2023 Summer Residency at the Block House | The Institute for Public Architecture

The Institute for Public Architecture (IPA) welcomes applications for the Summer Independent Projects Residency, based at the historic Block House on Governors Island. The IPA uses design to challenge social and physical inequities in our cities. They address urgent issues of design and policy by mobilizing their network of design activists, professionals, and community stakeholders.

Emerging and mid-career architects, urbanists, policymakers, artists, and those committed to the public realm in all disciplines are invited to apply. Applicants will bring their own interests and projects to the program and will receive opportunities to present their work to the public on Governors Island over the course of the Residency. Each Fellow also receives invaluable project support through access to subject matter experts and resources relevant to their project.

The 2023 Summer Residency follows upon the success of last year’s inaugural Residency at the Block House, whose Fellows were among the first civilian residents on the Island since the Coast Guard’s exit in 1996. This year’s Fellows will enjoy unparalleled historic, natural, and urban resources with direct access to Downtown Manhattan and waterfront Brooklyn neighborhoods via ferry.

The IPA is one of more than twenty arts, cultural, educational, and environmental nonprofit organizations-in-residence on the Island, which form a unique community that connects with a diverse and growing audience of nearly one million annual visitors.

Who should apply

The Summer Residency program is open to applicants from diverse backgrounds, educations, experiences, and aspirations. Applicants may be architects, urbanists, policymakers, and/or artists, working in either theoretical or practical disciplines. The program is best suited to applicants with a clearly developed focus and/or approach who need time and space to work independently.

Program goals

This program is designed to support Fellows with research and design projects at any stage of development who would benefit from sharing their work in the collective, interdisciplinary context of the Residency. To that end, time will be set aside throughout the Summer for Fellows to present and discuss their work with the cohort, IPA staff, guests, and members of the public.

During the Residency, Fellows’ work can be presented in any format: academic papers, articles, and/or book chapters, film, installations, drawings, models, macquettes, among others. The program will culminate in an exhibition of work at the Block House, and eventually a publication.

Program structure

This program offers Fellows the opportunity to bring their own interests and projects to New York City, with its vast network of expertise and leadership in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and design. Fellows will be asked to present the progress of their work to the public in a series of Open [Block] House events on Governors Island. Each Fellow will also receive invaluable project support through the IPA’s network of subject matter experts and resources.

Programming includes:

  • Open [Block] House: A series of public events at the Block House invites visitors to engage in conversation with Fellows about their work.
  • Weekend Open Library: The Block House library and gallery is open to the public on weekends. Fellows are invited to interact with visitors and share the progress of their work.
  • Dinner Parties: A series of curated evenings are held throughout the Summer with guests and former fellows invited to dine with the cohort.
  • Cohort Activities: Fellows are invited to join a series of urban walking tours, field trips, museum and archive visits, and events on Governors Island and the larger New York City region.


Program fee

The Residency Program Fee is $5,000 per Fellow for the 11-week period, which includes registration, accommodations, and other program expenses. Fellows are encouraged to seek partial or full financial support from their institutions or other funding sources to offset the program fee. The fee can be paid in a lump sum or in installments. If paid in installments, the first 50% is due prior to the start of the program on June 1, with an additional 25% due on July 1 and the remaining balance of 25% due on August 1.


They understand that the Program Fee might be a barrier to entry for some applicants. The IPA offers a limited number of need-based stipends. If
you are interested in applying for a stipend, please submit the general application form and then send an email to info@the-ipa.org explaining your situation. The aim of this stipend offer is to address systemic barriers that some applicants may face. Any information submitted will remain confidential, for the use of the IPA in determining applicant’s need for financial support only.

About the IPA

The Institute for Public Architecture believes in a future in which design is used as a tool for facilitating social justice and the public has a voice in all decisions that shape our built environment.

They use design to challenge social and physical inequities in our cities. They address urgent issues of design and policy by mobilizing their network of design activists, professionals, government officials and community stakeholders. IPA’s collaborative process involves a focused place-based design residency and related public programming that engages specialists in the field and members of the public, alike. In addition, the IPA records and promotes this work through exhibitions and publications.

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