Dean and Professor
Nader Tehrani became Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in July 2015. He is principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with construction practices. The firm is based in Boston.
Dean Tehrani joins Cooper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was professor of architecture and served as head of the Department of Architecture from 2010 to 2014. For over 25 years, he worked to motivate academic research to change practice and to test new protocols of practice in the context of academia. His own research targeted material culture as the basis for speculation—exploring material properties, negotiating materials and their geometric predispositions and challenging the means and methods of building processes. Working between the digital realm and the medium of full-scale mock-ups, he seeks to simulate and test alternative approaches towards tectonic studies. The work developed through a series of installations including “Fabricating Coincidences,” Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, 1998): “Immaterial/Ultramaterial,” Harvard University (2001); “Change of State,” Georgia Institute of Technology (2006), and “Catenary Compression,” Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Space (2015).
Tehrani received a B.F.A. and a B.Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1985 and 1986, respectively. He continued his studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where he attended the post-graduate program in history and theory. Upon his return to the United States, Tehrani received the M.A.U.D. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) in 1991.
Tehrani has taught at GSD, RISD, Georgia Tech, where he served as the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design, and the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Architecture, Landscape and Design as the Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair.
Tehrani has been recognized with notable awards, including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture (2007), the U.S. Artists Fellowship in Architecture & Design (2007) and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture (2002). He has also received the Harleston Parker Medal for the Northeastern University Inter-faith Spiritual Center (2002) and the Hobson Award for the Georgia Tech’s Hinman Research Building (2012). Tehrani has received 18 Progressive Architecture Awards, as well as numerous American Institute of Architects, BSA and ID awards. For the past five years NADAAA has ranked in the top three design firms in Architect Magazine's Top 50 Firms List.
His work is part of the permanent collections of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Nasher Sculpture Center and has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and more. Additionally, he has been published in a variety of journals and books, including Architectural Design and Material Design: Informing Architecture by Materiality by Thomas Schroepfer (2011).
More recently, Tehrani has brought his academic and professional experiences together through a series of institutional projects that sought to test out new spaces of academic engagement. Having won the commissions of three schools of architecture, Tehrani completed the Hinman Research Building at Georgia Tech and the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. He has recently completed the new John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design facility at the University of Toronto.
View Nader Tehrani's CV here.