Sue Ferguson Gussow (A'56); Architects Draw-Freeing the Hand

POSTED ON: December 1, 2008

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture recently celebrated the launch of Architects Draw, a book written by Sue Ferguson Gussow (A’56), professor at the School of Architecture. Released as the inaugural volume of the Architecture Briefs series published by Princeton Architectural Press, Architects Draw is illustrated with drawings by Gussow’s Freehand Drawing and Advanced Drawing students, as well as the work of practicing architects. The book highlights Gussow’s pedagogic method teaching freehand drawing to architects, developed over more than thirty years at The Cooper Union.

Taku Shimizu, Study of Hands Derived from Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, 1993.

An exhibition of drawings published in the book was on view at the Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. Gallery from October 2 to 14. In addition to this, a symposium on the subject of drawing in architectural education was held in The Great Hall on October 2nd. The distinguished panel included Sue Ferguson Gussow, painter and educator; Dore Ashton, author, art critic, and educator; François de Menil (AR’87), architect; Steven Hillyer (AR’90), Director, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive; and Michael Webb, architect and educator. The event was followed by a reception and book signing.

Installation view of Freeing the Hand.


  • 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.