Class Emails

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This page is an archive of email announcements sent to Projects class.

In Fall 2018 we switched to a two-way listserv, for announcements and conversation. Visit the link below and enter your email to get on the list:!forum/projectsthecooperunion/join

You’ll then receive regular updates, and be able to message the entire group by emailing


12/22/18: anything you want to send into the future? 🔮

Hi everybody,

Most Cooper classes somehow begin anew each season, but I maintain that Projects is a continuum. For example: this semester didn't start with a "first class" ... instead, we all jumped in mid-stream at Class 59.

To this end, I've been collecting some of our bits-and-pieces on a class wiki, and I'll spend some time over the break updating the site with documentation from the past two semesters:

Here you'll find brief descriptions of meetings, pictures, readings, people we've met with, and places we've trekked. (It's hard to believe that there's been 75 meetings since Projects began in Fall 2016 🙀) See below for the full list ... yellow highlight = us.

If there's anything you'd like to contribute to this class archive or send along into the future 🔮 for the consideration of subsequent generations of Projects participants, go ahead & drop it here:



This could include presentations you've given, texts or notes you've written, pictures or videos, readings or other texts that were on your mind, something you never showed, or anything else you'd like to record here for posterity.

Thank you for being part of Projects this past semester!!

Have a good break! 

And see you in the new year,


* * *

73 — Final Go-Around, Presentations, Governance & Springboarding ➰📆 ∙ 72 — Presentations, Faculty Searches & Individual Check-Ins ∙ 71 — Course Catalogs, Contracts, "Council on Shared Learning" & Individual Meetings ∙ 70 — Close Reading, Catching-Up & Next Semester ∙ 69 — Faculty Search, Art Subjects, Presentations ∙ 68 — Regroup, Strategic Plan & Open Sharing/Projector ∙ 67 — Reflections, Projections, Close Reading of Art Subject ∙ 66 — HSS protests, 5 min presentations, art faculty search + reading ∙ 65 — Presentations & Discussion ∙ 64 — Optional brainstorm, co-work, talk through any ideas with Vic ∙ 63 — Presentations & Discussion Cont'd ∙ 62 — Presentation from Casey on CFI ∙ 61 — Visits with John Ruth (VP Finance & Administration) + Floyd Young (Director Facilities Management, Capital Planning & Security Services) ∙ 60 — Debrief, recap, questions ∙ 59 — Introductions + Nicole Kidston, Interim VP of Development and Alumni Affairs ∙ 58 — Jakob curriculumStudio run around ∙ 57 — Presentations: Owen, Jake, Faye, Mauricio, Clocktower show with tokyo guys ∙ 56 — Andrew Sparks ∙ 55 — Infinite go around ∙ 54 — Howard Singerman ∙ 53 — Workshop/Run-thru Foundation Projects7-10: Presentation to Foundation Projects ∙ 52 — Prep for Foundation Projects ∙ 51 — Prep for Foundation Projects  ∙ NO CLASS / President’s Day (16-19)Optional: Bus tour ∙ 50 — Will Villalongo, Lucy Raven, Leslie Hewitt ∙ 49 — Jalal Toufic ∙ 48 — Paul Nikulin ∙ 47 — Mark Mitton ∙ 46 — Read FEC report together, Optional: SITU studio visit (after class with Foundation Projects) ∙ 45 — "Katie BlumenkrantzVisit to Cooper Archives ∙ Barry Drogin ∙ C.U. History Project" ∙ 44 — First Class (NOTE: Tuesday) ∙ 43 — Class 43: In-class reading of Postscript on the Societies of Control (continued) ∙ 42 — Class 42: Discussion of Ivory Tower event, Walid's trip, and other updates + in-class reading of Postscript on the Societies of Control by Deleuze ∙ 41 — Class 