University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

The Urban Conga Architecture Firm Recognized as an Architizer A+ Firm of the Year

Congratulations to USF School of Architecture and Community Design alum, Ryan Swanson (M.Arch 2013) and his all-SACD team, for their selection as the Architizer A+ Firm of the Year Award for Small Projects.

Ryan Swanson, USF architecture alumnus and founder of The Urban Conga design firm, is part of an international discourse on play and urban design as a member of the arts and urban design collective Creative Producers International. The Urban Conga makes playable products and interactive installations that have the power to bring new life to public spaces. Swanson founded the company in 2015 as an expansion of some key ideas in his master’s thesis on activating underutilized spaces.

The Architizer A+ Firm of the Year Award “is the world’s first of its kind dedicated to celebrating AEC companies of all sizes, geographies and specializations. More than 400 firms — hailing from 50 countries across 6 continents — submitted their portfolio for consideration. After a meticulous review by an influential jury of creative thought leaders, 31 firms came out on top, providing a diverse picture of the talented teams helping to conceptualize, design and deliver the world’s best architecture.”

Architizer writes, “The Urban Conga is an international multidisciplinary design studio promoting community activity and social interaction through open-ended play. The firm achieves this by creating inclusive, engaging, and site-specific work that sparks creativity, exploration, and free-choice learning within the built environment.

The Urban Conga aims to create opportunities that bridge divides and begin to break inequities within the public and private realm by bringing people together. The firm strives to use its work as a platform for creating a stronger sense of community within a place. The studio is always exploring this idea of a “Playable City” as an ecosystem of playable opportunities, intertwined within the existing urban infrastructure that doesn’t just disrupt our daily lives, but adds to it.”