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.

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.