Independent Project Residency

The Independent Project Residency, inaugurated in 2022, invites design practitioners to bring their own interests and projects to the Block House on Governors Island.

Fellows are among the first to stay overnight on the Island since the Coast Guard’s exit in 1996 and are immersed in the culture of various arts organizations occupying the Island’s historic structures. Fellows present the progress of their work to the public at Open [Block] House events and participate in Dinner Parties and other cohort activities. The Residency concludes with an exhibit and public presentation of the Fellows’ Work.

Residency opportunities are announced through an open call, with applications evaluated by an Independent Selection Committee.

Selected Topic Fellowship

The Selected Topic Fellowship, inaugurated in 2014, prompts teams of design practitioners to address a particular pressing urban issue in NYC by collaborating, sharing research, and proposing design solutions in an immersive collective studio setting.

Fellows have daytime access to workspace and shared amenities at the Block House and participate in panel discussions, research trips, and team meals. At the conclusion of the Fellowship, Fellow teams present their work with an exhibit and public presentation.

Fellowship opportunities are announced through an open call, with applications evaluated by an Independent Selection Committee.

Past Programs

2022 Fall Fellowship: Reconnecting Communities Across the BQE

Teams considered sections of the BQE that might be removed, reconceived as boulevards, or decked-over, with an opportunity for communities to decide which programs—housing, community space, urban farms, recreation, schools, green industries—might occupy this potential “land bank”
along the BQE corridor.

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2022 Summer Residency: Independent Projects

The inaugural Block House Residency had four Fellows living and working on Governors Island. Fellows worked on independent projects and participated in a series of Open [Block] House events throughout the summer to share their work with the public, culminating in a final presentation and public exhibition.

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2020 Fall Fellowship:
To BE or not to BQE

Five teams of Fellows were asked to envision a future without the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway; considering strategies and a re-use of the land it currently occupies in “a broader vision for the future of the highway.”

︎︎︎ Learn More

Recent Fellows

︎︎︎ All Fellows

Block House

In 2021, the Institute for Public Architecture moved into its new home: the Block House on Governors Island.

The house is a registered landmark, designed in the Greek Revival style by architect Martin E. Thompson in the 1840s. Located on the historic Nolan Park campus, it is currently the only building that supports overnight accommodations on the island.

Open Call

There are currently no open calls. Check back soon for new opportunities.

Institute for Public Architecture

45 E 20th Street Suite 500
New York, NY 10003

9 Nolan Park
Governors Island, NY