Deborah Gans is the founder and principal architect of Gans studio, a small firm in Red Hook. Her firm's projects include architecture, industrial design, and community-based urban planning, where she continuously tackles extreme sites and programs. Through writing, design research and inventive public advocacy, Deborah has spearheaded the revitalization of socially responsible architecture for a new generation.
Educated at Princeton at a moment of withdrawal from the social realm into post-modern autonomy, Gans has spent her career seeking new forms for architecture’s social participation and engagement. From her masters’ thesis for a workers’ club in a shrinking post-industrial town to her current involvement in coastal resiliency, she has had tremendous impact on the contemporary community-based design movement. Much of Gans’ design work focuses on the challenges of housing, especially in relation to the under served, where she has used her design speculation as a platform for policy change and the revitalization of communities.
Her public presentations range from local community visioning sessions to speeches on the international stage including Rome, Ulm, and Oxford. To impress her design concerns on the largest possible audience, she writes for both scholarly and popular publications and serves as Board Member for PLACES/Design Observer, Contributing Editor for BOMB magazine and Advisory Board Member for the Italian journal Boundaries.
Deborah has taught for over 25 years, and is a Full Professor and former Chair of the Undergraduate School of Architecture at Pratt Institute. Recipient of the 2014 AIANYS Educator Award, Deborah has forged new alliances between planning and architecture generating student work that has life beyond the studio.
Cristina Zubillaga, junior architect and project manager at Gans Studio, has worked on a variety of projects ranging from small scale residential to larger scale urban planning.
With a B.A. in Architecture and minor in Construction Management from Pratt Institute, Cristina works closely with clients, contractors and consultants to determine project goals and see them executed.
Roz has worked in various planning, environmental, and educational non-profit organizations around New York City, and earned her masters in Pratt's Urban Environmental Systems Management program. She is Gans studio’s resident urban planner and cartographer, and is currently managing a series of neighborhood-scale rebuilding studies for the City's Housing Recovery Office.
Jomana is a Gans studio architect and urban designer. Prior to this, she has worked on various projects in the MENA region and Europe.
Jomana obtained her MS in Architecture & Urban Design from Pratt Institute as a Fulbright Scholar.
Allen Gillers designs playfully transgressive, accessible civic engagements, with an eye towards the fluorescent and absurd. Gillers received an M.Arch. from University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and a B.A. in architecture from Columbia University. He was the 2014-2015 Michigan-Mellon Design Fellow at the University of Michigan working at a variety of scales to recalibrate the architect’s role in Detroit’s urban revitalization, as an agent of equitable design for change. Allen is Gans studio's lead project architect for the City's Build it Back program, managing and designing the rebuilding of homes affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Swati is a Gans studio project architect and Urban Designer, and is currently working on rebuilding and retrofitting substantially damaged houses in Sheepshead bay.
She holds master degree in urban design from University of California Berkeley and a bachelor degree in architecture from India. She has previously worked in various multi- disciplinary organizations in India for six years and is a LEED accredited professional with Indian Green Building Council.