41: Discussion of interviews, mission rewrite, and Foundation Projects visit ∙ 40 — Class 40: Presentations & discussion about a Transmission to Foundation Projects class ∙ 39 — Class 39: Discussions of Ivory Tower event + Diversity Taskforce + mission rewrite ∙ 38 — Class 38: Discussion with Toni Torres, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness + Interview project ∙ 37 — Class 37: Discussion with Richard Stock, Dean of Engineering ∙ 36 — Class 36: Discussion with Mitchell Lipton, Vice President of Enrollment Services + Presentations ∙ 35 — Class 35: Presentations ∙ 34 — Class 34: Discussion with Peter Buckley, Acting Dean of Humanities, Associate Professor ∙ 33 — Class 33: Visit to the Cooper Archives with Katie Blumenkrantz & the Architecture Archive with Steven Hillyer, Chris Dierks, and Caitlin Biggers ∙ 32 — Class 32: Discussion with Interim Director of Finance and Administration Keith Stokeld and presentation on Chrysler Building by Walid ∙ 31 — Class 31: Introductions + discussion with Faculty/Staff Board Observers Amy Westphal, Toby Cumberbatch, and Walid Raad  ∙ Quarry Trip 2017 ∙ 30 — Class 30: Review publication spreads + "last free class" discussion ∙ 29 — Class 29: Banner drop + mission presentation and discussion with Peter Buckley ∙ 28 — Class 28: 5 min presentations + class publication discussion ∙ 27 — Class 27: Visit to Whitney Biennial ∙ 26 — Class 26: 5 min presentations (continued) + mission discussion ∙ 25 — Class 25: 5 minute presentations + mission workshopping ∙ 24 — Class 24: Cecilia presentation + 5 min presentations + mission discussion ∙ 23 — Class 23: Review CSCU legal documents + Discussion with Zoe Salzman, CSCU attorney ∙ 22 — Class 22: Visit to Lubalin Center w/ Sasha Tochilovsky + discussion and presentations from Xavier, Sarah ∙ 21 — Class 21: Mike Essl + presentations from Anamika, Magnus ∙ 20 — Class 20: Discussion w/ Richard Stock, Acting Dean of Engineering + Presentations from Stefany, Chester ∙ 19 — Class 19: Presentations from Ray, Leo, Jessica + Rachel project update ∙ 18 — Class 18: Visit to Cooper Archive w/ Katie Blumenkrantz & Architecture Archive w/ Steven Hillyer ∙ 17 — Class 17: Discussion w/ Nader Tehrani, Dean of Architecture  ∙ VLC Dispatch Party at 41 Cooper Gallery ∙ 16 — Class 16: Introductions ∙ 12 — Class 12: Presentation/discussion w/ Walid, Ian & Maya, Jake, Mauricio ∙ 15 — Class 15: Presentation/discussion w/ Owen, Emily, Rachel, Madeleine ∙ 14 — Class 14: Presentation/discussion w/ Dempzil, Jesse, Jakob, Mauricio ∙ 13 — Class 13: Presentation/discussion w/ Gabriela, Lulu, Maayan ∙ 11 — Class 11: Presentation/discussion w/ Casey, Delaney, Raph, Vic ∙ 10 — Class 10: Discussion with Javier Rivera, Mechanic ∙ 09 — Class 09: Presentation/discussion w/ Chris Cloud, VP Development ∙ 08 — Class 08: Fish House walkthrough + Course Catalog/Missions discussion ∙ 07 — Class 07: Foundation Walkthrough w/ David Gersten,  — ∙ Dinner and discussion on Nonstop/Antioch w/ Lincoln Alpern and Liz Flyntz ∙ 06 — Class 06: Projects discussion + Architecture Archive ∙ 05 — Class 05: Presentation + Walkthrough w/ Diane Lewis ∙ 04 — Class 04: Presentation and Discussion w/ Jeff Scudder,  — ∙ Open Work Session ∙ 03 — Class 03: Discussion w/ Bill Mea, Visit to President's Office ∙ 02 — Class 02: Presentation at 31 Third Ave. ∙ 01 — Class 01: Introductions + Cooper Archive Visit ∙ Quarry Trip 2016 ∙ Initial Meeting

12/17/18: Class 73: Final Go-Around, Presentations, Governance & Springboarding ➰📆

Hi Projects, 🎅

We'll be meeting this afternoon for our final official class of the Fall '18 semester in room 901 of the NAB! 

