Akoaki is a Detroit-based architecture and design studio founded by Anya Sirota and Jean Louis Farges. Since 2008, Akoaki has established a reputation for innovative and resonant projects that critically engage the social, spatial, and material realities of place. Bridging the commonly perceived divide between social and aesthetic practice, the work explores urban interventions, perceptual scenographies, and pop actions as responses to complex and contested urban scenarios.
Akoaki’s design philosophy recognizes the pleasure and value of collective, aesthetic experience. The creative process, supported by intensive research and fieldwork, builds on existing dynamics and forges relationships between diverse networks of people. The resulting set of inter-related experimental works produces conceptually and materially surprising, unrestrictive, and inclusive environments.
Sirota works on interdisciplinary projects that deploy cultural programming and urban interventions to activate public space and impact perception. Her innovative design and research has been exhibited and published widely, and she has lectured on the subject of urban activation to a broad range of audiences. She holds a degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where she was awarded the Araldo Cossutta Prize for Design Excellence, and an undergraduate degree in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University. She teaches architecture at the University of Michigan and directs the ArcPrep program in Detroit.
JEAN LOUIS FARGES
Farges is a designer and cultural curator working at the intersection of art, media, and architecture. Through intensive fieldwork and collaborative processes, he explores techniques for cultural activation at the urban scale. His design and photography have been published and exhibited internationally. Prior to moving to Michigan, Farges practiced in New York City and Paris, France.