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Erin Besler (M.Arch, ’12): A Companion to Architecture
Erin Besler (M.Arch, ’12, they/them/theirs) is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and co-founder of Besler & Sons, a studio that designs buildings, software, objects, exhibitions, and interiors. They were named Artists in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2020 and United States Artists Fellows in Architecture & Design in 2019. They were finalists for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program, and participants in the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism. Current projects include the renovation of a beach house on the Jersey Shore, and a barn conversion in central New Jersey. Their debut book, Best Practices: A companion to architecture and its messy relationship with building materials, signage systems, communication equipment, plant life and people was published in 2021 with support from a grant from the Graham Foundation.
In addition to design practice, Erin pursues architectural research through teaching and writing with publications in FutureAnterior, Perspecta, Log, San Rocco, and e-flux, among others. Erin is a recipient of the Architectural League of New York Young Architects Prize, and a fellow of the American Academy in Rome.
Erin received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from SCI-Arc.
Now based in central New Jersey, Besler & Sons was originally founded in downtown Los Angeles in 2014. The practice is informed as much by the city and its buildings as by the individuals that have given them shape. The office’s work is characterized by a particular interest in construction technologies, social media, and other means of producing and sharing architecture that rely less on exclusivity and more on ubiquity and access. Seeking to articulate and elevate more humble forms of creativity and ingenuity, particularly with a view towards the forms of knowledge and access to resources thought to separate the expert from the non-expert, Besler & Sons projects insert a broader, more all-encompassing set of interests and references into contemporary architecture and design discourse by reconsidering issues of expertise, professionalism, power, ubiquity, defaults, communication environments, construction practices, and how these forces confront architecture.