Classes Open to All Students 2017/18

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture

Interested students should come to the School of Architecture Office, Room 301 Foundation Building, to find out more about registration for these classes.

ARCH 115A History of Architecture I
Anthony Vidler
Monday 10AM-12:50PM, Rm 315F
3 credits; required of all Architecture students.
Open to Art and Engineering students as an elective.

A broad introduction to the study of the concepts, designs and built examples of architecture from antiquity to the present. Selected projects from around the world will be analyzed in terms of planning, design, structure, technique, function, social context and meaning.

ARCH 125A History of Architecture II
Tamar Zinguer
Friday 10AM-12:50PM Rm 315F
3 credits; required of all Architecture students.
Open to Art and Engineering students as an elective; pre-requisite: ARCH 115

An introduction to the study of the concepts, designs and built examples of architecture from approximately the 18th to the mid 20th century. Selected projects from around the world will be analyzed in terms of planning, design, structure, technique, function, social context and meaning.

ARCH 176.03 Landscape Architecture
Linda Pollak
Friday 10-11:50AM, Rm 712F
2 credits

The goal of the seminar is to inspire students to integrate landscape thinking and making into their own creative practice, and to give them enough grounding to be able to do so.  The seminar will make a strategic cut across a vast territory of knowledge, revealing and reflecting upon concepts and processes of landscape through heterogeneous perspectives: materiality/ecology of landscape; techniques of landscape representation; landscape in the work of architects (Richard Neutra, Alvar Aalto, Aldo Van Eyck), artists (Robert Smithson, Mary Miss, Maya Lin, Olafur Eliasson), landscape architects (Burle Marx, James Corner, Catharine Mosbach), and landscape as agent of urban regeneration. We will have guest speakers for several sessions, to address topics such as GIS and landscape architecture pedagogy.  Final classes will have a workshop structure, focusing on a topography, movement, and play. The framework of what I call "constructed ground” enables inclusion of living systems in research and design without segregating them into an exclusive domain of “nature.” The idea of constructed ground registers the fact that the ground of any site is always already constructed, and, therefore, not background or origin or nature or flat or tabula rasa.  Seminar texts include essays by Gyorgy Kepes, James J. Gibson, Robert Smithson, Liane Lefaivre, and others.  Students will be responsible for one primary reading for each seminar session. Supplementary readings, including essays by instructor for most sessions, will be made available as desired.

ARCH 178 Advanced Drawing Seminar
Sue F. Gussow
Friday 10-11:50AM, Rm 312F
2 credits; open to all students with permission of the instructor. Maximum enrollment of 15 students.

The dialog between figuration and abstraction is the focus of the course. Students are expected to plan and elaborate a series of drawings generated from individually chosen themes. Weekly seminars are held to critique work in progress and to discuss issues relevant to the discipline of drawing. Students will be encouraged to investigate a broad spectrum of imagery and materials and are expected to participate in an end of semester exhibition.

ARCH 185.03 Crossings—The Feltman Seminar
Brad Cloepfil
Tuesday 10-11:50AM, Room 712F
2 credits; open to all students (6 Arch, 6 Art, 6 Engg) as an elective. Maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Louis Kahn stated that light was “the giver of all presence”, paraphrasing the status of light in architecture throughout history, from Vitruvius to Le Corbusier. Artists such as Anthony McCall learned to bend light.  Bridget Riley used light as color to bend visual laws. The 19th century Luminists assigned mystical significance to light that is shared by every generation of artists, from Vermeer through Mark Rothko. Jeppe Hein explores reflection as a material, while others work in the studied absence of light. In World War II, searchlights scanned the sky for protection. In recent times, Los Angeles police helicopters scan the streets for surveillance and control. Cai Guo-Qiang uses pyrotechnics as performance festival, and the 9/11 “Tribute in Light” towers create ephemeral monuments as memory. The theater designer Adolphe Appia used light and shadow to utterly change our perception and reference of space. This course will explore the technical, conceptual, visceral, and poetic possibilities of light in all of its forms. We will explore the engineering, modeling, controlling, transforming and amplifying of light. The course will be structured around four categories of investigation:

AMPLIFICATION – heightening a given quality of light
ILLUSION – using light to create illusion and spatial effect
ABSENCE – the lack of light and shadow
PROJECTION – sources of light and projection

For each category we will have invited guests to discuss their work and their own investigations of light. Students will be asked to produce a short research project on each of the four subjects (this can take the form of a paper or 3-dimensional project/composition). The final project, produced by either individual or group, will be applied to and/or created for a specific space in the school.

