Mitchell Sutika Sipus, BFA Art Academy of Cincinnati ’04 and an alumnus of the AICAD New York Studio Residency Program ’02, is an interdisciplinary Urban Planner who now creates unique solutions to some of the world’s most difficult problems. He has conducted successful projects in Kenya, Egypt, Somalia, and Afghanistan, has spoken at Oxford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his work has been featured in WIRED magazine.
While an art student, Mitchell’s work varied from traditional representational drawing to explorations in video and performance. Upon completing his undergraduate degree at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Mitchell received an artist grant for global travel that forever changed his life. After 90 days of hitchhiking across India and suffering from malaria, Mitchell was determined to build upon his artistic training to impact the extremes of global poverty.
Mitchell soon after pursued graduate degrees in Architecture, Migration Studies, and Urban Planning with a concentration in Economics. For his graduate research he spent several months working in the world’s largest refugee camp complex in Dadaab, Kenya to determine new strategies for shelter provision and infrastructure creation. From this research, in 2007, he received a Fulbright Award from the U.S. State Department to Egypt to research the role of international law in refugee camp design.
Today Mitchell continues to apply his creative problem-solving skills in impoverished and war torn communities. As CEO and Director of strategic design firm, Sutika Sipus LLC, Mitchell and his team tackle a variety of problems, such as the design of security infrastructure in conflict zones to the creation of digital mapping solutions for city governments to better allocate services. The problems vary from economic development to to gang-violence reduction and youth militarization, yet the methods are consistently unique and the outcomes often groundbreaking.
You can learn more about Mitchell’s work at his blog Humanitarian Space.