From 2007 – 2011, Chloë served as the co-lead organizer for Arts in Bushwick, which produces Bushwick Open Studios, BETA Spaces, and Armory Arts Week performance festival SITE Fest, which she founded. Chloë also serves as the director of SUPERFRONT Detroit, a project dedicated to exploring architecture through interdisciplinary exchange. She has guest lectured at Parsons School of Design, Sotheby’s Institute, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and Brooklyn College CUNY. She holds a BA from Yale University, and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at Brooklyn College. Chloë is currently a visiting artist at Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Pawel Niedzwiecki
Architect-in-Residence, Fall 2009

Pawel uses his technical skills as a designer and craftsmen to produce large-scale artwork in mixed media.  Exploring digital lazer cutting technology, as well as hand-crafted wood work, Pawel’s creative practice is grounded by his rigorous and beautiful hand-drawings.  Most pieces begin as sketches.  Themes include ornate patterning and detailed continuous lines, such that Pawel’s work often evokes tattoos or musical scores.  As Projects Intern at SUPERFRONT in 2008, Pawel managed the construction process for large-scale exhibits and installations.  Pawel holds a Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts in Architecture, as well as a Masters of Architecture, both from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Francisa Benitez
Architect-in-Residence, Fall 2009

Francisca has been a New York based artist since 1998.  Her work investigates and comments on the ways individuals, groups and society inhabit space. She has no particular attachment to any medium, and chooses medium according to each specific project, including video, photography, drawing and performance. She graduated as an architect from the Universidad de Chile in 1998 and later studied art at Hunter College CUNY, where she completed her MFA in 2007. Her work has been exhibited in the Americas, Europe and Asia, most recently at the Instituto Cervantes in Beijing, China; Lokal.int in Biel-Bern, Switzerland; CCCB in Barcelona, Spain; Jersey City Museum in New Jersey, US; Itaú Cultural in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Smack Mellon and Exit Art in New York, US. She has been awarded an independent project grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, a Lambent fellowship from the TIDES foundation, and a FONDART grant from the Chilean Government.