We'll touch base on grading before moving on to a class go-around. We'd like to ask you all to think about what additional forms or mechanisms beyond periodic presentations might be beneficial for supporting each others 'projects', these ideas will likely range from the general to the individual and you can feel free to also email us over the break if you have additional thoughts. We'll hear presentations form Zuri, Max, Yonatan, Walid and anyone else who'd like to share today. 

As you're probably aware of by now, a lot of logistical changes and resets take place over academic breaks on the level of the board/admin and the three schools. Over the break we have a chance to stay in touch via this group email and possibly a few get togethers (video and/or in person)! We'd like to ask returning students this year to formally help introduce new students in the spring to areas of interest/themes/resources that have been coming up in Projects and at Cooper over the past months-years (recent-> historical) and will continue to brainstorm how this might be co-ordinated. Please feel free to keep using the google group to share relevant readings/resources, class re-caps, notes, reflections or even just to reach out to everyone💌 

We'll spend the remainder of class today circling around on loose ends and looking at a Governance document as 'governance' seems both to be referenced frequently and hard to track down.  

Thanks everyone for a challenging but engaged semester!



Recap of last weeks class

  • Austin shared with us his experience dealing with the archives to look into the sites of Cooper's academic buildings (realized, demolished, speculative, and renovated)
  • Walid noted a some connection to shafts, heights, and crashes....💥
  • We spoke about how some anachronisms (no 90 degree angles in foundations exterior, building with I-beams, destabilization from the heavy bank note press) lead to effect present day layout of the buildings (the diagonal column, which rooms are classroom vs admin)
  • The renovation of Foundation Building by John Hedjuk was the 2nd most expensive renovation in the country, second only to the White House-- the timing lines up with the split of the Architecture School from the School of Art
  • We spent the rest of class reviewing the new language for the SoA  faculty searches and the 'Report of the Diversity Task Force' 

12/10/18: Class 72: Presentations, Faculty Searches & Individual Check-Ins

Hi Projects!

Just a reminder that we'll be meeting again this afternoon in room 901 of the NAB for our second to last class of the Fall semester. 🌬⏳⏭💀

We'll spend the first part of class on presentations, some new and some following up on previously shared ideas and work. Since we last met, the language for the SoA faculty job descriptions have since been released, you can find them listed herehere, and here-- or more generally with the other new and open listings under the Employment Opportunities page on

Art faculty hires fall 2018.png

You may have just received a Campus Notice linking to the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force report, here's a direct link to the report.

DITF announcement.png

We'll use the last part of class to meet individually with any one not returning for the Spring semester just to touch base!


Recap of last weeks class 🕛🕧🕐🕜🕑🕝🕒🕞

  • Students from the HSS movement and student council had 2 meetings with HSS faculty that resulted in 2 teams that will try to set in motional actionable changes before the Fall 2019 semester
  • We looked at the present day "Seven Areas" in the School of Art, each with roughly 7-8 classes in contrast to the Course Catalogs from 1970/71 and 1980/81 as well as the yearbook from '71. We looked at the language around the degree requirements in the SoA and its move from a 'generalist' curriculum to that of an 'integrated' one- you'll see this language reflected in the the new faculty job descriptions 
  • Casey share a bit about how our legacy of consultants has morphed over the years and the emphasis/dependency on predictive-modeling, the"real time" and contextual data points as drivers for change/constant management and new initiatives 
  • We wrapped up Chapter 3 of the Singerman text which covered changing attitudes about the place of the nude in the training of the artist. In talking about the turn to line as medium of measurement we looked briefly at the work of Cubists which was further accelerated by futurists/vorticists and their relation to developments in film/photography and the 'the decisive moment' 
  • See also “Why haven’t we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?” (1976) and relatedly The first photo of earth from space (1946)... all the talk of points in space deeply reminded me of... 🐷
  • In relation to the rise of admin/managerial positions Casey recommended The World's Newest Profession: Management Consulting in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise)

12/3/18: Class 71: Course Catalogs, Contracts, "Council on Shared Learning" & Individual Meetings

Hi Projects 🌬❄

We meet again this afternoon from 2-5pm in room 901 of the NAB. Including this today's class we have 3 sessions left this semester (today + 12/10 and 12/17). We'd like to figure out a way between now and the end of the semester to check-in with each of you individually, especially if you're not formally returning next semester, just to circle back on things ranging from your presentations, conversations or topics you found useful, and additional support or resources you might want moving forward. 

