Education of an Architect
Sue Ferguson Gussow
“Drawing is thought extended through the fingertips.”—Sue Ferguson Gussow
For almost forty years at The Cooper Union, Professor Sue Ferguson Gussow has designed and developed a pedagogy that has influenced aspiring architects of varying drawing abilities to explore the possibilities of architecture through drawing. She uses the language of freehand drawing, one of the most fundamental but overlooked speculative tools for architects, to reveal the potential within even the most inexperienced students and show them how to fully observe and perceive the world around them.
Now, for the first time, Gussow’s unique approach to teaching drawing is collected and presented in written form in Architects Draw, the inaugural volume of the Architecture Briefs series, published by Princeton Architectural Press. Architects Draw includes more than twenty exercises that explore the most unexpected subjects to train the architect’s eye, hand, and mind—bell peppers and seashells as housing; paper bags to reveal architectural planes; shoes to define volume and void; frames and windows to consider problems of measurement and scale; and trees to explore gesture and the interpenetration of form and space—and is illustrated with more than two hundred inspirational student drawings and examples from postgraduate architectural practices.
Sue Ferguson Gussow is a figurative painter who works in a wide range of drawing and painting media. A graduate of The Cooper Union, Columbia University, and Tulane University, Gussow has served on the faculties of both the School of Art and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union and has taught and lectured at several universities and art institutions, among them Yale, Columbia, Bennington, New York University, Maryland Art Institute, Parsons School of Design, and the Frick Collection. Now Professor Emerita of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, she presently teaches the Advanced Drawing Seminar.
ROME | BERLIN | NEW YORK
Diane Lewis, Peter Schubert, Georg Windeck
"Now prepare to make a fantastic assumption. Rome was not a human inhabitation, but also a psychic substance or creature, with a similarly rich and substantial past in which not only whatever has been in existence has never perished but also, parallel to the last phase of development, all earlier incarnations live on."—Sigmund Freud,Civilization and its Discontents, 1927
The project is a study of the plans of the cities Rome, Berlin, and New York in order to propose a 21st-century civic institution and define its site with significance in regard to Freud's definition of the city as a psychic entity. This was the assignment to the fourth-year architecture students at the Cooper Union on September 7, 2001. Four days later the destruction of the World Trade Center occurred.
All the participants in this class witnessed the 9/11 event with their own eyes. Whether seen from the roof of the Cooper Union building or within the streets of New York, each student and faculty member proceeded to address the civic space of architecture at the scale of the city, past, present, and future, for one semester. Although there is only one project specifically proposed for the Ground Zero site, the subject as a whole can be seen as an address to the question. This study as conducted in the aftermath of this monumental urban event is motivated toward the creation of intimate civic space with inventive contemporary program. As the city is now open for redefinition, the project can be considered to address the future conscience necessary to solve the problems posed. The institutions proposed integrate an understanding of the relation between form, site, and program within a literary vision of the possibility of the city.
NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION, 2002.
116 PAGES, 7 X 11.
BODY OF PRAYER: SHAPIRO, GOVRIN, DERRIDA
Edited by Kim Shkapich
I leave you with this image, of prayer in a house with windows. Here, at The Cooper Union.—Michal Govrin
The ‘Advanced Concepts’ course has been an integral part of the education of an architect within the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, researching writing, art, and sound and their relations to architecture. In 1998, the poet and professor David Shapiro invited Michal Govrin, the Israeli writer and theater director, to lecture on certain spatial concepts of the sacred. She, in turn, asked Jacques Derrida to elaborate on questions these concepts raised and their visit coincided with the English publication of Govrin’s Name, a novel voiced as a prayer that was the starting point for the meditations contained in this volume. Body of Prayer is a record of the trialogue recorded on 14 October 1998, and the reverberations between the writings, poems, and fragments of novels written by Shapiro, Govrin and Derrida and an almost silent host, the Cooper Union School of Architecture’s late dean, John Hejduk.
Designed by Kim Shkapich
NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION, 2001.
104 PAGES, 7 X 10.
EDUCATION OF AN ARCHITECT: A Point of View
John Hejduk and Roger Canon
Thirty years later, the Cooper experience in architectural education has demonstrated that in order to deal with the issues enumerated by the critics, in order for the work to be truly of this, our modern world, it was crucial not to abandon the discipline of architecture and substitute it for either planning and engineering, or for sociology, psychology, or anthropology, or to engage in nostalgic or populist evasions. It is a tribute to the original program of the school that such popular and often legitimate concerns never weakened the fundamental faith in the possibilities of an authentic architecture for a modern humanity, simultaneously imaginative and ethical.
On November 13, 1971, the exhibition Education of an Architect: A Point of View—featuring the work of Cooper Union students under the direction of the chairman of the Department of Architecture, John Hejduk, and the dean George Sadek—opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The installation of models, drawings, and photographs along with faculty and student statements, documented work from 1964 to 1971.
To accompany the exhibition, The Cooper Union published an extremely influential limited edition book—long since out of print—of 54 projects by some 60 students showing their in depth explorations of problems based on the visual discoveries of cubism and neo-plasticism as they related to architectural space and thought.
