Lexi Tsien is a co-founder of Soft-Firm, based in New York City. She is interested in new forms of image-making, vernacular spatial practices, and their ability to shape and self-determine the built environment. Soft-Firm is both speculative and concrete: taking a playful and lo-fi approach to visual perception, elemental forms, and material contrast. The practice has designed interactive exhibitions, residential and commercial projects, and public installations, with winning design entries for Times Square and Downtown Brooklyn. Seeing architecture at the intersection between culture and built infrastructure, Soft-Firm pursues progressive and collaborative programs to promote agency and equity in institutions and the architectural practice as a whole.
Tsien’s writing on the future of work has been published in academic journals, magazines, and presented at the Design TO Symposium. Her built work with Soft-Firm has been featured in Wallpaper, Metropolis, Surface, PIN-UP Magazine, Azure, Time Out New York, Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, and featured on ABC News and PBS Newshour. Soft-Firm was most recently listed in Wallpaper’s 2022 Architects’ Directory and named Architect Magazine’s Next Progressives.
Tsien has taught design and representation courses at schools including Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Yale School of Architecture, Parsons School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and The Cooper Union. Lexi has also contributed as a core organizer to Dark Matter University.
Tsien holds a Master of Architecture from Yale School of Architecture where she received the Moulton Andrus Award for excellence in art and architecture. Prior to co-founding Soft-Firm, she worked at Bernard Tschumi Architects, Davies Toews, and Diller Scofidio in New York, and at Barkow Leibinger in Berlin.