In class today we'll wrap up Chapter 3 of the Singerman text, with hopes to return to a close reading of Chapter 4 next semester. In light of our upcoming focus on the curriculum and process of new faculty hires and as Singerman's text has outlined the postwar tectonic shifts between Fine Arts, Visual Arts, and Design we thought it might make sense to begin to look at some of our own historical course offerings. You might have seen in your inboxes that Jakob has shared a chronologically organized Google Folder of scanned course catalogs roughly dating from 1909 to around 1975, he's also included a helpful'Read Me' document with some notes!

If we take for comparison catalogs 1970/71 right around the time of the Hedjuk renovation you'll see that the schools are listed as 'Art and Architecture' and 'Engineering and Science' versus just a decade later in the 1980/81 catalog where the schools have split off and are now individuated as 'Art, Architecture, and Engineering' (the formal split happening ~1975 once the building renovation was complete). If you get a chance take a peak at both of these catalogs and make note if anything stands out to you off the bat, both are re-attached directly below.  

1970-71 School of Art and Architecture.pdf

1980-81 School of Art.pdf

In final news, a 'Message To The Cooper Community' has finally gone out about the new ""Council on Shared Learning""....


Re-cap of last week's class 11/26

  • There were to be 2 meetings between HSS faculty and students/student reps on Tuesday/Wednesday
  • Within the School of Art, the Art History (HTA) sequence is being re-worked over the course of the next year partially in response to HSS protests 
  • The Diversity Task Force report was supposedly due
  • Josiah shared some of this unpacking of the 'Strategic Plan' via Delueze's reading of Spinoza which he first encountered in HSS2 with Sonya Sayres regarding the 'plan of immanence', he mentioned qualities like vibrations that might inform beyond the purely visual
  • Zuri shared her experience growing up in a district of Atlanta that was undergoing investment/development along class lines that were reflected in the zoning of the city, the conversation steered mainly towards the idea of shells/boundaries, how if at all to feel good about one's placement in an institution, reputation, and the idea of 'vast spaces of enclosure' via Deleuze's 'Post Script on Control Societies '
  • We looked briefly again at and the Great Hall programming making note of the increase stand-out/blockbuster-ish style events including last weeks event featuring Blondie 
  • Lastly a comic about Twisting Time... ⏳

11/26/18: Class 70: Close Reading, Catching-Up & Next Semester

Hello Projects 🍃

Hope you all had a restful long weekend whether you stayed in the city or were out of town, this is just a reminder that we will be meeting this after noon 2-5pm in room 901 of the NAB! 

We will continue our close read of the Howard Singerman text, please bring your copy of the reading if you're able. Josiah will share some work and related texts and we time in case anyone else would like to present or has updates. We'll also continue to discuss how best to unpack the upcoming art faculty search/hires. This class is being continued in the Spring on Tuesday's 2-5pm and will continue to un/focus on many of the areas and topics that have come up: searches & hires, the mission revision, FEC & strategic plan language and implementation, board composition, data culture @ cooper, initiatives/programming &restructuring, development and admissions, curricular present and history. 

Last week we heard a bit from Walid about the a/typical hiring processes and the different ways that institutions approach syllabi, curriculum, searches, etc. We've referred now a few times to the 'Employment Opportunities' page on which hosts the official language for positions that are open, both academically and administratively. We briefly went over the recent structure/history of the School of Art Full-Time faculty, who's been here, who's left or retired recently, who's come in on the last faculty search, how the language and participation of constituencies outside the Full-Time faculty and Dean factors in, and of the current 3 "Lines" for hire this fiscal year in the School of Art

The Bauhaus has come up repeatedly in the Singerman text as well as in previous class discussions about the SoA's Foundation year and other course offerings; as was noted last week 2019 is the 100th year anniversary of its founding by Walter Gropius so you might expect to see and hear more reference to the Bauhaus and it's related offshoots and individuals in the coming months and year...

