David Benjamin – Biological Intelligence

Lecture date: 2015-02-03

Embedded Intelligence Lecture Series

Biological Intelligence aims to interrogate the importance of biological principles to the design process, and how its materials and organisational logics found can be scaled and applied in architectural design. This presentation will discuss the design possibilities borne out biomimicry and synthetic biology, and question how close our new materials are to those found in biology.

The Embedded Intelligence Lecture Series aims to interrogate three main lines of inquiry — material systems, natural systems, and machinic systems — which comprise the notion of Embedded Intelligence in architecture and design. Each presenter will deliver a lecture built around a series of curated questions pertaining to the subject matter, streamed live on Google Hangouts. The series ends in a roundtable discussion with the curators, in person at the AA and on air around the world, investigating a series of prototypical case studies designed through the model of Embedded Intelligence.

David Benjamin is an architect and professor whose work unites synthetic biology with architecture in the creation of dynamic, living structures. His work also focuses on repurposing already-existing materials and structures in ways that subvert their original purpose and redirect them toward sustainability. David teaches at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he formed the Living Architecture Lab, which experiments with new systems and adaptive technologies through open source, collaborative, hands-on design. He is co-founder of The Living, a firm dedicated to creating architecture that is both interactive and responsive to environmental conditions. His innovations include Living Light, a permanent, illuminated pavilion in Seoul that visually reports changes in air quality, and Amphibious Architecture, a floating installation in New York’s East River that enabled participants to communicate with fish and learn about water pollution.


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