October 16, 2018 - The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art - Archive and Artifact
e-flux Architecture
October 16, 2018
October 16, 2018

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Christian Dickson, The Mark of Cain and Cain’s Mark. Thesis, 1991-92.

Archive and Artifact
The Virtual and the Physical
October 23–December 1, 2018

Opening reception: October 23, 6:30–8:30pm
William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship Lecture: November 27, 6:30–8:30pm, with Fabio Gramazio and Meejin Yoon and moderated by Nader Tehrani and Michael Young
Thesis Now Symposium: December 1, 10am–4pm

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
7 East 7th Street
New York, New York 10003
United States

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Archive and Artifact: The Virtual and the Physical, an exhibition presented by The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art from October 23 through December 1, 2018, presents 50 years of undergraduate architectural thesis projects by students of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. The exhibition draws together formative hand-drawn, born-digital, and three-dimensional works by luminary Cooper Union architecture graduates such as Elizabeth Diller AR’79, Laurie Hawkinson AR’83, and Daniel Libeskind AR’70, among a range of other luminaries that have studied in the school’s halls.

In tandem with the projects presented in physical form, the exhibition will include an exclusive preview of the Architecture Archive’s emerging database of its Student Work Collection, which houses a total of 534 thesis projects documented by the school between 1966 and 2003. This content is a portion of the comprehensive documentation of the school's pedagogy, which will first become available to the public through an online database in October, 2019.

“The thesis year is a pivotal point in Cooper Union’s five-year architectural program, as it showcases the imagination and maturity of our students,” says Nader Tehrani, Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. “Thesis is a culmination of an emerging architect’s learning and the launchpad between life as a student and their future as a professional. It allows students to become self-driven and often serves as a touchstone for long-term research throughout their career.”

Projects overseen by the School of Architecture’s founding Dean John Q. Hejduk (1975-2000), a renowned architect and educator recognized for his radical re-imagination of architecture pedagogy, which transformed architecture education worldwide, are included in the exhibtion, as are works from the tenures of former Dean and current Professor of Archicture Anthony Vidler, who held the role from 2001-2013, where work began to consider the importance of resiliency and how a more global society was impacting the field of architecture. The most recent projects completed under current Dean Nader Tehrani are framed by greater societal questions related to the relevance of design and the instrumentality of techniques architects have sought to offer the discipline, and how they can be translated into formal, spatial and material terms.

“We are excited for exhibition visitors to sample and access all of the thesis projects that have been recorded by the Archive since 1966,” says Steven Hillyer, a 1990 graduate of the School of Architecture and the Director of the Architecture Archive. “When the database becomes available to the public next year, the school’s unique educational philosophy will be fully accessible and highight the innovative and thoughtful approach our faculty and students have brought and continue to bring to the discipline of architecture.”

In tandem with the exhibiton, the School of Architecture presents a lecture by Fabio Gramazio and Meejin Yoon on November 27 and a daylong symposium, entitled "Thesis Now," set to take place on December 1.

Generous support for Archive and Artifact: The Virtual and the Physical has been provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

This exhibition is presented in association with Archtober, Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2018.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
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