Hayley Eber AR’01

From Student to Educator Hayley Eber

From Student to Educator Hayley Eber

From Student to Educator Hayley Eber 2

Dining table installation titled Everything’s on the Table, by Hayley Eber, Mae-Ling Lokko and Cooper Union Students

Team-teaching is an essential aspect of the instruction at Cooper’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, a distinctive feature unique to the school, setting it apart from other architecture programs. “This approach,” says Acting Dean Hayley Eber, “brings forth numerous pedagogical and intellectual advantages. It affords students a multi-faceted education, drawing from the diverse skills of team members.”

That diversity, she points out, enables them to receive varied critiques and support for their projects. Students witness professors collegially debate the shortcomings and merits of a project using different methodological approaches. “This exposure,” Eber says, “aids students in comprehending which approach, or combination thereof, best aligns with a specific line of inquiry. Personally, I hold the team-teaching approach in high regard; I find myself learning as much from my colleagues as I do from the students.”

Hailing from Johannesburg, Eber graduated from The Cooper Union in 2001 and then went on to earn her master’s in architecture from Princeton. She founded Studio Eber after years working for firms such as Diller Scofidio and Renfro and Eisenman Architects. Her practice profoundly informs her teaching. “I've been immersed in the reciprocity between teaching and practice for the past 15 years. The productive interplay between these two realms has allowed me to hone my expertise through installations, research projects and built work.” For instance, she has developed independent and collaborative research projects through seminars and workshops at Cooper that led to participation in architecture biennials and exhibitions abroad. “Most recently, I co-taught a workshop with Mae-Ling Lokko, focusing on human metabolism and the complex ecologies of food-cycles. Together with the students, we conceptualized, designed, and fabricated an installation titled Everything’s on the Table for the Tallin [Estonia] Biennale.”

  • 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.