Kane shared a bit about his experiences thus far navigating work, internships, and volunteering with and for a number of artists, galleries, and studios. He also shared his experience applying, being selected off the waitlist for and participating in the 'Professional Internship Program' @ Cooper. Though presently somewhat restricted in scale and scope the program has existed for a number of years (at least since 2008) and the earliest Way-Back-Machine web capture of the page dates from June 2016 if anyone is interested in how the language has changed in even the last few years. 

See you all soon 🐿

11/12/18: Class 68: Regroup, Strategic Plan & Open Sharing/Projector

Hi All 🎭,

A quick reminder that we'll meet at 2pm in room 901!

Walid is out of town and will be returning to class next week, while we had planned for some people to continue presenting it might make sense if we wait until next week for longer presentations. If you'd still like to share even briefly this week, particularly if you're working on something time sensitive or that would benefit from help from class we will certainly have time. 

As many of you might be aware there's been more language, development, and documents regarding the HSS protests and now tying everything into to the Strategic Plan (and Diversity Task Force), which will be presented at the upcoming December board meeting. We'd like to use part of class to hear from anyone that was able to attend one of these sessions, as well as share the only public version we're aware of, and review a bit of the recorded stream to the Cooper Union Alumni Association (CUAA). 

We'll leave time to discuss all of this in relation to any presentations or class conversations, the assigned class reading of Howard Singerman's Art Subjects, as well as our proposal to shadow the upcoming Faculty Search. Below I've trying to pull some what's come out in the last week or so, if you know or have access to something I've missed please feel free to send it along! 

See you all soon!


CUAA November 1st Livestream of Strategic Plan Presentation

HSS Movement Student Site

The Pioneer covering HSS movement (general coverage + separate interviews with Laura Sparks, Peter Buckley, and Atina Grossman)

Difference in Dialogue: Presidential Panel on Inclusive Excellence and Campus Climate (A panel discussion @ Sarah Lawrence including Laura Sparks where the HSS movement is mentioned at length from Nov 5th)

Alumni Survey monkey for the Strategic Plan, initially set to close Nov 10th


"FINAL" slides from the strategic plan

Student Affairs Response to HSS movement


Recent Fundraising Letter

Poster for Students to attend Strategic Plan Feedback Session

Cabinet Response to the HSS movement 

Art Faculty Response to the HSS movement
fundraising letter, historic moment
fundraising letter
we're all ears poster
CUAA strategic planning email

11/4/18: strategic plan

As many of you saw/mentioned last week, the actual agenda of the HSS meeting which students crashed was tabled due to you all being "uninvited guests" ... but on the docket was Laura's presentation of the Strategic Plan to HSS faculty.

In any case, she presented a version of the Strategic Plan to alumni on Thursday, which was livestreamed here. As far as I know, this is the first public presentation of these materials:

It's just over an hour-and-a-half long, beginning around 0:02:30 and ending around 1:39:00.

I'd love to discuss with you all, if you can give it a listen. You'll probably get your own presentation of this soon as students, but I often find it useful with these types of things to watch the different versions and track what stays the same and what changes between presentations to different groups and across time.