ARCH 205.01 Advanced Concepts
David GerstenTuesday 10-11:50AM, Rm 315F
2 credits; required for Architecture students. Open to Art and Engineering students with permission of the instructor.

The Seminar ‘A Material Imagination of The Social Contract’ is grounded in the idea that the poetic and material imagination, inherent to the arts and letters, affords us unique means of engaging the world and making a contribution. Working from the principle that our capacity to act in the world is grounded in our capacity to recognize and comprehend transformation, the course covers a large arc of content, asking questions of our world, our disciplines and our humanity. The discussion begins with a series of talks called ‘the time promises of capital’. These focus on the mechanisms and instruments of capital exchange including: debt, equity and compound interest, as well as incorporation and insurance. This ‘time promise’ series also develops a basic knowledge of certain market exchange concepts such as ‘bid’ and ‘ask’, ‘market depth’, ‘price discovery’, ‘trading’ versus ‘investing’ as well as current technological innovations in the global markets such as ‘algorithmic’ or ‘black box’ trading. These concepts are approached with careful attention to both the ontological impact of these instruments on our perception of time and space as well as the broader social issues of the capital markets as modes of resource distribution and collective judgement. Following the ‘time promises’ is a series of discussions on words, looking at the role of language in both our individual imagination and our collective participation in culture. These lectures begin with the enigmatic fact that ‘we share words’. Words at once require a consensus of the many and seek to express individual thought. Here we explore the many links between language, individual agency and collective judgment. Following the discussion on words we move to a series of talks focused on space. These look at the many forms of exchange occurring between our spaces and us with a focus on our capacity to construct literate spaces, spaces of participation inseparable from our memory and imagination. Much of this discussion focuses on embodied knowledge and our ‘situated’ condition in space as we look at questions of: experience, cognition, perception and memory. The final series of conversations grows from all of the previous questions and content as we look at the relationships between many forms of knowledge and action. Here we work toward building linkages between; the time promises, words, space, ethics, the creative disciplines and their social contracts. With examples from 20th and 21 century: art, architecture, poetry, film, theater and literature, we move through a close examination of disciplinary structures, the nature of disciplinary geography and the transformation of knowledge. Ultimately, the conversations explore the precisions of the poetic/material imagination as a means of contributing to knowledge and addressing our social and political lives: It seeks to imagine a better world, to imagine: new modes of concern for the other, new promises for distributing risk and resources, new words for rebinding freedom, new spaces of empathy and ethics.

ARCH 225.07 Advanced Topics in History, Theory, Criticism
Kevin Bone
Monday 3-4:50PM, Rm 305CS
2 credits; pre-requisites: ARCH 115 History of Architecture I, ARCH 125 History of Architecture II, ARCH 175 Modern Architectural Concepts or permission of the instructor; Maximum enrollment of 15 students.

The challenge to develop more sustainable human systems is the cultural and ethical imperative of our time. The architectural community has moved well beyond the discussion stage of “green design.” Issues of sustainability, and the evolving of values that have driven changes in the architectural conversation now impact the work of planners, architects, engineers, and regulatory groups. This class provides students with an overview of established sustainable objectives in the practice of architecture, and how they are being currently executed. Students will learn how to examine and evaluate new solutions as they arise so as to effectively and discriminately implement new ideas in their own practice of architecture. The class will be introduced to the fundamentals of ecology, environmental science, and conservation. Students will read key works that have examined humankind’s relationship to the natural world. After this introduction the class will look at models of environmental design as practiced in architecture: indigenous building, early modernism, post-war modernism, the environmentalism of the 60’s, and the contemporary scene. The class, through case studies, will examine the evolving impact of sustainable goals on the design disciplines, and on the conceptualizing and making of architecture, urban space, and Infrastructure. The work of the class will require periodic reading and writing assignments and a final project. For the final project students will be required to examine a selected built or planned work as a case study. The analysis will be presented to the class for discussion and finalized in written and illustrated documents.

