I am an assemblage of:
cooperatives / spaces / technologies
learnings / teachings / communities
systems / heuristics / practices
architecture / pedagogy / software
families / friends / societies / cultures

I aim to be present.

Hi there.
I am changing.
Please stay tuned.


Currently, I will describe myself as a practitioner and educator.


From 2012 - 2018, I co-founded, co-designed and collectively grew Prime Produce Apprentice Cooperative. Prime Produce is a 7500 sqft cooperatively-run space for social good, or a 'commune for work' based in NYC. To me, it is an experiment in creating a vibrant, cooperatively-run place oriented around the practice of service.

Since 2014, I have been teaching at Columbia GSAPP, where I focused on teaching architectural representation and experimental design tools meant to shape the agency of the designer. These days, I primarily teach within the Computational Design Practices program.

From 2019 - 2023, I taught thesis studio courses at NYU Integrated Design and Media. From 2022 - 2023, I also taught thesis studio courses at Parsons' Design and Technology MFA program.

From 2018 - 2021 I co-founded and helped cultivate a collective studio environment in a 4000 sqft warehouse in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Soft Surplus. At its best moments, it was a life-experiment by a community of friends in earnest worldbuilding; gradually crafting a studio space out of a former auto body shop allowed us to dream ways of working and learning together - and to make some of it possible. Soft Surplus disbanded in 2021.

I also work as an independent designer and consultant, working in architectural design, data visualization, web development, art installation, and physical computing.


You have come to this site at a special moment, in which my practices are changing.

Currently (as of May 2024), I am focusing on:

• Attentional spaces and human-computer interfaces for mindfulness, presentness and affective attunement
• Games and play as practices for exploring complex systems, including social or urban systems
• Psychotechnologies, such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, somatic therapy, Internal Family Systems, psychedelic therapy, and meditation
• Seeking sangha.

Things I am thinking about lately:

(as of 2024-02)

What is your relationship to your unconscious, and what practices of the self allow one to be more embodied in your psyche, rather than one's conscious ego, or thinking mind? What is neither about intellect, nor about emotion, but about the 'secret third thing'? What practices of calibrating one's own compass exist?

Let's say that the hand-crafted image, text, drawing, object is interesting, not because it is more 'rustic', or 'analog', but because "fine motor engagement" of the hand allows the psyche, not just the conscious ego, to act and manifest. What kind of computational medium is truly open to the psyche, not just as an aesthetic layer, but as a medium? Are the practices of 'error checking', 'discretization', 'autocorrect' that digital signals have (discretization into binary, pixels, parity bits) itself an axiomatic disposition that bubbles all the way up into computational media? E.g. "Draw a circle, and our software will autocorrect it into a perfect circle"?

What is the feedback loop between architectural and spatial environments and 'egoic life', versus spatial environments and 'psychic life'? What spaces and neighborhood are grown from psyche and soul? What if each city, village, country house -- each spatial condition can be thought of as a collective unconscious manifestation of how that society articulates an answer to the core ultimate concerns of existence that Irvin Yalom notes as: death, freedom, isolation, meaninglessness? Comprehension, disassociation, denial, celebration, understanding -- how are these facts of life manifested in the fabric of the city? How does a city's denizens co-evolve with the city to formulate a response that becomes habituated into an individual's approach? The 24/7 diner as a denial of isolation? The club as a site to celebrate meaninglessness? A convivial city + an existential city?

What practices are not shareable or communicable through language or imagery, and thus are the 'blind spots' in language or imagery-oriented contexts such as: the internet, academia, conversation, work? Tacit knowledge is 'knowledge that we do not know how to make explicit' --

How might we rescue the internet from the smartphone and scroll culture? How might it look more like wizardry, like chemistry, like magic?

