David Benjamin is Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. He also directs the GSAPP Incubator at the New Museum's NEW INC. Benjamin's work combines research and practice, and it involves exploring new ideas through prototyping. Focusing on the intersection of biology, computation, and design, Benjamin has articulated three frameworks for harnessing living organisms for architecture: bio-processing, bio-sensing, and bio-manufacturing.
The Living has won many design prizes, including the Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League, the New Practices Award from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, the Young Architects Program Award from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, and a Holcim Sustainability Award. 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-long 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).