David Benjamin is Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. He and the firm have won many design prizes, including the Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League, the New Practices Award from the AIA New York, the Young Architects Program Award from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, and a Holcim Sustainability Award. Clients include the City of New York, Seoul Municipal Government, Google, Nike, 3M, Airbus, BMW, Miami Science Museum, and Björk. Recent projects include the Princeton Embodied Computation Lab (a new building for research on next-generation architecture technologies), Pier 35 EcoPark (a 200-foot-long floating pier in the East River that changes color according to water quality), and Hy-Fi (a branching tower for MoMA PS1 made of a new type of biodegradable brick).
The Living combines research and practice, exploring new ideas and technologies through prototyping. The studio’s work embraces the complexity at the intersection of ideas, technologies, materials, culture, humans, non-humans, and the environment. Focusing on the intersection of biology, computation, and design, the studio has articulated three frameworks for harnessing living organisms for architecture: bio-computing, bio-sensing, and bio-manufacturing. The studio welcomes rapid change, embraces design with uncertainty, develops rules rather than forms, and designs with unknowable forces.