Politics and morals are (often) orthogonal to each other; politics gathers agreement and collective power; morals provides an internal compass that allows one to act in line with one's own integrity. The discipline we know called 'politics' is a mechanism for consolidating power through social inclusion/exclusion and solidarity/opposition; 'morals' is a primarily individual practice, offering a consistency to one's own self. Many times, a politics can be against one's own morals, and vice versa. What if these are best understood as orthogonal? A committment to a political group allows the possibility of solidarity and its joys, alongside the possibility of misalignment with one's morals. A commitment to morals allows the possibility of a path of integrity alongside the possibility of divergence and solitude. (See also: Jung, The Undiscovered Self, Bruno Latour's An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence)

What is the way I intend to think and speak about meditation, as opposed to practicing it? On one hand, it is exciting to begin to map out and research concepts and ideas and ways in which many, many others have operated with practices of the bodymind-with-itself. (For example: how to balance between vipassana & equanimity and seeking piti and/or jhana? Or cultivating metta, above all?) On the other hand, it's clear to me that the practice is the practice, and these points of excitement might serve as inadvertent points of attachment or grasping to, what is essentially, a practice of letting go. A desire to speak about meditation itself, contains within the seeds of a grasping-of. One possible resolution is of being content with my silence; another might be of quiet but unabashed joy. How might I navigate these poles while also finding a community of practice - a sangha?

How might one syncretistically craft one's own rituals? What are the practice of historical or traditional Korean rituals, both traditional, cultural, spiritual, and shamanistic (무당, 굿, etc)? How have various plant medicines factored (or not factored) in these practices? What is their story of dissipation and banishment during the colonization/war/dictatorship/modernisation histories of Korea? How have they survived?

What does it mean to allow the unfolding into a person? How does Nietzsche's idea of the Ubermensch in Thus Spake Zarathustra, the 'overman' who overcomes themselves and accepts who they are, compatible with the idea of Atman in Hinduism? What if Nietzsche's dead God is really only the Christian church rather than Jesus's God, and the idea of self-as-god or 'the Buddha within' is completely compatible with Nietzsche's (supposedly secular) overman?

What is a moral logic one might hold within any particular political economy? So far, it has been to envision an ideal (more just) future, and to understand the current present, and to only find work that exists in the overlap between the two. How can I celebrate what exists in this overlap? Or more complicatedly: how can I understand (and even prematurely grieve) for the wonderful work I delight in, that might only exist in a neoliberal capitalist economy, whether because its existence is due to the valorization-of-struggle-against-capitalism, or because it exists in the gluttinous margins of capitalist surplus-driven institutions? Well-meaning art and design work around protest, yearning, hope, idealization, struggle? (Or: could I be thinking about this in a different way?)

How to work with the oncoming tide of AI? AI is clearly Here To Stay; not even that, it will Clearly Erode Our Institutions and habits in a way unforeseen. Studies have already predicted that all manner of white collar work and intellectual labor will be eroded, altered, shaped by AI; while I predict that most jobs will not appear to be automated, they will be hollowed out from within and altered, so that the expectations of work will begin to conform to the requirements of AI. In the Industrial Revolution, the length of work day became nearly infinite (as labor was pressured to become aligned to the 24/7 capabilities of the machine, rather than the length of daytime), and struggle to restrict the work day to eight hours only arose through collective organizing and protest. (Marx's Capital, Ch 10). Similarly, it seems clear that the speed/capacity of human labor will be pressured to conform to the nearly-infinite capabilities of AI. What will survive afterwards?

(My bet is: the work that is culturally perceived to deeply cherish human agency, human sentimentality, and most of all, involves (even requires) human fallibility -- surgeons, artists, artisans, teachers, therapists, chefs..)

