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Michael K. Chen

Michael Chen established MKCA in 2011 in New York City and leads a team of designers committed to creating unexpected, beautifully crafted, hyper-useful, and playful works of design. MKCA is widely recognized for buildings, interiors, and objects that embrace material expression, that elegantly choreograph space, and that embody innovative and thoughtful approaches to craft. Through a process that is considered, collaborative, and inclusive, MKCA is invested in linking the material and social worlds, based on the belief that design creates impact through its participants, materials, and making.

Michael and MKCA’s growing body of work regularly appear in international exhibitions and media including the Venice Biennale, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Dwell, Interior Design, Abitare, Design Anthology, and The Daily Mail, and the practice’s work has been recognized with numerous awards for design excellence, research, and contributions to the design disciplines. He is the recipient of grants for independent research from the Graham Foundation, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and the Van Alen Institute. For 13 years, Michael led design studios and seminars at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture as an Associate Professor with a focus on the near-future city and its infrastructure, technologies, and housing.

In March of 2020, Michael co-founded Design Advocates, a network of independent architecture and design firms collaborating on projects and initiatives that promote equality in the built environment. Design Advocates has grown to encompass 250 firms and volunteers who have completed over 100 projects for nonprofits and NGOs, neighborhood restaurants and small businesses, NYC Public Schools, agencies serving the homeless, arts organizations, and community boards and community development organizations in some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods of New York City.

Michael studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley (AB) and Columbia University (M.Arch) and was the 2004 John Dinkeloo Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. He is a Registered Architect, a Fellow of the Urban Design Forum, and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Braden Caldwell

Braden Caldwell has been design lead on several high-end townhouse and brownstone projects integrating modern additions and building systems with delicate, historic contexts, and detailed interior design and detailing. As an Associate, Braden manages project teams within the studio and provides technical, aesthetic, and client service oversight. Among his responsibilities, he has also spearheaded much the office’s micro-housing work and research as well as the development of MKCA’s interior design practice area. He has lead the completion of several complex, fabrication-intensive, and micro projects, including MKCA’s  Pied à Mer,  5:1 Apartment, and Attic Transformer projects, as a brownstone in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn which have been published extensively in print and online. Braden earned a B.Arch from Pratt Institute.

Natasha Harper

Natasha Harper has been the project lead for a number of projects with collaborative detail-oriented integration of architecture and interior design, including MKCA’s first health care project, a community clinic for Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, and numerous high end residential projects including the Watershed House  and the Carnegie Hill Apartment. As an Associate, Natasha manages project teams within the studio and provides technical, aesthetic, and client service oversight.

Natasha came to MKCA with extensive experience with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the Rockwell Group, developing a high rise hotel and commercial tower for the Hudson Yards redevelopment, and experience as a senior designer and project manager at Roy Co. and at Open Shop Studio where she was responsible for numerous high end hospitality and commercial projects. She earned a B. Arch from Pratt Institute and an M.Arch from Harvard.



Guillermo Acosta Navarrete

Bachelors of Architecture, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico City
Masters of Architecture, Yale University

Alejandra Avalos Guerrero

B.Arch Tecnólogico de Monterrey

M.Arch Harvard University

Agata Jakubowska

B.Arch, Pratt Institute
M.Arch, University of Pennsylvania

Thomas Kuei

B.Arch, Syracuse University
M.Arch, Harvard University

Rachel Lefevre

Rachel Lefevre studied architecture at Washington University and Yale, where she received an M. Arch and was the Teaching Fellow for Environmental Design, providing instruction on energy modeling and environmental analysis. Prior to joining MKCA, Rachel worked in small firms in St Louis and with Anthony Acciavatti at Yale on an exhibition at the Seoul Biennale of research on the Ganges River Basin.


Matt Malcom

B.Arch, Pratt Institute

Andrew Matia

Andrew Matia has been design lead on a number of urban building projects including New York City brownstones and MKCA’s ground-up Sudbury House in Northwest Washington, D.C. Andrew comes from a family of builders and engineers and has developed a number of the office’s technical approaches to energy, building envelope, and technical detailing, in addition to his role as an architecture and interior design lead in the office. Andrew earned BA in Architecture at Portland State and an M. Arch from the University of Pennsylvania.

Marisa Waddle

BA, University of Florida
M.Arch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Katie Koerber

With a professional background in furniture and art conservation as well as in museum administration and marketing, Katie manages logistics and procurement at MKCA. Katie received a B.A in Art History at the University of Central Florida and a certification in Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts at New York University.


Archibald “Archie” Chen-Beck Wiener is a red dapple miniature dachshund, and a design trainee at MKCA. Born in Buffalo, he moved to New York City to join MKCA when he was ten weeks old. We’re pretty sure he’s an aesthete of the first order, and a prodigy. He Instagrams at @archibaldwiener.



Leroy was found on the mean streets of New Mexico before he was rescued and moved to Brooklyn.  He is a Catahoula Leopard Dog, a breed best known for hunting wild boars.  Now he uses those skills as the head of security for MKCA.  He checks the perimeter at regular intervals and licks everyone that comes to the door to make sure they’re up to snuff.

Hobbies include jumping, licking, thrashing sticks, belly rubs, and cuddling.



Texas born. Brooklyn raised. Hayes “The Destroyer” Caldwell was chief surveyor at MKCA. He scouted numerous upcoming projects, always marking his territory with great care. His many hobbies included watching Cartoon Network, shredding take-out menus, and barking at inanimate objects. He retired to puppy dog heaven in 2019.


Milo Chen-Beck, Top Dachshund Emeritus watched over the early years of the practice, before retiring to puppy heaven in 2017. A lover of hard rubber toys, fake fur, and stuffed lobsters, he served for many years as food taster-in-chief at MKCA, reflecting his upbringing in the Meatpacking District and Chinatown and his Californian, Southwestern, Chinese, and Jewish family background.


Michael K Chen Architecture is an architecture practice providing innovative and superbly crafted work for clients seeking thoughtful and considered design. MKCA's services integrate architecture, interior design, and product design through a cohesive, coordinated, and collaborative process. We have experience designing and building at a diverse range of scales and bring an ultra-refined sensibility and attention to detail to projects ranging from individual apartments to single family homes and larger buildings.

Our approach is deeply informed by curiosity and a love of tinkering, of drawing, of discourse, and of making. Our methods and capabilities are at the leading edge of design, analysis, manufacturing, and construction, but we strive to produce exceptional experiences, intricately choreographed spaces, and works that are unexpected, hyper-useful, intelligent, and full of delight.

The practice has been recognized for excelling at complex urban projects, and we are adept at synthesizing multiple functions, systems, and constituencies into elegant and beguilingly works. MKCA serves a diverse and international client base. We are based in New York City and work across the United States and worldwide.