I typed out these two parts which I found especially significant:

[1:11:53, on data]
LAURA: …just sort of continuing on this notion of rebuilding community engagement — and really eager to hear your thoughts on this. you know the second bullet is about continuing to increase transparency. i think the board and i are very aware that a significant sense of distrust really built up over a sense of a lack of transparency and we’re really committed to trying to continue to increase transparency and then developing external commitment with our neighborhood and our city, our state, and the industries that we are sending students into. 
using internal and external data to improve the academic program. so i’ve been really struck by how many decisions we make based on anecdotal information, and we’ve had interesting conversations internally about data. i think there has been kind of a resistance from some about reducing everything to data. and to be clear i think of data in many different forms. some of it’s quantitative some of it’s qualitative, but hopefully it’s all information that can then inform a set of actions. 
so, for example, we were talking earlier about the issues around diversity and representation. well, it’s really hard to identify it as an issue and then to understand the implications of it if we’re not tracking over time what our trends look like. when we talked earlier about the focus on student retention and student success. you know, this is a small place so it’s very easy to kind of explain away, oh this student left the school because he had family issues, or this student left because she wanted to take a break and do something else for a period of time. and especially in a small place everybody has individualized issues and we can explain that away. 
if we’re not aggregating information about students leaving or failing or when they do well, then we can’t really know how we’re doing, and we can’t be honest with ourselves and hold ourselves accountable about the things that we could be doing better. so i think we need to spend more time at reallylooking in an objective way at how we’re doing.
and then obviously we have other kinds of data points, like we have a whole report from our middle states evaluators that gives us ideas and suggestions of things we could do.
[1:27:50, in response to Josiah (but not really answering the question?) touching on technology, AI, and democracy .... and perhaps alluding to that Netflix series]
JOSIAH: …what would democracy look like at cooper union?
LAURA: So, I think we’re still figuring out what it could look like. I could give you a few ideas of things that it could look like: It could for example — Rachel and I were talking the other day about Peter Cooper’s goal of bringing all of the governors into the Great Hall to figure out what the heck to do with the country. It could look something like that. It could be, we’ve been talking internally about, as we’ve been talking about the potential for computer science in the school of engineering, we’ve been talking about the broader issues around the impacts that technology has had on our democracy and what are we doing to explore those issues. So it could be for example bringing experts together to have a debate in the Great Hall, in the Rose, about what do we do in a society that is now, almost everything we do is defined by machine learning and artificial intelligence, and what are the benefits of that and what are the ways it doesn’t benefit us? We’ve talked about it mostly in the context of the Great Hall because that is what has catalyzed this thinking but we’ve also talked a lot about the fact that so many people don’t come to venues anymore, and are there ways of engaging people around important social issues that don’t live in a physical space. But I think our thinking is very early on that. Does that help?
laura presenting strategic plan sticker voting 1
laura presenting strategic plan sticker voting 2

11/4/18: Reflections, Projections, Close Reading of Art Subject

Hi Projects class,

See you tomorrow at 2pm in room 901!

We'll start class off with space for reflections on the goings on, including HSS, strategic plan, and anything else people would like to discuss.

Then we'll continue our 5 minute presentations/project-ions from those we haven't yet heard from!

(Thanks to Michelle, Lea, Austin, Mira, Owen for sharing last week on packaging, protection, blame, soccer, bodies, erasure, radicalism, assimilation, archives, empires, parafiction, contamination, doubling, beholding, rhizomes, and more.)

After a quick break we'll come back together for a close reading of Chapter 3 of Howard Singerman's Art Subjects. We handed out printouts last week, but in case you lost it or didn't get one the PDF is at the link below — please bring a copy to class.

10/29/18: Class 66: HSS protests, 5 min presentations, art faculty search + reading

Hi Projects Class,

We'll meet at 2pm in room 901.

We'll start with a ~30m debrief/discussion on the ongoing HSS protests, including a silent protest happening today in the Rose Auditorium. If you haven't yet seen the Decolonize Our Curricula statement, please give it a read.

Then we'll move into 5 minute presentations from anybody who didn't present already. 

Thanks to Ariana, Lucas, Faye, Josiah, and Shao for kicking things off last week with project-ions on alternative outdoor education, happiness data-collection kiosks, archive zines and viewings, non-profit tax records, cooperatives and merch, loitering, coverbands, and one-night-only-ness.

Finally, we'll talk a bit more about the upcoming art faculty search, and introduce a reading for the coming week.

See you soon!

10/21/18: Class 65: Presentations & Discussion

Hey Projects Class ✨,

This is just a reminder that we resume our weekly class meeting tomorrow @ 2pm in room 901 of the NAB! 

