in designing from inside to outside
regardless of size, space should not be wasted
architecture should change as life changes
LEARN Clients’ desires/challenges/dualities
DESIGN 24 hours of use/flexibility/optimization/kit of parts
INNOVATE Healthy materials/study of neuroscience on wellbeing
IMPROVE Life in your space/extends into the world
Design for Change
At EXD, we are inspired by our home, New York City. The city that never sleeps, with its increasing density, layered program, high energy, multiple activities, and cultural diversity, all combined to create a dynamic urban life. Like the city, the space you inhabit should reflect your lifestyle. It should be flexible and versatile throughout 24 hours, maximizing the use and improving your experience.
Who is EXD?
Based in the ever-changing city of New York, Victoria Benatar and Michelle Cianfaglione founded EXD ARCHITECTURE to use design to analyze dualities in the city, which they translate into ‘layered’ spaces that allow for a dynamic lifestyle. This allows EXD to find an intricate balance between aesthetics and functionality, while creating spaces that inspire and nurture the soul.
Watch our Feature in Bloomberg’s World’s Greatest:
5 renovations !
We have worked with EXD on 5 renovations. We moved into an original condition apartment on the Upper West Side 23 years ago. My wife and I hired EXD to renovate our Kitchen and it still looks good now. As our family expanded we hired them again to convert a walk in closet into a nursery, and a few years later we bought our neighbor’s apartment and had them combine the apartments. . .
– Eric S.
Wonderful experience and value!
I worked with Victoria and Michelle on a space plan for a commercial building that I lease in Soho. EXD Architecture created a beautiful “plug and play” space for us, since most tenants need flexibility at this time. All of the furniture and partitions can be easily moved to accommodate many uses. Throughout the process, EXD was always professional, responsive and on-time. . .
– Bonnie S.
I feel better already!
My name is Brian and I am one of the partners at beFIT Therapy. We are a one on one physical therapy and personal training studio located in the heart of Times Square. To simply put it, Design matters! EXD received the best compliment when one of our patients came in through the door for the first time and said “I feel better already!” We are in the business of helping individuals feel better. The bright, energetic, clean design of our studio has clearly contributed to the success of our practice for the past nine years. . .
– Brian G.
EXD is very involved every step of the way!
The partners at EXD are consummate professionals, extremely knowledgeable on all areas involved in the renovation, and have an excellent eye for design. We met several times to discuss what I wanted to be done, what my budget would allow being done, and what my needs were in terms of storage. They presented many options in a range of prices and will take as much time as needed to find the right products for you. . .
– Li G.
Quick Gut Renovation
My wife and I bought an apartment in need of not only a full gut renovation, but we were also looking to take a 2 bedroom and make it into a 3. Michelle and Victoria helped us design a beautiful new space including layout and storage ideas we would have never considered before. On top of that, Michelle and Victoria helped us to quickly navigate the complex red tape of the NYC building bureaucracy, so we could get to work and finish on time. . .
– Ira C.
Certifications & Affiliations
Partners & Vendors
Victoria Benatar is the founder of Victoria Benatar Architect PLLC, Co-Founder and partner of EXD Architecture.
Her curiosity includes extensive research on urban culture and human behavior, the transformative effects of design experience on human behavior and well-being.
Using as a precedent the Lower Manhattan transformation in the 90’s, her firm is currently conducting research on the adaptive reuse of underutilized office buildings to alleviate the city’s housing shortage.
She has an Architecture degree from Universidad Central de Venezuela (1983) and a master’s degree in urban design and architecture from Columbia University (GSAPP) (1995). Victoria has been a professor for the past 27 years, first at Columbia University in the Urban Design department and currently at Parsons the New School for Design at the School of constructed environments (SCE), teaching courses on both architecture and interior design.
Since 2023, Victoria has extended her influence on civic engagement, serving as a Public Member of the NYC Community Board 6, to the Land Use and Waterfront Committee to actively participate in the improvement of the communities she serves.
Since 2024, she is serving on the AIA New York Board of Directors, a position that recognizes her commitment to the architectural profession and her advocacy for the vital role of architecture and design in our society.
Victoria and Michelle believe that space is a catalyst for change, and the design in our lives produces experiences every hour of everyday influencing how you live, work, and grow.
Michelle is a registered architect in New York and co-founder of EXD Architecture.
Her work in and around New York City focuses on smart, integrated living systems that layer program with an emphasis on studying the 1:1 scale and ergonomics.
Michelle has had her own practice and worked for award-winning architects in Philadelphia and New York City doing high-end residential and commercial work as well as international design competitions.
She has been a professor for 11 years, teaching classes in architecture and interior design drawing, digital representation, architectural history, furniture design, and design studio at the New York Institute of Technology and other Universities in and around NYC. Michelle has received a MArch from PennDesign (University of Pennsylvania) and a BPS in Architecture from the B/a+p (University at Buffalo).
Michelle and Victoria believe that space is a catalyst for change, and the design in our lives produces experiences every hour of everyday influencing how you live, work, and grow.