The Diane Lewis Memorial Travel Fellowship

Diane Lewis at a Design IV review, Fall 2008

Diane Lewis at a Design IV review, Fall 2008

“For 35 years, Professor Diane Lewis taught a method of architectural and urban analysis at The Cooper Union that was at once embedded in the palimpsests of the urban past and deeply engaged in the production of the present. In turn, this method generated an archive of student projects informed by this teaching in the Design IV studio, thirteen years of which were collected in the monumental 2015 volume Open City: Existential Urbanity, the Architecture of the City Studio 2001-2014. Each of the projects collected there—in an astounding variety of expression and narrative development—attests to the core beliefs that Diane Lewis held as both an architect and a pedagogue. Students were often given a citation from Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents (1927), to launch their work… Professor Lewis took a first liberty with the moment of inspiration to extend Freud’s observation to the urban condition in general, to serve as a springboard not only for rumination on the past but for crafting of a possible future: 

Let us in a flight of imagination suppose that (the city) is not solely a human habitation, but instead a psychic entity with a similar long and copious past (to that of an individual), in which nothing that has ever come to exist may perish. And that all its incarnations are simultaneously present from the most profoundly buried to the most contemporary. (Freud, 1927)

In the conviction that this teaching method continues, and will continue, to hold great value as an inspiration, the Diane Lewis AR’76 Memorial Architecture Travel Fellowship: In Search of Civic Space will make possible a period of travel towards personal discovery and the elaboration of a project in the spirit of Professor Lewis’s teaching method.” 
—Barry Bergdoll, 2018

The Diane Lewis AR’76 Memorial Architecture Travel Fellowship: In Search of Civic Space supports travel and research by an architecture student during the summer between their fourth and fifth years at Cooper Union. The inaugural fellowship was awarded for the summer of 2018. 

Applicants must be full-time, Bachelor of Architecture degree students in good academic standing and enrolled in the Design IV studio at the time of application. Proposed travel should be an extensive, immersive experience that affords an awareness of the proposed site and the opportunity to fully document and analyze its context. Travel must take place during the summer immediately following successful completion of the Design IV studio.


2023 Andrew Hebert
2022 Tianyang Sun
2021 Annabella Chen and Ahzin Nam
2020 Han Na Kim
2019 Natalie Dechime and Chong Gu
2018 Parker Limon


  • 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.