Steven Hillyer

Director, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive

Steven Hillyer received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1990. In keeping with a longstanding tradition of mounting exhibitions and publishing work that informs the pedagogy of the School, Hillyer has curated, designed, and installed over 40 exhibitions at The Cooper Union and abroad, presenting the work of—and often working directly with—such distinguished architects as Raimund Abraham, John Hejduk, Bernhard Hoesli, Louis I. Kahn, Daniel Libeskind, Franco Purini, Carlo Scarpa, Massimo Scolari, Michael Webb, and Lebbeus Woods, as well as the artists Anthony Candido, Sue Ferguson Gussow, Mary Kelly, Costantino Nivola, and Robert Slutzky, and photographers J. Henry Fair and Margaret Morton. Hillyer’s international work includes exhibitions at Prague Castle, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Hillyer has also participated in the fabrication of over 20 publications produced by the Architecture Archive, in capacities ranging from production coordination to design supervision and editorial work. He co-edited the recent publications Thesis 2021Thesis 2020Thesis 2019, and Nivola in New York: Figure in Field. Hillyer is Project Director of the Architecture Archive’s Student Work Collection Digital Access Project, an online database highlighting work produced by Cooper Union School of Architecture students dating back to the 1930s, and possibly the largest archive of architectural pedagogy in existence. This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

Hillyer is also Project Director of a companion effort to develop a database of the Architecture Archive’s Exhibitions Collection, which is comprised of curatorial files, promotional materials, photographs, and catalogs relating to over 200 exhibitions produced by the school dating from 1965 to present. This database will launch in 2024 and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New York State Council on the Arts. Hillyer recently served as Project Director for the Voices from the Great Hall Digital Access Project, an institutional effort to digitize, preserve, and disseminate all known audio and audio-visual recordings of lectures and events made in the Great Hall and held by The Cooper Union, dating back to 1941. The project was generously supported by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

Aside from his work at The Cooper Union, Hillyer is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, producer, and co-founder of New York City based Arkanjel Productions with creative partner Tim Marback. Their first feature film, The Event, was released domestically and internationally in 2003. Hillyer is currently developing several projects he has co-authored, including Black Mary, a series about the woman behind one of the most powerful crime families in Chicago; Four Letters, a feature film based on a true story that tackles the subject of marriage equality; and the play Mend, which was presented as a workshop at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End in 2018.

To view Steven's CV click here.

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  • 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.