Our practice emerged from the belief that architecture is inherently political, and should serve as a tool for social, environmental, and intergenerational justice. Inspired by the ethos of grassroots movements, we have developed a creative methodology grounded in solidarity and participation, that we adapt to the unique character of each community we serve.

Working alongside changemakers like the Workers Justice Project and the New Immigrant Community Empowerment, we advocate for community-led design in support of culturally resonant environments that foster liberation, connection, and belonging.

Elsa Ponce, Principal

Elsa Ponce is a registered architect, educator, and founder of Studio Elsa Ponce. With a career spanning over fifteen years, Elsa has worked with award-winning design consultancies and architecture firms including Standard Issue, 2x4, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, and TEN Arquitectos. Her portfolio spans a diversity of projects and locales, including cultural institutions, exhibitions, housing developments, and educational buildings across North America, the Caribbean, and East Asia.

Elsa has served as the Managing Director of Open Architecture Collaborative’s New York Chapter, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing pro bono design services to underserved communities across New York City. She is a cohort member at NEW INC, the first museum-led cultural incubator, and teaches Professional Practice at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. Elsa also co-founded WIP Collaborative, a feminist practice working on projects that engage the public realm.

Elsa holds a bachelor's degree in architecture with honors from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a Masters in Design Management from Pratt Institute in New York. She is a registered architect in New York State and Mexico.

Process and Services