OSTREA — Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

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Architecture / Industrial Design

Cat Hospital of Media

Cat Hospital of Media



Studio Profile

SHIFTSPACE is a Philadelphia-based design studio focused on the interplay of architecture and industrial design. Led by Mario Gentile and Tim Barnes, the multidisciplinary team engages with brands, institutions, and cities to complete projects at varying scales. Their work ranges from urban interventions and creative placemaking to architecture and furniture. The studio has been blending architectural space, public art, and landscapes together since 2009.

Services: Architecture, Placemaking and Activation, Interior Design, Landscape Design, Industrial Design, Experience Concepts



Brandywine Realty Trust

Bryn + Dane’s

City of Philadelphia


Dallin Financial

Drexel University


Grow NYC


Ligne Roset


Museum of the American Revolution

National Parks Service

National Portrait Gallery

Philadelphia Water Department

Shake Shack

TD Bank

Temple University


The Barnes Foundation

The City College of New York

The Goldenberg Group

University City District

Urban Outfitters

Union Square Hospitality Group


As a process-driven studio, all projects, independent of scale and type, are guided by a formal process that allows for effective exploration, conceptualization, and management

1 : Discovery

The client and design team agree on desired project outcomes and the team conducts necessary research related to the brief. The design team then reports findings to ensure the objectives are in line.

2 : Concept

The studio produces initial concepts based on the research findings. This lateral-thinking exercise allows for a range of ideas to be explored. Through extensive experimentation, unexpected and innovative ideas are unearthed during this phase.

3 : Design

The studio and client agree on a concept to pursue. The development of that concept involves a deeper exploration into materiality, potential challenges, fabrication, and detailing. At this stage, the design team begins engaging fabricators, vendors, or contractors for the project.

4 : Production

During this phase, the design team provides management for the selected fabricators, vendors, or contractors. Deep technical knowledge of construction and fabrication processes allows the studio a great amount of control to ensure positive results.

5 : Launch

The design team provides the oversight necessary to ensure that deadlines are met and the final product is representative of the initial desired results.


Mario Gentile

founding partner, studio director

As founder and CEO of Philadelphia-based SHIFTSPACE Design, Mario guides the strategic direction of the studio’s work for the design of environments, experiences and lifestyle products (under the SHIFT brand). The work and research have a modern aesthetic with a focus on mass-customization, prefabrication, and sustainable design. He is a Registered Architect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New York, and is accredited by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). An honors graduate from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and he has received his Masters degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University.

Before founding SHIFTSPACE, he worked with KieranTimberlake, Peter Marino Associates and JXN Studio in Philadelphia and for George Ranalli Architect and Resolution 4: Architecture in New York. Mario has been involved with award winning and published residential, commercial and institutional building projects in both national and international locations.

Mario has served as an Adjunct Professor at University of Pennsylvania and Temple University with studio work focused on urban interventions, product design and craft. He has served as guest juror and lecturer at design schools throughout the country. He has served on the Facilities and Horticultural Committees for Philadelphia’s Historic Bartram’s Garden and currently sits on its Board of Directors.

Tim Barnes

partner, creative director

Tim oversees both the creative direction and technical design of the studio’s work. His diverse experience in the fields of architecture and industrial design informs his work at Shiftspace. As a designer, Tim is inspired by and strives to produce work that promotes civic engagement, provides positive ecological impact and is honest in form, function, and material.

Past work includes public art installations for various cultural institutions; Award-winning products and furniture for both commercial clients and the internal design brand, Shift; and architectural design for residential, hospitality, and institutional clients.

Tim was a participant in Bloomberg Philanthropies FastFWD Accelerator and is a Next City Vanguard. Tim holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. He has been an invited critic and adjunct at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Amelia Best

project architect

Thanks to her upbringing with an architectural historian mother and avid outdoorsman father, Amelia was raised with a passion for both old and new buildings, along with a deep appreciation for the intricate ecosystems that we all inhabit. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Architectural Design in 2019. At SHIFTSPACE Amelia assists with projects at all stages from design to construction.  Most recently, she had the pleasure of working on the OSTREA installation for the Venice Architecture Biennale. 

Samantha Hubbard

architectural designer

As a Philadelphia area native, Samie is fascinated by intersections of rural, suburban, and urban environments and their impact on quality of life. Her interest in understanding urban design’s influence on human and community psychology allows her to think and work holistically at varying scales. At SHIFTSPACE, she assists in concept and design development, graphic communications, 3D modeling, project management, landscape design, and marketing coordination.


Samie holds a B.A. in Architecture from the University of New Mexico, where she has since served as an external reviewer. She is currently pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia.


Our office is located in Brewerytown, Philadelphia. We’re proud to work alongside these companies:

Neighborhood Film Co

Atelier Art Storage

Live Breathe Futbol

Kole Made


For all employment inquiries, please send a portfolio and relevant work experience to info@shiftspacedesign.com

Open Positions:

Architectural Designer

To apply, please send a portfolio and resume to info@shiftspacedesign.com

The ideal candidate has the following qualifications:

  • 1-3 years of relevant experience
  • Proficiency in Rhino, Revit, Adobe Creative Suite
  • Knowledge of architectural design details
  • Strong visual and verbal communication
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team and independently
  • Experience with visualization and rendering


  • Prepare complete and accurate existing conditions, site plans, schematic design, design development, and construction drawings
  • Model and render design concepts quickly and efficiently
  • Prepare inspiration and mood boards




    ©2018 Shift Space Design, LLC