Texts I'm thinking about / (re)reading lately:

More things I am interested in: Are.na

Recent/Upcoming News

I spoke at "The Internet(s) of Everything" , June 8, 2021

I spoke at "The end of the beginning of The Student Visa Review", a panel alongside with Menna Agha, Ashraf Salama, about a project I created as part of SURPLUS+ with Shea Fitzpatrick and Lucy Liu for RISD and the Canadian Center for Architecture. May 31, 2021

I spoke at "Roundable Discussion: COMMONS", a panel at the Yale School Of Architecture, hosted by the M.E.D Working Group for Anti-Racism, alongside Lauren Hudson, Sunny Iyer, and Rachel Valinsky. Nov 11, 2020

I spoke at Tei Carpenter's "By Other Means" seminar at the University of Toronto on Soft Surplus, Prime Produce, and alternative practices. Oct 16, 2020.

I spoke at Columbia GSAPP as part of the Techno-Critical Assemblies event series, organized by Andres Jaque and Xiaoxi Chen. Oct 15, 2020.

I launched the GSAPP Skill Trails. Jun 26, 2020.

I wrote a short polemic for Avery Shorts called WORMspace: WORMspace is what happens when you turn the residential lease and "normal wear and tear" into an aesthetic. It is an aesthetic of landlord power.. Nov 26, 2019.

I spoke at Neba Noyan's class, "Data Is Storytelling", on growing communities, spaces, and spatial programming languages. Oct 16, 2019.

The Cybernetics Library held an installation and workshop at the Tate Modern as part of the Higher Resolution with Hyphen-Labs workshop series at the Tate Exchange. September 27-29, 2019.

Intentional Estate Agency, a collaboration with Tei Carpenter, Jesse LeCavalier, and Chris Woebken, was part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale: The Architecture of Degrowth. Sep 26, 2019.

The Cybernetics Library had a booth and held a workshop at the NY Art Book Fair on Sunday, September 22nd, at 2pm. Invited by Printed Matter.

I wrote Tools of Collective Intelligence, published by Urban Omnibus, on invitation by Shannon Mattern. Sep 4, 2019.

I did a short Micro-residency at Dynamicland! Aug 7 - Aug 14, 2019.

I spoke on a panel on the future of work for the Out of Office exhibition at A/D/O, curated by Lexi Tsien and Talitha Liu of Soft-Firm, alongside Florian Idenburg and Kate Thatcher, moderated by Joseph White. July 18, 2019.

I was a speaker at Software For Artists Day, Pioneer Works. June 15, 2019.

An interview with Willa Köerner was published in The Creative Independent: On growing a cooperative like you’d grow a garden. June 11, 2019.

I was a resident as part of The Strange Foundation's Decelerator residency program. May 19 - May 27, 2019.

I spoke at the Living a Digital Life: Objects, Environments, Power conference, hosted at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. May 10, 2019.

The Cybernetics Library hosted a workshop called Cybernetic Marginalia, as part of February School, a temporary school-as-intervention created by MIT ACT students.

I taught Ethicsware, a class at The School for Poetic Computation, as part of the Code Societies Winter 2019 session, organized by Melanie Hoff.

On work and projects

I have taught at Columbia University GSAPP (2014 - present), NYU Integrated Design & Media (2020 - present), and Parsons School of Design (2022 - present).

I have taught at: The School for Poetic Computation, and Tsinghua University.

From 2012 - 2018, I was a founding member of Prime Produce (an intentional cooperatively-run space for social good).

From 2018 - 2021, I was a founding member of Soft Surplus (a community space for making and learning near each other)

From 2018 - 2022, I was a founding member of the Cybernetics Library, an artist-run library focused on socio-technological systems.

Past clients for design & technology work include: Canadian Centre for Architecture, RISD, Stephanie Dinkins, Sidewalk Labs, Superbright, The New Inquiry, Vera Institute of Justice, Pioneer Works, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Spatial Information Design Lab, NEW INC/GSAPP Incubator

My work has been mentioned/published in Urban Omnibus, The Creative Independent, Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy, The Politics of Parametricism, Project Journal, The New Yorker, The Observer, The Awl, Vice, The New York Times, among other publications.

say hello

If you'd like to say hello, get in touch at:

dan [at] dantaeyoung [dot] com!

a trail.