Rychiee Espinosa

Assistant Professor Adjunct

Rychiee Espinosa is a Partner and Co-Founder of mcdowellespinosa, Assistant Professor Adjunct at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture.

Rychiee is a Registered Architect in the State of New York and has practiced architecture since 2004 in New York City, Los Angeles and Detroit within the offices of Steven Holl Architects, Bernard Tschumi Architects, MOrphosis Architects, and S3 Architecture. She has previously taught at the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning and served as Roving Critic at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning. Espinosa received a Master of Architecture degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus in Kinesiology and Psychology from Indiana University. At Columbia University's GSAPP, she was awarded the New York Society of Architects' Matthew del Gaudio Award for Excellence in Total Design and the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Prize. Prior to teaching, Espinosa was an Associate Architect at Steven Holl Architects as the Project Architect for the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in Houston, Texas and the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History's Visual Arts Building in Iowa City, Iowa. 

mcdowellespinosa is a progressive architecture practice based in New York and Virginia exploring architecture, art, urban design, and teaching as an artifact of material and construction experimentation. Since their conception in 2012 they have pursued an agenda to make novel architecture resulting from atypical materials and construction procedures, foregrounding the transformation of localized waste, excess and ubiquity into distinctive spatial solutions, transforming the common into the uncommon, the generic into the unique, and the routine into the anomaly. Among other various recognition and distinction, mcdowellespinosa has won major national and international awards including the 2017 Architect's Newspaper Best of Design - Young Architect of the Year, the 2015 Architectural League Prize for Architects + Designers "Authenticity", a winning entry for the 2015 ChiDesign Competition, the 2015 AIA/DC Unbuilt Award for Excellence, Finalist (as TempAgency) in the 2013 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program Warm-Up series, and First Place in the 2010 Self-Sufficient City Competition.

Rychiee's CV is available here

  • 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.