Sílvia Benedito is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She teaches graduate core design studios in landscape architecture and urbanism, as well as advanced research seminars. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Sensory Media Platform at the GSD. Benedito’s research and practice are focused on the role of atmosphere—the meteorological envelope and space for sensory acquisition—in the built environment. Interested in the production and reception of atmosphere, Benedito’s research simultaneously examines the making of micro-climates for human comfort, and the representation of atmosphere through time-based media such as film and video. In her methods for landscape architecture and urbanism the concept and space of atmosphere claim the body in multiple scopes and scales—from large ecological networks to smaller open space interventions, from large urban plans to immersive installations. Claiming that landscape is as much about air and atmosphere as it is about land and water offers a stimulating dimension to these disciplines, reconciling ecological imperatives with human delight and well-being.
Benedito received a degree in Architecture from the University of Coimbra, a degree in Music from the Conservatory of Coimbra, and a master’s degree in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A former Senior Associate at James Corner Field Operations (NYC), where she led many public and private urban design and small-scale public projects, Benedito is the co-principal of OFICINAA, an architecture, landscape and urban design practice based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ingolstadt, Germany. OFICINAA has received several international awards and mentions: third prize in Re-Imagining the Riverfront Edge competition, Ingolstadt (2013, Germany), Finalist for Europan 11 Competition (2012, Germany), First prize for Ingobräu Master Plan and Housing Development (2011, Germany), Olympic Village Master Plan competition pre-selected entry for Munich’s 2018 Olympic Winter Games Bid (2010, Germany), First Prize for Europan 10 (2010, Portugal), Honorable Mention for Berlin’s Freedom and Unity Memorial in the non-built projects Architizer competition (2009, USA), and First prize for Europan 9 (2008, Portugal). OFICINAA’s work has been widely published and recognized including exhibitions at Tennessee University (2011) and at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010.
Benedito was also the cofounder of Home-Room, a “saloon” space in Lower Manhattan for artists and designers to present their work, research and ideas publicly. Home-room continues to explore the enormous flux of unpublished and unedited ideas as it connects discussions and thoughts among creative individuals.
Benedito was awarded numerous prizes and fellowships such as the Luso-American Fellowship, the Gulbenkian Foundation prize, the Research Grant from the Sciences, Arts and Technology Foundation, European Community (EU), and the prestigious Fernando Távora Prize from Oporto Architects’ League. She served as co-editor for a forthcoming book to be published by Actar (2014) entitled ”Thermodynamic Interactions: An Exploration into Physiological, Material and Territorial Atmospheres.”