Best of Year (BOY) Award, Finalist, Urban Townhouse, Interior Design Magazine,  2018

NYCxDESIGN Award, Townhouse, Interior Design Magazine,  2018

Second Place Award, International Architecture Awards (IAA), Architecture Podium,  2018

Special Mention in Interior Architecture, German Design Awards, German Design Council,  2018

International Interior Design Award (IIDA), Interior Design Magazine,  2015

Interiors Merit Award, American Institute of Architects (AIA), 2015

Best of Year (BOY) Award, Interior Design Magazine, 2015

Innovation in Design Award, Architecture and Kitchen, NYC&G,  2013

Innovation in Design Award, Interior Design, CTC&G,  2013

Interiors Merit Award, American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY), 2012

International Interior Design Award (IIDA), Interior Design Magazine, 2012

20th Annual Will Ching Award, Will Ching (WC), 2012

Interior Design Award (IDA), Interior Design Magazine, 2012

Best of Year (BOY) Award, Interior Design Magazine, 2012

Annual Azure Award, Azure, 2012

Excellence in Design, World Architecture News (WAN), 2011

Interiors Honor Award, American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY), 2008


De-spec is an award-winning, internationally recognized multi-disciplinary practice, with a focus on the relationship between space and occupant. By developing new spatial typologies, de-spec aims to produce an expanded model of architecture, one that is meant to be experienced both inside and out. The name de-spec is an abbreviation of the term ‘de-speculative,’ which refers to the practice initiated in response to the rising trend of speculative construction, including housing development, in which generic homes are built for an unknown occupant. The act of de-speculating refers to the production of experience through a privileging of specific contents and programs over general design strategies and aesthetic principles.

Our practice is divided into three categories:


de-spec is primarily interested in exploring the corporeal experience of space through a  phenomenological perspective. Drawing from the ideas of Radical Functionalism, de-spec’s emphasis is on the lived experience of space, wherein the practices of daily life are analyzed and translated to determine the specific architectural program. In this approach, attention is given to the multisensory perception of space, including the aural and haptic dimensions which constantly define participation, intimacy and experience.


Rather than creating standardized architectural solutions from a bird’s eye view, treating space as a container which simply holds objects, de-spec seeks to define the ‘inside-out’ quality of architecture. That is, a practice of architecture in which form is inextricably linked to function, and cannot be understood independently. As a sort of architectural choreography, our practice attends equally to the body’s movements in space, as to the forces in space that are constantly acting upon the body.


Located in the heart of the Chelsea Arts District of New York City, de-spec was founded in 2002 by Farnaz Mansuri. The creative studio is comprised of a small team of international architects and designers, and a supporting team of independent freelancers assisting with model-making, 3D rendering and IT services.

de-spec’s approach to working with clients internationally produces exciting and economically feasible solutions. The firm manages both onsite and offsite construction, working closely with contractors and owners, as well as organizing the project’s schedule and budget. By integrating our high design standards with the technical expertise of local construction companies, de-spec is able to provide clients with the highest caliber of design using local, environmentally-friendly construction methods.


526 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
T: + 1 212 633 6626
F: + 1 917 591 2732

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Farnaz Mansuri, Founder-Principal Designer

Farnaz, the founder and one of the principles of de-spec, defines the feminist response to architecture and design as one ‘collaborative’ with client or user, where the design is not a ‘Seal’ but ‘an interactive experience’, always different. Farnaz received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute. She studied Film at Columbia University and Fine Arts at Cooper Union. She has taught Architectural Design, Delineation and Programming in the Graduate and Undergraduate Program at NJIT. She has gained much of her experiences from working with architectural firms including I.M.Pei (Pei Cobb Freed & Partners), WASA architects & engineers in New York, James Stirling (Wilford & Stirling) in London, and Carl Pruscha and Raimond Abraham in Vienna. Farnaz Mansuri is a member of American Institute of Architects (AIAS), sits on the board of Children’s theatre company and is an active member of Baha’i community.