The Art Thomson Thesis Fellowship

Art Thomson AR’64, a supporter of The Cooper Union for over four decades, has in recent years focused on students in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. Through the Art Thomson Thesis Fellowship, Mr. Thomson intends to help students take advantage of opportunities not otherwise afforded to them at Cooper, and to enable them to explore and ultimately realize their post-college ambitions. 
The Fellowship was established in 2022 to support the development of thesis projects that seek positive social and environmental change by shaping the built and natural environment in the US and around the world. Fellowship projects engage a broad cross-section of society—especially communities not typically able to access architectural services—and address, through innovative design proposals, the complex social, economic, and environmental inequities that impact these communities. 
Thesis is an opportunity for students to position themselves fearlessly yet rigorously within the expansive field of architecture and its modes of production and inquiry. The Fellowship supports informed, original, and critical thesis propositions by students that aspire, beyond graduation, to make a significant impact in the field and to partake in extended discursive arenas that shape architectural discourse.  
Successful proposals must outline research trajectories that are socially conscious, making clear both the historical and contemporary positioning of any work produced in relation to technological, economic, social, political, and/or environmental issues that are currently entangled in the production of space. Proposals must demonstrate the capacity of the thesis project to be achievable in a way that is public-facing. Examples may include participation in a conference, a presentation to a community board, a design-build project in the public realm, or a broadly accessible interface such as a website or interactive tool.


Martina Duque Gonzalez and Sara Ilich
Jiwon (Jenny) Heo
Mary Love

Sarah Bojsen
Yunru (Daisy) Chen and Frederick Rapp
Dov Diamond



  • 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.