Offsea_office for socially engaged architecture and urbanism
Offsea is a creative agency specializing in architecture, urbanism, strategic interventions, spatial ethnography, design and art. Our practice is engaged in both practice and research, often fusing both. It was co-founded in 2002 by Andrea Benze and Anuschka Kutz.
Our collaboration is based in London and Berlin / Munich but works on projects that transgress national and disciplinary boundaries. We embrace work on any scale, from urban strategies, to social housing, regional frameworks, small-scale enterprises and customized designs to consultancy, publications, curatorship, exhibitions and films. You can approach us, whether you are an individual, a local authority, a governmental body, a group, organization or community.
We are interested in constructively and creatively intervening in the processes that shape our environments and are conscious of the fact that space is deeply linked to societal, political, cultural, environmental and economic forces. Processes of transformation manifest themselves in all realms and on all scales, whether we are dealing with the urban, peri-urban or rural realm, the global or personal and inhabited scale. Our collaboration reaches beyond the traditional confines of the architectural practice and incorporates work situated in diverse fields, scales and capacities. We have expertise in dealing with complex processes and challenges, where creative and unorthodox alternative models might be needed. We develop critical frameworks and are equipped to challenge traditional thinking and design patterns and planning strategies to offer alternatives that embrace complexity, transformation, contingencies and adaptation.
offsea was cofounded in 2002 by its directors
Andrea Benze & Anuschka Kutz
We are located in London, UK
and Munich, Germany.
Changes on a global, national, regional or local level impact on the everyday realm of citizens, who are often on the receiving end of decisions made elsewhere. At the same time, citizens who ultimately inhabit the spatial realms are equally partaking in bringing about change, whether this is through a bottom-up approach, participation, co-design or merely through their applied living patterns and everyday tactics, whether these are characterized by sophisticated techniques or by make-do scenarios. Inhabitants possess transformative capacities that can also bring about change. Sometimes they are the actual experts.
Social engagement with individual citizens, groups and stakeholders is a key aspect of our work. Often our contribution is to foster exchanges between disparate groups and interests. But we also seek to include, study and mobilize those voices that are rarely heard or asked and those actions that often remain unseen or unrecognized. Our environments are characterized by uncertainties for which contingencies need to be made and for which more collaborative strategies are needed.
Offsea co-founders and directors
is a founding director of offsea. She is an architect, urban designer and researcher and also holds the chair of urban design and urban theory at the University of Applied Sciences Munich and is based in Berlin and Munich. Since 2002 she works with Anuschka Kutz as offsea (office for socially engaged architecture and urbanism). Offset successfully participated in a number of international competitions and received research funds from several institutions. They were winner of the New Emerging Researcher Award, University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts & Architecture (2006) and Fellows at the Academy Schloss Solitude Stuttgart (20012/2013). Andrea studied at the Technical University Darmstadt and supported by a DAAD Scholarship at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London, where she graduated (1993). She worked in several architectural practices in London and Berlin (1993 – 1998). Since 1998 she has taught at various Universities in Berlin, Brighton and Graz. In 2010 she completed her PhD with honours at the University of Kassel. From 2014 – 2015 she was holding a guest Professorship at the Technical University Berlin in Urban Design at the Faculty of City and Regional Planning. Since 2009 Andrea is member at JAS e.V. Jugend-Architektur-Stadt (Youth Architecture City). This is a non-profit association that promotes built environment education and participation of children and young people. Next to teaching and working in offsea Andrea lectures nationally and internationally and is part of architectural and urban design competition juries. 2017/2018 she runs the research project “Zusammenhalt – Differenz. Inklusion im öffentlichen Raum.”, which is part of the project network “Inklusive Hochschule. Barrierefreies Bayern.” and funded by the Bavarian State Government.
is a founding director of offsea. She is a qualified architect and urbanist trained at the Technical University of Berlin, MArchi, Moscow and the Bartlett, University College London. Originally from Berlin she is now based in London. She leads projects at offsea in research and practice in the field of architecture, urbanism, spatial ethnography, strategic interventions, design and art. She is Visiting Professor in Architecture at KU Leuven, campus Sint-Luca Brussels, Belgium, where she heads a studio in the International Master in Architecture Program in the field Urban Practices and Urban Cultures. Her studio is titled Urban Field Lab and engages with societal change and fragilities and the challenges and opportunities this presents to urban and architectural space. She is a member of the research group Urban Projects, Collective Spaces and Local Identities (http://www.collectivespaces-kuleuven.be), a trans-disciplinary research group at the Department of Architecture of the University Leuven (KU Leuven). She is also holding a position as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK, where she is engaged in research and teaching (http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/staff/anuschka-kutz). Anuschka has a long-standing academic engagement and has held positions at the Technical University of Berlin, the London Metropolitan University and Kingston University and is a frequent contributor to the international academic scene, through talks, panel discussions and conferences. Prior to forming Offsea, she worked for internationally acclaimed architectural practices, Zaha Hadid Architects and Michael Hopkins and Partners as well as working as an independent architect. Anuschka’s research focuses on the correlation between everyday practice and personal, urban and collective space.