ARCH 225.27 Advanced Topics in History, Theory, Criticism
Joan Ockman
Thursday 12-1:50PM, Rm 712F
2 credits; pre-requisites: ARCH 115 History of Architecture I, ARCH 125 History of Architecture II, ARCH 175 Modern Architectural Concepts or permission of the instructor. Maximum enrollment of 15 students.                                                

Architecture is at once a mode of production and a form of consumption. What is the relationship between these different spheres, or levels, of social reality? What historical impact have transformations in the processes of architectural production had on an ever-expanding consumer culture, and vice versa? Exploring these questions within the perspective of capitalist modernity, the seminar takes the world expositions and shopping arcades of the nineteenth century as a point of departure. How did the rationality and universality of the Crystal Palace’s structure and construction accommodate the irrationality and multifariousness of its contents? How, in the early twentieth century, was Taylorization transferred from the factory to the kitchen? Proceeding from early experiences like these to focus on architecture’s evolution since World War II, the seminar aims to comprehend the successive shifts from industrial to postindustrial to global-digital society through the double lens of technology and aesthetics. Among the rich and diverse series of episodes to be investigated are the Case Study House program launched in Los Angeles in 1945; the discourse of Good Design from MoMA to the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm; the Smithsons’ and the Venturis’ revindication of popular culture and everyday life in the 1950s and ’60s; the counterculture’s critiques of consumerism and the military-industrial complex; postmodernism’s “end of prohibitions”; the Bilbao effect, junkspace, gentrification… The seminar concludes with a reflection on the place of architecture in a 24/7 world where older boundaries between material and immaterial labor and between work and leisure have been eroded. What are the implications—for architecture and for culture at large—of these changed relationships today? What, to paraphrase a classic essay by Walter Benjamin, is the architect’s position not just toward but within the relations of production of his/her time? Or, with Henri Lefebvre, we may ask: who produces? what? how? why and for whom? The seminar’s emphasis is equally on historical research and critical-theoretical inquiry. Students are asked to choose two case studies to present over the course of the semester, ultimately developing their research into a term paper. Class sessions will center on case-study presentations supplemented by slide talks, discussions of assigned primary and secondary readings, and possibly one or two guest lectures.

ARCH 225.28 Advanced Topics in History, Theory, Criticism
Lauren Kogod
Thursday 10-11:50AM, Rm 712F
2 credits; pre-requisites: ARCH 115 History of Architecture I, ARCH 125 History of Architecture II, ARCH 175 Modern Architectural Concepts or permission of the instructor. Maximum enrollment of 15 students.

An in-depth study of (mostly) American architecture in the 1970s, a decade of remarkable intellectual creativity. Major themes and moments will be (re)visited through a series of case studies including debates which were direct—for example, figures writing to or about one another—and indirect—such as architectural products (writings, projects, buildings) that presented contrasting positions on a similar theme. Particular emphasis will be placed on the discourses which regarded architecture as a language and those both advocating and resisting the concept of architecture as a “critical practice.” Seminar requirements include weekly readings, monthly writings and a final, independently researched, project.

School of Art

Any School of Art class is open, however registration is dependent on space availability and fulfillment of required pre-requisites.
Interested students should come to the School of Art Office of Academic Advisement, Room 212 Foundation Building, to find out more about
these classes.

Albert Nerken School of Engineering

ME 313 Introduction to Industrial Design
Michael Bambino
3 credits. Prerequisite: ME 211 or permission of instructor
Contact Professor Bambino and your academic advisor

The collaborative relationship between art, engineering, and industrial design, academically and professionally, is a pivotal relationship in the development of new ideas.

This course serves as an introduction to the world of industrial design for the students of The Cooper Union’s art, architecture, and engineering schools. The students will learn about the history of design, design concepts, and design methodology through lectures, discussions, and small projects, and will explore, develop, and execute their own design as part of a major project by the culmination of the course. The main goals of this course are to develop a better understanding of the perspective of a designer and to gain experience in conceptual development.

