Elizabeth Diller

Founding partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Elizabeth Diller and her studio work at the intersection of architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. Hear her thoughts on cultural innovation and how her work challenges conventions of public space at our Day 1 keynote, Anticipate Need: Design That Cares.


Elizabeth Diller, Professor of Architecture at Princeton University, is a critical voice in the discipline of architecture. Her studio established its identity through self-generated conceptual art and architecture installations, and with large-scale cultural and civic projects including the Blur Building at the Swiss Expo 2002; the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; The Broad, Los Angeles; and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Redevelopment and the High Line, both in New York.

Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio were the first recipients in the field of architecture to receive the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant. Among the studio’s numerous awards are the Centennial Medal from the American Academy in Rome, the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution, the Brunner Prize from the American Academy of the Arts and Letters, and the American Institute of Architects’ President’s Award and Medal of Honor.

In 2003, the Whitney Museum of American Art held a major retrospective of the studio’s work. In 2009, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio were named by Time Magazine as two of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, Fast Company named Diller Scofidio + Renfro the most innovative design practice in the profession and among the 50 most innovative companies in the world.

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High Line, ©Iwan Baan
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The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, ©Iwan Baan

Elevating architecture

Elizabeth’s studio led the design of the High Line in New York City, a 1.5 mile long public park built on an abandoned elevated railroad.  The design blends agriculture and architecture to create a pathless landscape where the public can meander in unscripted ways. The High Line presents a paradigm shift in the perception of civic space and its potential to catalyze change.

“What makes [the High Line] so successful is that it’s not an architectural statement. It’s really about growing out of what was there in a very quiet way.”

Keynote details

Elizabeth shares the keynote stage with Alejandro Aravena, Francis Kéré, Hon. AIA, and Michael Murphy on Day 1 of the AIA Conference on Architecture. Don’t miss their powerful, short-form talks happening Thursday, April 27.

See Elizabeth:
Thursday, 8:30am, Hall C
Anticipate Need: Design That Cares

All speakers