Benjamin Smithers Architecture

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|  achievements and awards

AIA Henry Adams Medal for top GAUD student 2021.  M.Arch Distinction (GPA 3.95)

Shortlisted | BeeBreeders Iceland Cave Tower international competition

Finalist | Non Architecture ‘Reviving Mines’ international competition

Honorable mention, Pratt Institute School of Architecture Climate Crisis Prize and Post-Anthropocene Prize
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about |

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

During my M.Arch studies I have worked for Studio Libeskind and collaborated with Young & Ayata, as well as spent two years teaching in the Pratt Institute’s programs introducing high-schoolers to architecture, while simultaneously completing competition projects.

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. - 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

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

Awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Henry Adams Medal (May 2021)

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, includin gfor 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 (May 2021 onward)

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

Architecture Intern | Studio Libeskind, New York (June-August 2019)
Editor and writer | Tarp, Pratt GAUD student magazine (September 2018-May 2020)

| architecture teaching

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

| languages

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

| references on request
| other professional experience

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

Economist | UK Government Economic Service
London, UK 2006-2008

| other education

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