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.

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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.

The evening will be structured as a two part program. We will first assemble a group of current and former faculty to discuss the pedagogy of the school leading up to 2000, as most of the content of Phase I aligns with the span of John Hejduk’s teaching and deanship of the school. Participants include Diana Agrest, Peter Eisenman, Sue Ferguson Gussow, Michael Sorkin and Michael Webb. The talk will be moderated by Guido Zuliani.

A second conversation will follow, centering on the impact the pedagogy has had on the teaching and discipline of Architecture. This will be comprised of former graduates who have become prominent educators and practitioners, including Stan Allen, Peggy Deamer, David Gersten, Laurie Hawkinson, Bradley Horn, Kyna Leski and Toshiko Mori. This discussion will be moderated by Tamar Zinguer.

The Student Work Collection represents over eight decades of The Cooper Union’s experimental, influential approach to architectural education, and this first phase of the database will provide web-based, public access to approximately 20,000 analog records dating from the 1930s–2000, inclusive of almost 1,600 documented design studio projects completed here at Cooper. This material—which will become widely accessible to the public for the first time next month—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 Historical Publications & Records Commission.

View the full Fall 2019 Lectures and Events List.

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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.