| about

+1 347 681 3678

linkedin | benjamin smithers

  about |

about |

I am a Designer at Young Projects, in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY. 

I graduated with M.Arch Distinction from the Pratt Institute in summer ‘21 and was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal for the top graduating GAUD Student of 2021.

My enquiries, interspersed through my design work and my theoretical writing, focus on two themes:

Design as discovery | to me the best design reveals qualities already present. In this light, design can be seen as the practice of discerning, uncovering and accentuating qualities already present in the world around us.

Architecture as nature | my work explores productive relation (e.g. part-to-whole relationships in ‘symbiosis in the city’, typological expectation and architectural possibility in ‘dissolving density’) and interactions between architecture and its surroundings (e.g. cave.light.house - forthcoming - and ‘awaiting the next violent refuse’). To me, architecture is the production of form through the interaction of existing qualities of nature, just as architecture itself continually produces form through its interactions with us humans and with its surroundings. Architecture is nature, just as we are nature.
education | honors | awards |

Awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Henry Adams Medal for the top graduating GAUD Student of 2021.

M.Arch Distinction | The Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (2018-2021) | GPA 3.95

Shortlisted | BeeBreeders Iceland Cave Tower international competition (March 2021)

Finalist | Non Architecture ‘Reviving Mines’ international competition (December 2020)

Honorable mention, Pratt Institute School of Architecture Climate Crises Prize 2021  (May 2021)

Honorable mention, Pratt Institute School of Architecture Post-Anthropocene Prize (May 2021)

Nominated by The Pratt Institute GAUD Dean David Erdman for the 2020 Center for Architecture Design Scholarship  (March 2020)

Selected in every semester by faculty and fellow students to present my own or my studio’s work at Pratt GAUD ‘critic-at-large’ events, including for Thom Mayne, Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam, and Neil Denari (2018-2021)

First prize for best first semester M.Arch portfolio | The Pratt Institute GAUD (December 2018)

architecture experience |

Designer |  Young Projects
Brooklyn, New York (October 2021 onward)

Collaborator | Young & Ayata
Brooklyn, New York (June-August 2021)

Architecture Intern | Studio Libeskind, New York (June-August 2019)

architecture teaching |

Visiting Assistant Professor | Pratt GAUD | Arch 602 Spring 23

Co-teacher, Option Design Studio with Bryan Young | Cornell AAP

Teaching Fellow, Thom Mayne Young Architects Program | Pratt Institute (January-May 2020)

Teaching Assistant, Architecture | Pratt Institute Design Initiative for Community Empowerment, Architecture (September 2019 - May 2020)

architecture software |

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, After effects,
Rhino, Keyshot, Vray for Rhino,
Grasshopper, RhinoCam2018, AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Maya, Recap, Substance Painter, ZBrush, Slicerforfusion360.
All MS Office applications, advanced Excel modelling

other professional experience |

Before moving into architecture, I had a 12-year career in economic policy and analysis, during which I led policy analysis and consulting projects, managed small teams, pitched for client work and delivered and directed consulting projects.

Founder and Director | RDF Economic Consulting
Geneva, Switzerland (2016-2018)

Senior Managing Consultant
| ICF International
London, UK 2015-2016

Senior Economist
| UK Government Economic Service
London, UK 2010-2013

Assistant Manager
| Deloitte Economic Consulting
London, UK 2008-2010

| UK Government Economic Service
London, UK 2006-2008

other education |

M.A. (Hons) Economics, 2002-2006,
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

languages |

English - native
French - DELF B2 (professional working proficiency)