We've set aside all of tomorrow's class and at least part of next week (10/29) for an initial round of sharing and discussion. We'll hear from Walid and whoever feels ready tomorrow to present for at least 5 minutes in the format of your choosing. If you feel like you have something more than 15 minutes long please send me a quick note! Ideally by sharing we'll at least get a better sense of the constellation of developing interests. We'll leave some time to talk about upcoming readings and classes for the rest of the semester as well. 

A  few of us met casually last week and Austin spoke a bit about the interplay between Projects and his 'Exhibition as Medium' Art History class. We spent the rest of class week riffing on ideas of site, archive, and presentation as they relate to Cooper in the 'present'. Just for fun I'm including our link trail below if anyone wants to see some of what came up up...🧀... 🐀

Exhibition as medium.png

Interference Archive (BK) current exhibit on Free University of New York

The Cooper Archive's, select collection digitizations & texts

Miriam Ghani's Index of the Disappeared

Ouvroir the Movie by Chris Marker

A Joseph Cornell Exhibition for Children (1972 @ Cooper Union)

2014 Rose Auditorium Lecture on Tompkins Market (a former building on site of the NAB)

On Line Cooper Sources compiled by the Cooper Union History Project

The Cruise documentary (1998) about Speed Levitch NYC tour guide

Speed Levitch Cameo in Waking Life (2001)

Wages for Debt, Students for Borrowers, Life for … (2013 @ 16 Beaver)

Throwing Away The Ladder: The Universities In The Crisis (George Caffentzis 1975) in conversation with Caroline Jones (MIT)

Josiah's page on co-op universities

10/14/18: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class 64: *Monday 10/15 OPTIONAL Class*

Hi All, 

Apologies for the late notice, class tomorrow is optional as Casey and Walid will be out of town, we will pick up where we left off with sharing and presentations *next week* (10/22)!

I will be available and present from 2-5pm in room 901 if any of you would like to brainstorm, co-work, talk through any ideas, or go over anything covered in class so far. If you'd like to use the class time to prepare for sharing a next week (at least 5 minutes) about what you've been thinking about so far please feel free to do so. If you have not already and would like to grab a binder for readings and other materials, I'll have them with me tomorrow afternoon. 

A reminder that your 5+ minutes does *not* necessarily need to correspond to a concrete personal project relating to or in response to what's going on at Cooper and that ideally by hearing something from everyone we might better sense emergent adjacencies or overlapping areas of interest as well as possible pre-existing resources. 



10/8/18: Class 63: Presentations & Discussion Cont'd

Hi all,

We're meeting again this afternoon in room 901 of the NAB @ 2pm!  

Following our early semester sessions regarding the school's finances and recent initiatives as well as our visits from Nichole Kidston (interim vice president of alumni affairs and development), John Ruth (vice president, finance and administration), and Floyd Young (Director, Facilities Management, Capital Planning & Security Services) we thought last week and the next few classes might best be used for more general discussion as well as a few presentations. 

Walid and I (and possibly a few others) will share a bit in the first part of class and we'll have time if anyone else would like to also jump in today. We'd like you all to think and begin to get ready to share where all, part, or none of what's been covered so far is taking you-- be it an initiative, gut reaction, 'project', concept, slow burn, existing media, speculative form, new or old thread relating to your practice or something wholly different it'd be good to get a feel for what's percolating ☕

We'll also hand out the Projects readings/object binder boxes and touch on how we might go about populating these over the rest of the year!


10/7/18: Class 62: Presentation from Casey on CFI

Hi Projects class,

Sending along this retroactive class email giving a slight recap of last week. 

Look out for another message soon from Vic with a few details on tomorrow! 

- - -

We began class with a few words from Josiah, reflecting on John Ruth's visit, the specious idea that the current economy is healthy or robust, linkages with environmental concerns including the "hot house" effect, and the book Emergent Strategy.

In case you missed it in his earlier email, Josiah circulated a doc with two readings and space to add your own, if you are interested in forming reading clusters outside of class.

- - -

We then moved into my lo-o-o-ong presentation on CFI. 

