GSAPP Incubator

The GSAPP Incubator is a launch pad for new ideas and projects about architecture, culture, and the city. Drawing on Columbia GSAPP guest lecturers, discourse, and studio culture, the Incubator hosts and encourages a wide range of experiments initiated by recent Columbia GSAPP graduates. Targeted projects combine action with discussion at the levels of the university, the city, and local ways of life.

The GSAPP Incubator offers a platform for entrepreneurship and expanded modes of practice. Yet it is distinct from other incubators and co-working spaces in several ways. The Incubator includes the humanities as well as the sciences. It involves critique and discourse as well as action and technology. It generates deep thinking as well as concise elevator pitches. And it uses measures of success beyond profit and growth.

The Incubator is anchored by alumni members and projects, and it is part of a broader ecosystem of Columbia GSAPP research and production. The Incubator is directed by Assistant Professor David Benjamin M.Arch '05 and located at 231 Bowery, as part of NEW INC, the world’s first museum-led incubator created by the New Museum.

Contact GSAPP Incubator Manager Agustin Schang at

The GSAPP Incubator includes approximately 20 members. Groups may apply, but there is a maximum group size of four people. Membership lasts for one year, with the possibility of applying for renewal. Membership costs $200/month/desk and involves dedicated desk space, 24/7 access, and use of conference rooms and event space.
Events and Programming
Programming for the Incubator involves professional workshops run by GSAPP alumni and guest speakers from around the world. In addition, Incubator members create programming for current students and bring their experiments, learning, and professional networks to the academic programs. The heart of the Incubator is the same studio culture of collaboration, creativity, critique, and discourse that permeates the degree programs at Columbia GSAPP.

2016-2017 Members

Animate Lot

Animate Lot is an idea-driven spatial design practice bringing together art, architecture and computation. Its aim is to provoke the parameters of culture, organization and economy with design research focusing on methods for perceptual stimulation, gradients of function and material fact. Its practice has a passion for inputting data into form while outputting strategies for superimposition, reorganization and intervention as exploits for the city. Animate Lot's founder Allen Ghaida is a New York City based designer and theorist focused on architectural projects linked to formal strategy and urban intervention. His current project to be lead during the incubator, titled “Containers for New Contingents”, seeks to augment current approaches to occupying and sharing commercial space, aiming to make the corporate open floor plan more executable to the new contingencies of nimble work environments, assemblies and exchanges.

Ashley Simone

Ashley Simone is a New York City based photographer, designer, editor and educator. She received an M.Arch from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University and teaches in the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute. She is a fellow of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, run in tandem with the United Nations. Her recent editorial work includes the books A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form by Kenneth Frampton (2015) and Absurd Thinking between Art and Design by Allan Wexler (2016). Her practice is centered on architecture and visual communication. While at the Incubator she will continue her work in graphic design and photography of the urban and built environments. At the same time, she will edit Two Journeys, a book on the work of Michael Webb (Archigram) and begin a collaborative curatorial project for an exhibition on the graphic design of Kenneth Frampton, which will focus on the design and production techniques of work he executed as the editor of Architectural Design (London) during the 1960s.

Bika Rebek

Bika Rebek’s work at the GSAPP Incubator questions the relationship between museums and technology using the Incubator as a testing ground for collaborative models between institutional structures and communities engaged in the research of novel digital technique. Projects range from streamlining exhibition design processes to fostering discourse and publishing on the use and display of computing in museum practice. Bika Rebek is an architect practicing within heterogeneous formats- as an integral part of her work performances, installations and writing act as catalysts for open ended thinking about architectural production. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia GSAPP and a principal at Studio SibilaSoon. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Fast Company and her writing published in The Architect’s Newspaper, Bartlett’s Lobby magazine, and the Estonian architectural newspaper Maja. In the past year Bika has worked at The Met as an Exhibition Designer with special focus on the Met Breuer. Previously she has worked for Asymptote Architecture in New York as well as a number of architecture offices internationally.


Consortia is a creative and strategic consultancy in New York City, focusing on projects that connect design, branding, and culture. Founded by Christopher Barley, the office works with academic and cultural institutions as well as leading brands and corporations. They have recently completed digital strategy for the Chicago Architecture Biennial and are developing research projects for Audi on big data, the connected car, digital lifestyles, and the future of retail.