Ch 110 General Chemistry
3 credits. Prerequisites: none
Contact Prof. Andrea Newmark (Chair of Chemistry) and your academic advisor

An introduction to the general scientific principles associated with chemistry. This course will deal with fundamental ideas such as the concept of the atom, the molecule, the mole and their applications to chemical problems. The classical topics include: dimensional analysis and significant figures; atomic weights; periodic properties; chemical reactions and stoichiometry; redox reactions; ideal gas law and real gas equations of state; the liquid state and intermolecular forces; solution concentrations; chemical equilibrium and equilibrium constants; acids and bases; solubility equilibria; nomenclature of inorganic and organic compounds. The topics for atomic and molecular properties include: atomic structure and the quantum theory; electronic structure of atoms; the covalent bond and bond properties; molecular geometries and hybridization; molecular orbital theory.

ME/EID 314 Cloud-Based Design and Manufacture
Stan Wei
3 credits. Prerequisites: CS 102 and Ma 113
(prerequisites are equivalent to ARCH 118 & ARCH 103/104)
Contact Professor Wei and your academic advisor

Introduction to today’s cloud-based design and manufacture (CBDM) technology. Topics include: fundamentals of geometric modeling; cloud-based computer-aided design (CAD); overview of commercially available, cloud-based CAD platforms; impact of deploying cloud-based design methodology on engineering practices; collaborative team design project management; extension of cloud-based CAD to manufacture and performance simulation applications. Students will gain hands-on experiences in managing collaborative team design projects.

ECE160 Programming Languages (C programming)
Stu Kirtman
3 credits. Prerequisites: None
Contact Professor Kirtman and your academic advisor

Programming in C in a Linux environment, with an emphasis on software development methodology. Data types, expressions, control flow, pointers, subroutines, numerical and text processing, data structures and algorithms. Introduction to computer architecture and operating systems. Introduction to object oriented programming in C++, and classification of programming languages.

EID 101 Engineering Design and Problem Solving
3 credits. Prerequisites: none
Contact Professor Toby Cumberbatch and your academic

Students work on cutting-edge, exploratory design projects in interdisciplinary groups of 20 to 25. Each project has an industrial sponsor/partner who is available for student/faculty consultation and support. Oral and visual presentations as well as formal written reports are required for all projects. Professional competencies, teamwork, human values and social concerns are stressed in the engineering design.

Ph 348 Flow Visualization
Phil Yecko
3 credits. Prerequisites: ESC 340 and permission of instructor
Contact Professor Yecko and your academic advisor

Study of a broad range of fluid flow phenomena emphasizing the features and patterns characteristic of each. Introduction to visualization techniques used to reveal and capture details of these flows, leading to the application of these techniques to actual flows in the lab or in the field. Essential photographic methodology for still images and movies, including lighting, exposure, depth of field and digital image post-processing. Use of tracers, including dyes, vapor, bubbles and particles as well as optical tools, such as schlieren and/or shadowgraph. Natural and engineering flows will be examined, beginning with mathematical and physical analysis of visualizable properties, including buoyancy, interfaces, vorticity, streamlines and pathlines, and concluding with an actual image or movie. Motivated by the immense scientic and engineering importance of flow visualization in vehicle design, dispersal of environmental pollutants, biomedical flows and many others, flow images are an important form of technical communication and will be critiqued and improved, culminating in a final project exhibition.

EID 374 Business Economics
Tom Synnott
3 credits. Prerequisite: either S 334, S 347, EID 270 or permission of instructor
Contact Professor Synnott and your academic advisor

In this course, the class will carry out a real-time forecast of the U.S. economy and explore its implications for the bond and stock markets. The course will build upon principles of both macro- and micro-economics. It will provide an introduction to the work done by business economists and the techniques they use. Students will become familiar with the database looking for relationships between key economic variables, and studying movements in interest rates over the period 1960-present. The class will be divided into teams of two students with each team choosing a particular aspect of the economy to forecast. The class will also work with various leading indicators of economic activity and will prepare forecasts of the key components of gross domestic product and other important variables. A formal presentation of the economic with invited guests from the Wall Street investment world will take place. To put forecasting exercise in context, there will be class discussions of business cycles, credit cycles, long waves in inflation and interest rates and the impact of the Internet on the economy and the stock market.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • 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.