Nature has continually played muse to architects. Colors and forms from the natural world find themselves embedded in artificial edifices. Buildings are also shaped by patterns of the wind and sun, topography, and vegetation. While architecture is informed by the effects of nature, buildings have been proposed as inert objects that remain static in a biologically evolving world. Anthropocentric concrete “jungles” are devoid of life, separating humans from natural environments and causing imbalances that have manifested as pandemics. What would cities look like if there were no boundaries between humans and ecosystems?
David Benjamin: The Latest Architecture and News
With its Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture seeks to recognize the most distinguished works of architecture in the Americas. Every two years, the Prize is awarded at an event that takes place in the masterpiece of Mies van der Rohe, the S.R. Crown Hall, the home of the Chicago-based school.
The jury, comprising Ricky Burdett, Jose Castillo, Ron Henderson, Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, and Claire Weisz, has announced four finalists in the prize's latest version of the MCHAP.emerge award, which covers architecture built in 2016 and 2017. MCHAP.emerge award aims to recognize outstanding built work by emerging practices, offering a prize of $25,000 to the winner.
Elon Musk, Architects David Benjamin and Kate Orff Among Rolling Stone's "25 People Shaping the Future"
In their latest issue, Rolling Stone has named Elon Musk "The Architect of Tomorrow," as well as listed architects David Benjamin and Kate Orff as two of their "25 People Shaping the Future in Tech, Science, Medicine, Activism and More."
This event frames embodied energy—defined as the sum of energy required to produce, transport, assemble, and dispose of any building element—in the context of broader design ecosystems and architectural issues. Opening keynote by Michael Specter (The New Yorker), closing keynote by Paola Antonelli (The Museum of Modern Art), and 3 panels featuring international experts from universities and private practices. The event is organized by Columbia GSAPP professor David Benjamin (The Living, NY), who also directs the GSAPP Incubator.
In his lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, David Benjamin discusses his unique approach to environmental and computational design and how it manifests itself in the work of The Living, a firm he founded in 2006.
Throughout the lecture Benjamin discusses projects that are fundamentally linked to the natural environment and ideas related to sustainability. To introduce how the firm generates new ideas, Benjamin describes a method of experimentation developed in their practice called flash research: beginning with the idea that architecture could be dynamic and responsive, these are prototypes that operate under self-created constraints such as a budget of $1000 or less and a required time span of three months or less.
Read on after the break for further synopsis of the lecture.
Last night, the organic brick structure known as 'Hy-Fi' opened in the courtyard of MoMA's PS1 space in New York. Designed by David Benjamin of New York architects The Living, the tower was designed as part of MoMA's Young Architects Program, and its construction centers around the use of an innovative building material: organic, biodegradable bricks consisting of no more than farm waste and a culture of fungus that is grown to fit a brick-shaped mold.
Acting as the centerpiece for MoMA's Warm Up music festival on Saturdays throughout the Summer, the temporary structure will provide shade, seating and water until September 7th. Read on after the break for more on the design.
This year's MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program opens tomorrow (you can see the schedule of events here). Find out how the innovative winning design (a tower of fungal bricks), by The Living's David Benjamin, was tested and built with this article, originally posted on Arup Connect as "Engineering a mushroom tower".
Soft, spongy, and delicious on pizza, mushrooms have approximately as much to do with structural engineering as alligators or lawnmowers. Or so we thought, until architect David Benjamin of New York firm The Living walked into our offices with a brick grown from fungi.
This brick was the key to his concept for an entry to MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program competition. Every year, the museum commissions a designer to build a centerpiece for its popular outdoor Warm Up concert series.
If architectural design competitions are where brave, innovative ideas rise to the top, The Living’s mushroom tower (official name: Hy-Fi) checked all the right boxes. In addition to the novelty factor, mushroom bricks offer a host of sustainability benefits. The raw materials needed to produce them — mushrooms and corn stalks (waste material from farms) that the spores feed on — are as eco-friendly as they come. Bricks can be grown in just five days, and the process produces no waste or carbon emissions. When the structure is taken down at the end of the summer, they can be composted and turned into fertilizer.
The Architectural League of New York has announced the winners of their 32nd annual Emerging Voices awards. The coveted recognition program spotlights eight emerging practitioners in North America whose “distinct design voices” have shown the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.
“The work of each Emerging Voice represents the best of its kind, and addresses larger issues within architecture, landscape, and the built environment,” described the League. “This year, in particular, saw firms entrepreneurial in spirit, pursuing alternate forms of practice, often writing their own programs or serving as their own clients.”
This year’s eight Emerging Voices are...