Ersela Kripa

Ersela Kripa is a registered architect and a founding partner of AGENCY.

Ersela has received numerous awards for her design work and scholarship, including the 2021 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2018 Emerging Voices award from The Architectural League of New York, the Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome in 2010, and residency fellowships at the MacDowell Colony in 2009 and 2013. Ersela was named a Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2010, and was recognized as one of ARCHITECT Magazine’s Emerging Talents in 2011. Ersela was awarded a University Design Research Fellowship at Exhibit Columbus in 2020-21, a Cameron Visiting Architect fellowship at Middlebury University in 2016, and named a DISCREET Fellow in Residence at the Berlin Biennale in 2016.

Ersela was born and raised under communist dictatorship in Albania. Her research is particularly focused on uncovering the machinations of the securocratic regimes that surveil and control public lives. Ersela was featured in an interview with Madame Architect in 2021, in which she discusses her work, teaching, and motivations.

Ersela is an Associate Professor and Director at Texas Tech University Huckabee College of Architecture (HCoA) in El Paso; Director of Projects at POST (Project for Operative Spatial Technologies), an HCoA research center; and Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Architectural Education. Ersela has taught at Columbia University GSAPP, Washington University in St. Louis, and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Kripa’s recent book, FRONTS: Military Urbanisms and the Developing World (AR+D, 2020), co-authored with Stephen Mueller, compiles original urban research and analysis, revealing a growing geography of codependence between the global security complex and the urban morphologies of the developing world which it increasingly incriminates.

Ersela holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University, where she was the recipient of the Kinne Travel Fellowship for sponsored research in architecture and urbanism.