End of Year Exhibitions 2015-16

The End of Year Show is one of those traditions at Cooper Union that is not merely a record of the year’s production, but rather a work in of itself. Each year, the faculty and student body self-organize to bring the various stages of their pedagogy to the wider public. The drawings are lovingly pinned up, while the models are set on fabricated pedestals such that they become an extension of the very speculations that mark the intellectual work of the semester. The exhibition is truly a work of art.

This year, we opened the doors of Cooper Union on the evening of May 23, inviting students, parents, alumni, and the public at large in this important marking of time, the culmination of the 2016 academic year. As the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, I not only had the honor of opening those doors, but also to participate in the exhibition for the first time, as a professor of first year students in the Architectonics Studio. With all the critical deliberations of the year, the divergent intellectual paths of the students, and the varied synergies of the faculty, what I experienced in attending the show was a real sense of a "school of thought.” Even in those moments where faculties and pedagogies clash, it is evident that there is a broader sensibility, aesthetic, and ethical foundation that binds the students’ work together. This defines our culture.

As we focus our eyes on the future, the faculty and students will be working on articulating this unique pedagogy in a series of workshops, roundtables, and studios that will mark a transition, not only inviting the unique aspects of our education, but leaving room for new intellectual exercises to challenge us in ways that extend our traditions beyond their conventional boundaries.

Nader Tehrani, Dean

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  • 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.