David Benjamin



The Living explores the architecture of the future by building full-scale, functioning prototypes today. Our projects bring new technologies to life in the built environment, integrating design innovation, sustainability, and the public realm. We believe cities and buildings are living, breathing organisms. And in the context of rapid change and new urban challenges, we propose that design should be a living, breathing ecosystem. Within this design ecosystem, we work on multiple scales simultaneously. We anticipate and welcome rapid change. We embrace design with uncertainty, design with rules rather than fixed forms, and design with shifting and unknowable forces. 

Clients include the City of New York, Seoul Municipal Government, Nike, Prada, 3M, Airbus, Quantified Self, Miami Science Museum, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, and Björk. Recent projects include the Princeton Architecture Laboratory (a new building for research on next-generation design and construction technologies), Pier 35 EcoPark (a 200-foot floating pier in the East River that changes color according to water quality), and Hy-Fi (a branching tower for the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 made of a new type of biodegradable brick).


David Benjamin is Founding Principal at architecture firm The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. He has won many design prizes, including the Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League, the New Practices Award from the American Institute of Architects, the Young Architects Program Award from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Architizer Special Achievement Award in Technology, and a Holcim Sustainability Award. In 2015, The Living was ranked third by Fast Company in their list of World’s Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms. Benjamin has lectured widely about his projects, and his work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, ESpace Foundation in Paris, ACADIA in Calgary, the New Museum in New York, Nevada Museum of Art, New York Academy of Sciences, and the TED Conference. It is also part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Before receiving a master of architecture degree from Columbia, Benjamin graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in social studies.

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David Benjamin