This new volume is a smaller-format reprint that includes all material from the original book—exceptional color and black-and-white drawings and model photographs—and the original introduction by Ulrich Franzen, along with two new texts, a reintroduction by architectural historian and educator Alberto Pérez-Gómez, and an essay by Kim Shkapich, director of the Architecture Archive at The Cooper Union. The reprint charts the foundations of the pedagogical inventions and methodology that a spirited and independent faculty, under the aegis of John Hejduk, brought into what has been called "the best school of architecture in the world."
Reconstructed (with additions) by Kim Shkapich based on the original design by Roger Canon.
NY: THE MONACELLI PRESS, 1999.
376 PAGES, 9 3/4 X 9
340 ILLUSTRATIONS, 20 IN COLOR.
EDUCATION OF AN ARCHITECT, Volume 2
Edited by John Hejduk, Elizabeth Diller, Diane Lewis, and Kim Shkapich
[This book] is a tour de force and, as such, is too much to absorb in any way but repeated visits, tours, comparisons, and readings. It has the capability of inspiring and reinspiring...mobile and accessible, it is a vehicle for ideas and a container of dreams.—Dennis L. Dollens
Demonstrating the transformation and evolution of the student works of the school from 1972 to 1985, and, as well, recording their stability, this second book documents the pedagogical intensity with respect to the study of architectural form-making. It is an extraordinary display of talent, invention, and technical virtuosity.
The first part of this volume chronologically covers the first four years of the design studio: including the Ledoux exercise, the Cartesian House, the Beam and Balance projects; the Utilitarian Object; Analysis; and the urbanism investigations of the fourth year studios.
The thesis year is organized by topic: Instruments, Orders and Projections, The City, The Institution, Outskirts, The House, Bridges, Topographies, and Texts, each punctuated by faculty essays presented as tangential thoughts.
Forewords by John Jay Iselin, Bill N. Lacy and Alan C. Green. Preface by John Hejduk, Introduction by Diane Lewis and Elizabeth Diller. Designed by Kim Shkapich.
NY: CO-PUBLISHED WITH RIZZOLI INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS, INC., 1988.
352 PAGES, 9 X 12
829 ILLUSTRATIONS, 129 IN COLOR.
HARDCOVER, $55.00 SOFTCOVER, $35.00
THE ARCHITECTURE OF LITERACY:
The Carnegie Libraries of New York City
Mary B. Dierickx. Photographs by Lisa Clifford.
The branch libraries provided amenities sadly lacking in the neighborhoods in which they were located. They offered books and periodicals in more than one language, a clean and well-lighted place for reading, programs supporting reading for adults and children, educational lectures, theater, and an educated and available staff of librarians for multi-lingual programming from their inception.—Mary B. Dierickx.
Andrew Carnegie donated five and a quarter million dollars for the construction of sixty-seven branch libraries in the New York City Library System that were built between 1901 and 1929. These libraries were conceived as a collection, with similar plans, materials, and style, and were designed by the finest architects in the U.S. and New York: McKim, Mead & White; Carrere & Hastings; James Lord Brown; Babb, Cook, & Willard; and Lord & Hewlett.
Fifty-four of these libraries are still used today, comprising over a quarter of the New York Public Library system. This publication is a historical, cultural and architectural overview of the New York City Carnegie Libraries, with photographic documentation of the extant libraries and extensive bibliographic information on Carnegie libraries.
Forewords by Rudolph W. Guiliani, John Jay Iselin, and Kenneth B. Miller. With an Introduction and overview by Mary B. Dierickx, a Catalogue of the Original New York Carnegie Libraries and an Inventory of the New York Carnegie Libraries.
NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION,
and THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES, 1996.
220 PAGES, 8 1/2 X 11
Edited by Sue Ferguson Gussow
Trees celebrate life and death. Their branches flare upward in the sky attempting to offer perches to the angels and trees root down into the earth encompassing the remains of the long dead. Man cuts trees to produce his own casket. The sap of some trees gives forth a sweetness to the lips. To draw them is to taste them.—John Hejduk
The drawings in this volume are the outgrowth of the first year freehand drawing class in the School of Architecture. Professor Gussow juxtaposes these studies with citations from literature and poetry, creating a visually engaging book which is a visual testament to the senuousness of the graphite line. Published to celebrate the 125th anniversary of The Cooper Union.
Produced by The Cooper Union Center for Design & Typography, George Sadek, Director. Designed by Stuart Hicks.
NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION, 1985.
36 PAGES, 8 1/2 X 11
TRENTON INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR STUDY
An old building is a piece of history. It can teach us about our past: how things were made, and what was considered important, the "look" and the "feel" of the times.—Frank Brill
Documenting a design studio project conducted by the faculty Diana Agrest, John P. Clarke, Sean Sculley, Richard Stein, Fred Travisano, and Michael Wurmfeld. Fourth-year Cooper Union students were challenged to draw on Trenton’s past in designing new uses for six old industrial sites along the canal corridor in Chambersburg.
The study shows that buildings constructed to meet the needs of a bygone era of industrial development can be adapted for new, modern roles. Black and white photographs of the site are accompanied by exquisite ink drawings of the solutions.
Funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. Introduction by John Hejduk.
Text by Frank Brill.
Designed by George and Co.
NY: THE COOPER UNION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE & ART, 1979.
28 PAGES, 11 X 8 1/2
46 ILLUSTRATIONS, 8 IN COLOR.