The Student Work Collection is a photographic archive of student design projects dating from the 1930’s through the present. This material, which is the Architecture Archive’s core collection, documents over 4,000 student projects spanning more than eight decades of architectural pedagogy at The Cooper Union. Much of the collection’s material consists of design studio work documented for the exhibition and publication Education of an Architect: A Point of View (1971), and its second volume, Education of an Architect (1988). Since then the Architecture Archive has documented, on an annual basis, exemplary student projects selected by faculty for inclusion in the collection. Project documentation includes images of process drawings, final presentation drawings, multiple views of architectural models and supplemental research and visual material. As a whole, these records provide a comprehensive narrative of the School’s evolving, radical and influential approach to architectural education. Unique among schools of architecture, the collection is an important but underrepresented research asset for architecture students, faculty and scholars nationwide and abroad, and a vital educational resource for the School’s student learning, faculty pedagogy and public programming.
In September 2016, the School of Architecture received a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, to preserve, digitize and catalog the Student Work Collection for web-based, public access. The resulting digital collections platform will launch online, in beta form, in the fall of 2018.