[most staff, freelancers and Board members can be reached at]

Stephen Klimek, Program Director, is a Brooklyn based architect and designer committed to social practice and community-based urban revitalization. His previous work as Co-Founder and Co-Director of Storefront:Syracuse engaged students, faculty, and community members with issues of Public Interest Design. Storefront:Syracuse was exhibited at the 2012 Venice Biennale “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.” He believes design is a critical tool for transforming contemporary democracy by creating processes of communication and engagement, enabling empowerment and creating opportunity. Prior to joining SUPERFRONT he worked at the Syracuse University Office of Community Engagement & Economic Development and taught Industrial & Interaction Design. He received his M.Arch ‘12 and B.A ’11 from Syracuse University.

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


ANNIE BARRETT, Board Member and Program Committee Chair, 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, 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 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.

MARK GARDNER, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Board Member and Development Committee Chair, 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, is 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, 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, 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, Board Treasurer, is a practicing structural design engineer in new construction, renovation, adaptive reuse, and preservation with Robert Silman Associates. She is an active member of the Structural Engineers Association of New York City and NYCares. Sarah is a decorated combat veteran and holds her M.S.E./B.S.E. from Johns Hopkins University.


MITCH MCEWEN, Founder of SUPERFRONT, 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.


MANUEL AVILA, Architect-in-Residence 2011, 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.

PAWEL NIEDZWIECKI, Architect-in-Residence Fall 2009, 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.

FRANCISCA BENITEZ, Architect-in-Residence Fall 2009, 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; 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.

SUPERFRONT Director + Founder Mitch McEwen profiled in the Fall/Winter issue of PIN UP magazine for Architectural Entertainment.