Philip Beesley


Philip Beesley RCA FRAIC  (Professor School of Architecture, University of Waterloo; Director Living Architecture Systems Group/LASG, Director Riverside Architectural Press) is a practitioner and researcher developing sculpture and architecture that approach near-living functions. His collaborative research integrates multiple disciplines from art, science and technology.  He is widely cited as a pioneer in the rapidly expanding fields of interactive systems and responsive architecture. Beesley and collaborators' work is concentrated within deeply immersive new sculpture constructions that have often been configured as test-beds for ongoing research. 
The LASG is an international consortium sharing research in near-living architectural-scale systems accompanied by workshops,  exhibitions, new curriculum, and prototype test-beds. Beesley and the LASG are featured within the Arsenale for the Venice Biennale for Architecture 2021, and at Berlin’s Futurium centre. He was selected to represent Canada for the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture and the 2012 Biennale of Sydney. Traveling exhibits are currently located within European cultural venues. Permanent installations are located in Salt Lake City, Edmonton, Bloomington, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Cambridge ON. A long-term collaboration with  Iris Van Herpen features multiple couture collections at Paris Fashion Week and traveling exhibitions.
Alongside his studio-based teaching, theory seminars and interdisciplinary workshops at Waterloo, Beesley’s teaching includes a professorship at the European Graduate School,  the role of Examiner for UCL/Bartlett,  multiple workshops, and ongoing lectures and online presentations disseminating new open-source digital form-language. He has chaired five international conferences and symposia.  He authored three books, edited 12 anthologies and a number of catalogues. He appears on the cover of Artificial Life (MIT), LEONARDO and AD journals. Press and video includes TEDx, Vogue, CBC, Azure, Arte and  Discovery Channel presentations. He previously served as Dissemination Director for the NCE-funded Canadian Design Research Network. His service included executive work for ACADIA (Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture), professional mentorship for architecture, and adjudication for numerous academic and grant programs.
Distinctions include election to the Royal Academy of Arts, RAIC Fellowship, Prix de Rome in Architecture (Canada), VIDA 11.0, FEIDAD, RAIC Allied Arts, ACADIA Emerging Digital Practice,  and two Dora Mavor Moore awards. Graduates have received EU STARTS, Fulbright and Tsinghua fellowships, and the Berkeley prize.
Beesley’s early work focused on music, poetry and design for the stage. He studied  fine art (Queen's) and architecture (Toronto) summa cum laude. He served apprenticeships in machining and drafting (Humber), instrument making and lighting,  and undertook monastic studies.