Distributed Architecture is a New York-based design and research practice run by Catherine Ahn and Fabrizio Furiassi. The office is committed to building participatory and instigative processes that bring equity and inclusion into the built environment. Distributed Architecture is recipient of the Columbia GSAPP Incubator Prize 2021-2022, and will lead a unit at the AA Visiting School Seoul 2022.

Catherine Ahn is an architectural designer and researcher based in New York and Seoul. She has over ten years of professional experience in cultural, residential, and hospitality projects at SITE and Obra Architects. Catherine graduated in architecture at Princeton University SoA and the Cooper Union. She also studied at the Hongik University in Seoul. Catherine was a research fellow at the Institute for Public Architecture in New York where she investigated new modes of community engagement with industrial stakeholders around Newtown Creek. Recently, she has completed research projects on construction and demolition waste, environmental justice, and collective design pedagogy at the Women’s School of Planning and Architecture (WSPA) with the Princeton Mellon Initiative.

Fabrizio Furiassi is an architect, researcher and educator who teaches architectural history/theory and design studio at Parsons School of Design in New York. Over the last ten years, he has collaborated internationally with architecture firms, cultural institutions, and enlightened clients to disseminate critical design culture. Among them are Sou Fujimoto Architects, Obra Architects, and the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery. Fabrizio holds master’s degrees from Columbia University GSAPP and La Sapienza University of Rome. He also studied at the Moscow Institute of Architecture, and was a research fellow at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design. Currently, Fabrizio is pursuing a PhD in Urban Studies at the University of Basel, sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation. His doctoral thesis traces the urbanization of Sicily during Italy’s postwar building boom, elucidating the social and spatial impacts of the Mafia’s concrete developments. An introduction to the project was  published in Log 53: Why Italy Now?

For general inquires, please get in touch with an e-mail at 

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Central and East Harlem have recently topped the charts as Manhattan’s least digitally connected districts. Both of their Community Board statements feature access to stable wifi as a priority, pointing to the digital divide between low- and high- income families that have widened during the Covid-19 pandemic. As internet access has become essential to obtaining vital health information, public assistance, and education, the project aims to provide tangible and immediate relief for households lacking this very basic infrastructure.

Uni(wi)fied proposes the construction of community-owned wifi networks  for  underserved communities in Harlem. The project seeks the design and development of free wifi “antenna” structures to be placed along residential streets, rooftops and parks of the neighborhood, incorporating artistic contributions from local BIPOC artists while providing stable and free, high-quality, high-speed internet service for all residents. In its inaugural year, the project will focus on prototyping structures that house and elevate wifi nodes for one or more testing sites. These nodes will serve as catalysts for expanding a self-sustaining wifi system in Harlem and deliver sculptural and culturally-grounded structures that demarcate a new model of community empowerment. The project will engage and partner with local institutions and activists in Harlem.

Location:   New York (USA)
Client:        Columbia University GSAPP
Status:       Ongoing
Program:   Infrastructure, Public Space
Team:         Catherine Ahn, Fabrizio Furiassi
Partners:   NYC Mesh, St. Aloysius Catholic Church, NYC
                     Open Street W 120 St

December 2021

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