Dan Choi
Dan Choi is an architect, artist, real estate developer and professor based in New York City. He is currently working on several NYC based real estate development & architecture projects investigating new potential strategies for design, marketing, acquisition and financing. Dan is currently a professor at Columbia University’s real estate program and has worked in NYC for 12 years as an architect and as a developer.

f-architecture (alt: feminist-architecture collaborative) was founded by Gabrielle Printz, Virginia Black, and Rosana Elkhatib, all recent alumni of GSAPP’s CCCP program. f-architecture is figured as an enterprise for architectural research aimed at disentangling the contemporary spatial politics and technological appearances of bodies, intimately and globally. At the GSAPP Incubator, these f-architects will develop their current project “Post-Fordist Hymen Factory,” which maps the un/making of virginity across legal, medical, and cultural registers, by examining the circulation of an artificial membrane manufactured and sold as the “Virginity Hymen.” Intervening in both the design and distribution of this product, they will see the hymen’s transformation from cultural fixation to global commodity.

Forrest Jessee

Forrest Jessee continues his ten years of research in communicating architecture to the public, often collaborating with designers, artists, educational institutions, cultural institutions and other architects. His body of work situates itself between two-dimensional and three-dimensional representation, and his passion for publishing books strives to express architectural ideas in the materiality, layout and design of these publications. Aside from his professional work, he serves as Director of the Graphics Project at GSAPP, which aims to inspire and support students with studio work and portfolios due at graduation. This initiative questions what it means to translate an architectural idea into visual material, whether it be a drawing, presentation or book.

Marty Wood

Marty Wood is a writer, researcher, and curator who brings different communities, methodologies, and ideas into contact. He believes that varied forms of engagement and practice— from research to history and criticism produce new ways of thinking about design and enriching creative cultures. Marty Wood is launching General Economy, a new, multi-channel platform for critical conversations at the intersection of art, architecture, and urban spatial politics. With the rapid acceleration and constant churning of the cultural and aesthetic fields, General Economy hopes to circulate new ideas and foreground new voices within larger artistic, social, and theoretical contexts.

Poché Arts

Ye Zhang (MSAUD’15) is a project designer at Gluckman Tang Architects, She is currently leading the design for a 10,000 sqm contemporary art museum in China. Zhang seeks opportunities for projects that blurs the boundary between art and architecture, and she will be the chief managing partner for Poché Arts. Poché Arts aims to re-­appropriate existing urban conditions by inserting art, architecture and design works from emerging young professionals and outstanding students. Each show will feature parallel and collaborative curation between two different art and design disciplines, joined together by a common theme.



QSPACE makes questions of gender and sexuality visible to a field that has traditionally subverted such questions. In the absence of a centralized voice, QSPACE is a hub for students, professionals, and academics to connect and collaborate. QSPACE produces research and outputs on topics such as gender inclusive bathroom design, LGBTQ homelessness and housing, and queer histories in architecture. QSPACE is a platform for research projects by students and professionals working on queerness in the built environment. We push for organized action through exhibitions, publications, digital archiving, design guidelines, and events on queer topics. QSPACE was born out of Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (QSAPP), an LGBTQ group from Columbia University.

Untapped Cities

Untapped Cities is an online publication about urban discovery and exploration which unearths the most surprising places in NYC and around the world. With a focus on how design and history affect architecture and urban development, Untapped Cities is more than a standard media company – it also connects with readers in real space through its ongoing tours series. Untapped Cities is a community of over 500 contributors, ranging from crowdsourced residents to experts in city building. At the GSAPP Incubator, Untapped Cities plans to develop its first series of New York City tours using augmented reality to better showcase past, present and future development in the city. The team also plans to expand their event programming to include talks and panel discussions about urban issues.

Xin Wang

Xin Wang is Design Principal at DesXY design studio based in New York and Shanghai. Based on the socio-environmental theory of Urban Acupuncture, Xin Wang explores how small scale interventions transform the larger urban context and solve urban problems through design of strategic architecture. With his project Urban Acupuncture v1.0, Xin Wang is continuously focusing on SMRTPARKING APP + BIM technology on city parking; and, v2.0 will focus on POPUP MALL + Prefabricated Fashion design on city retail solution, which will explore and practice this new trend to reach a larger audience and to bring unexplored territory into view.


The X-Lab is working on a number of research and speculative projects in architecture and urbanism, including the 2nd issue of ‘Prototropic’, organizing upcoming conference on alternative models for architecture education/practice, and ‘Case Study Project’, an on-line platform for sharing architectural projects for students, professionals, and public. Dimitri Damiel Kim is the founding member and principal of X-Lab, a cross-disciplinary architecture and design research practice. A consummate provocateur, he regularly contributes to the discourse through exhibitions of speculative works, publication efforts, and through teaching.


: is analyzing the Incubator as a rhetorical and physical apparatus designed “for the development of new ideas, practices, and models in the pursuit of innovation.” What are the social, economic, and technological implications of an incubator? How can the vocabulary that constitutes it be the basis for new understandings? : is a collective workshop on architectural practices and ideas. It is a publication and a platform that aims to carve out a space for critical reflection within architecture by interrogating the vocabulary, rhetoric, and boundaries that constitute it. : materializes this discourse into printed records, exhibitions, and architectural interventions.