Elizabeth Diller

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Dates of Birth and Death





  • Cooper Union B.A. 1979


  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro


Cooper Union, Diller Scofidio Renfro, New York City, Princeton University, interdisciplinary design studio


Early Life and Education

Elizabeth Diller, one third of the New York-based firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is an architect known for her interdisciplinary approach, integrating art, architecture, and performing arts to address questions of space and culture in her work.

Diller was born in 1954 in Poland, where she spent the first five years of her life before immigrating with her parents to the United States and settling in New York City. She originally attended the Cooper Union to study art, but she took an architecture class on a whim and eventually earned a B.A. in Architecture, rather than art.

Career in Architecture

While a student at Cooper Union, she met Ricardo Scofidio who was, at the time, teaching in the architecture program. After graduating from the school, she later married him, and together they founded the firm Diller + Scofidio in 1979, which became Diller Scofidio + Renfro when they eventually added a third partner.

Diller also worked in a number of teaching positions. From 1981, she began working as an assistant professor at the Cooper Union, until joining the faculty of Princeton University in 1990, where she currently works as an associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies.

Diller, with her partner Scofidio, is known for her unorthodox approach to architecture, and many of early projects by the pair dealt with art installations and performance pieces rather than building design. Their current practice is multi-faceted, described by the firm as an interdisciplinary studio in which they integrate many areas of design, from visual and performing arts to architecture and landscape architecture.

Major Buildings and Projects

  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York (redesign of Alice Tully Hall, the renovation and expansion of The Juilliard School, the expansion of the School of American Ballet, Public Spaces Project, and the Hypar Pavilion Lawn and Restaurant)
  • The High Line
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  • Creative Arts Center, Brown University
  • Blur, Lake Neuchâtel for Swiss Expo

Press and Awards

  • Back to the Front, Princeton Architectural Press with F.R.A.C. Basse–Normandie, 1994.
  • Flesh: Architectural Probes, Princeton Architectural Press, 1995.
  • Blur: the making of nothing, Abrams, 2002.
  • MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, 1999, awarded to Diller + Scofidio (first architects to be awarded the grant)