Student Work Collection Database Launch

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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Analysis: Konstantin Melnikov, USSR Pavilion. Charles Krekelberg – Design III, Spring 1995.

Analysis: Konstantin Melnikov, USSR Pavilion. Charles Krekelberg – Design III, Spring 1995.

Save The Date: on Wednesday, November 13th, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture will launch Phase I of the Student Work Collection Database. The event will take place in the Great Hall, followed by a reception in the Third Floor Lobby. Event details to follow.

The Student Work Collection represents over eight decades of The Cooper Union’s experimental, influential approach to architectural education. This material—which will become widely accessible to the public for the first time next month—provides valuable opportunities for enriching public understanding of American culture, history, and the democratic ideals that shape our built environment.

The entire Collection encompasses analog image, text, and audio records as well as born-digital media that document more than 4,500 projects by over 1,500 students from the 1930s through the present. Phase I, which began in the 2016-17 academic year, will include the Collection’s approximately 20,000 analog records dating from the 1930s–2000. This work highlights the singular inclusion of humanities in architectural pedagogy that distinguishes The Cooper Union from other schools of architecture.

Phase II will begin in November 2019 and will broaden the Collection’s published material by focusing on roughly 32,000 born-digital images, text, and A/V records collected from 2001 to 2021. Once complete, the Collection will become the first comprehensive, public, digital resource for historical and contemporary architectural pedagogy and student work.

This grant-funded project has received generous support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.


Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • 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.