Steven Hillyer

Director, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive

Steven Hillyer received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1990. In keeping with a longstanding tradition of mounting exhibitions and publishing work that informs the pedagogy of the School, Hillyer has curated, designed, and installed nearly 40 exhibitions at The Cooper Union and abroad, presenting the work of—and often working directly with—such distinguished architects as Raimund Abraham, John Hejduk, Bernhard Hoesli, Louis I. Kahn, Daniel Libeskind, Franco Purini, Carlo Scarpa, Massimo Scolari, Michael Webb, and Lebbeus Woods, as well as the artists Anthony Candido, Mary Kelly, and Robert Slutzky, and photographers J. Henry Fair and Margaret Morton. Hillyer’s international work includes exhibitions at Prague Castle, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Hillyer has also participated in the fabrication of almost 20 publications produced by the Architecture Archive, in capacities ranging from production coordination to design supervision and editorial work. He edited the recent publications Thesis 2017, Thesis 2016, Thesis 2015, Tony Candido: The Great White Whale is Black, and Lessons from Modernism: Environmental Design Strategies in Architecture, 1925-70. In 2016 Hillyer initiated a significant initiative to develop and publish an online database of the Architecture Archive’s Student Work Collection, possibly the largest archive of architectural pedagogy in existence, with the ultimate goal of it being a global, public resource. Phase 1 of this project, inclusive of 2,623 projects completed between the 1930s and 2003, will launch in the fall of 2019. Phase 2 of the project, set to be completed in the fall of 2021, will add approximately 2,200 projects completed from 2003 forward. This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Aside from his work at The Cooper Union, Hillyer is an award winning screenwriter, playwright, producer, and co-founder of New York City based Arkanjel Productions with creative partner Tim Marback. Their first feature film, The Event, starring Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis, Sarah Polley, and Parker Posey was released domestically and internationally in 2003. Hillyer is currently developing several projects he has co-authored, including Black Mary, a television series about the woman behind one of the most powerful crime families in Chicago, and the play Mend, which was presented as a workshop at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End in 2018. From 2014-17 Hillyer produced the U.S. tours of Christmas Without Tears (Does This Tree Make Me Look Fat?), a series of live holiday benefit performances hosted by Harry Shearer and Judith Owen. The 2015 New York performance was held at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.

To view Steven's CV click here.

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  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.