Beneath and Beyond Big Data: Philip Beesley, David Benjamin, Laura Forlano, and Omar Khan

On April 28, 2012, the League presented Beneath and Beyond Big Data, a symposium–co-organized by Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz, and Mark Shepard–to celebrate the publication of the final issue in the Situated Technologies Pamphlets Series. The half-day event addressed current issues surrounding situated technologies and the increasing entanglement of data, technology, and the built environment, and identified future trajectories for their evolution.

In the final session of the day, Philip Beesley, David Benjamin, Laura Forlano, and Omar Khan identified the challenges of developing data literacy among the next generation of architects, addressing these issues through an expanded architectural curriculum for the 21st century.


Presentation by David Benjamin

David Benjamin is an architect and a principal of The Living. He teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation where, with Soo-In Yang, he is co-director of the Living Architecture Lab. The Living received a New York Prize Fellowship from the Van Alen Institute and was a winner of the Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum. The Living’s project with Natalie Jeremijenko, “Amphibious Architecture,” was one of five commissioned projects for the Architectural League exhibition, Toward the Sentient City.


Presentation by Laura Forlano

Laura Forlano is an Assistant Professor of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Her research is on the role of information technology in supporting open innovation networks in urban environments with a specific emphasis on the use of mobile, wireless and ubiquitous computing technologies to support collaboration. She is co-author, with Dharma Dailey, of “Situated Technologies Pamphlets 3: Community Wireless Networks as Situated Advocacy.” Her project, “Breakout,” was one of five commissioned projects for the Architectural League exhibition, Toward the Sentient City.


Presentation by Philip Beesley

Philip Beesley is a professor in the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo and an architect who is developing responsive kinetic architectural environments that approach near-living functions. His work is widely cited as a pioneer in the rapidly expanding technology of responsive architecture. He is co-author, with Omar Khan, of Situated Technologies Pamphlets 4: Responsive Architecture/Performing Instruments.


Panel discussion with the presenters, moderated by Omar Khan

Omar Khan is an architect and Chair of Architecture at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, where he is also Director of the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies. Khan is a co-organizer of the Situated Technologies Project and co-author, with Philip Beesley, of “Situated Technologies Pamphlet 4: Responsive Architecture/Performing Instruments.”