Selected Undergraduate Design Studio Projects--Design III Spring 2015


Professors Michael Young, David Allin, Sanuel Anderson, Ashok Raiji, Rosalyne Shieh, Sheng Shi

The spring semester of Design III builds off of the analytical work of the fall semester by synthesizing the analytical concepts of movement, structure, program, and environment into a design proposal.  The typology that the studio addressed this semester was that of an educational building, specifically a New York City public high school. The program of an educational environment includes multiple spaces that range in use, scale, material, lighting, furnishing, and acoustics.

This semester looked for a developed and articulated resolution of programmatic, constructive, structural, environmental, and lighting ideas integrated into the student's conceptual and aesthetic arguments. Each student worked individually and was held responsible for resolving all of the factors that condition architectural design. Program, site, material, and tectonics are crucial elements in the development of architectural form and the means by which they structure human environments and relationships. Program is both the reality of functional use and the scenarios of imagined narratives. An architectural site consists of an urban context or a condition of landscape and the cultural understandings that influence the reception of a built intervention. Material, which may seem straightforward, real, and direct, contains questions regarding the status of nature, artifice, and craft. The tectonic idea and the articulation of a building’s assembly is never as simple as revealing construction and is often as much about what is concealed as it is about what is revealed. Further, the meanings of these terms are no longer the same today as they were a century ago. The understanding of the role and influence of these issues on architectural design is fundamental. The studio asked the students to examine and engage these terms as dynamic, shifting, and historically contingent through a series of one-week design charrettes focused on a single aspect. The second half of the semester integrated these explorations into an architectural proposal.


  • 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.