Silvia Benedito teaches in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD), and currently holds the Aga Kahn chair in the Department. Benedito is a registered architect, landscape architect and urban designer in both Portugal and Germany. She teaches and coordinates design studios and research centered on the role of climate-oriented design strategies in ameliorating thermal loads of urban territories. Her last research examines the wildfire causes in rural communities of the Mediterranean-type climate regions (MCRs) and West Africa. Benedito was a Guest Professor at the Technische Universität München (2018) and at the Technische Universität Graz (2019). More recently, she was the Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Benedito has developed several projects in her practice OFICINAA, GmbH and her design work have been awarded in various international competitions: second prize for the Klinikum Grosshadern Hospital Campus, Munich (2021, Germany), finalist for the PS1 MoMA Young Architects Program (2018, USA), first prize for Peterborough’s Riverfront Park (2017, USA), third prize for the Riverfront re-naturalization competition, Ingolstadt (2016, Germany), Finalist for Europan 11 Competition (2013, Germany), First Prize for Europan 10 competition (2010, Portugal), and First prize for Europan 9 (2008, Portugal). Her work and writtings has been showcases in various venues, including the Architekturgalerie München, the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the Museum of Moderna Art in NYC (MoMA), and at the Venice Architecture Biennial. Before establishing her design office, Benedito was a Senior Associate at James Corner Field
Operations in NYC. Here, she worked and lead various urban design and landscape projects, including the High Line Park in Manhattan. She is the co-editor of the book Thermodynamic Interactions: An Exploration into Physiological, Material,and Territorial Atmospheres (ACTAR, 2016), the co-author of Landscape Tunings: An Urban Park at the Danube (ACTAR, 2017) and the author of Atmosphere Anatomies: On Design, Weather, and Sensation with photographs by Iwan Baan. This book has recently received the inaugural Prize for Architectural innovation and Sustainability by the Portuguese League of Architects and the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action.
Throughout her career, Benedito has received various prizes and fellowships from relevant institutions, including the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, MacDowell Colony for the Arts, Luso-American Development Foundation, The Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Fernando Távora Prize from the Portuguese League of Architects.