I just shared you all on a Google Doc with a [1]raw transcript, which you have comment access on if you'd like to annotate anything there. And you can re-watch the screen recording here.

Thanks for listening patiently through what is admittedly still a way-too-long ramble across a tangle of "research", thoughts, and feelings taking shape for me over the past ten years.

And thanks especially for your questions, reactions, and responses throughout the presentation and after class. If anything is lingering or has arisen for you I'd be super grateful to hear what feels resonant. I am somewhat in the weeds with the topic, so it can be hard to get a sense of what threads people think are worth pursuing. You can respond to the group on this thread or write to me individually.

I'll keep you all posted as I make "progress..."

"..." because I'd like to get away from the idea, as we workshop ideas together, that I (or any of us) have to present a solution or solve a puzzle or sharpen an argument towards some end, and think more about how to widen ambiguities in a time that feels full of false-certainty.

I'm reminded of the word "Project", and how we might be inadvertently mis-characterizing it in our class title... Dictionary sez "Project" is "an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim". 

That's not it at all!! (For me, at least.)

I'd like to think with you all more about Projects as Projections

  • to estimate or forecast (something) on the basis of present trends
  • to extend outward beyond something else
  • to throw or cause to move forward or outward
  • to present or promote (a particular view or image)
  • to make a projection of (the earth, sky, etc.) on a plane surface


9/23/18: Class 61: Visits with John Ruth (VP Finance & Administration) + Floyd Young (Director Facilities Management, Capital Planning & Security Services)

Hi Projects class,

See you Monday at 2pm in 901 NAB! 

This week we have two back-to-back visits with John Ruth and Floyd Young. If you have a moment before class, take a look through the "Plan To Free" and see what questions come up ... John and Floyd's roles are both very relevant to different aspects of this document.

- - -

John Ruth

Vice President, Finance & Administration

On the Finance & Administration section of Cooper's website you'll find links to documents we've touched on, such as Audited Financial Statements and 990 Tax Filings. (Also, here is a link to Faye's presentation on 990s from last semester.)

Aside from day-to-day finance, John has also been a key figure in the Free Education Committee's work, presenting alongside Laura at the FEC Q&A sessions held early this year. (Livestream archives are available on the FEC page under the heading "Town Hall Meetings".) 

The class has met previously with Keith Stokeld and Bill Mea. John is the third head of finance to visit with us (and Cooper's third head of finance in two years).

- - -

Floyd Young

Director Facilities Management, Capital Planning & Security Services

Floyd is a recent hire in a newly expanded role, overseeing everything from security guards and maintenance staff, to the implementation of many changes across campus such as new mail systems, ID cards, and soap dispensers. 

(The phrase "Capital Planning" may be a nod to the Plan to Free's mandate for increased investment in "capital improvement" and "deferred maintenance".)

On the topic of facilities, the class has previously met with former mechanic Javier Rivera.

9/16/18: Class 60: Debrief, recap, questions

Hi Projects class,

Just a quick update that John Ruth had to reschedule his class visit (which was planned for this week) at the last minute. He will instead be joining us next week on September 24 at 2pm.

CLASS 60: Monday 9/17

We'd like to use this week's class to take a step back. We'll debrief, recap, share our questions, and talk about the bigger picture:

1. DEBRIEF: In our first class we dove right into the finances, so we'd like to ask the question: why look at Cooper's finances now? We'd also like to give a bit more time and space to debriefing on our discussion with Nicole, and sharing any thoughts and feelings that may have arisen after the fact.

2. RECAP: We'll give a quick overview of some past visits, activities, and projects, just to give a sense of where the class is coming from. In two years of meandering, what paths have we traversed?

3. QUESTIONS: We'd also like to go around and hear a bit more from each of you on where you're coming from, where you're going, and what brings you to this class? What are your questions? (Any amount is OK, whether it's one question or one million questions.)

See you Monday at 2pm in 901!

9/14/18: Block Party Prep Party & some class resources

Hi All, 

I believe we'll be in touch this weekend regarding some possible updates to next Monday's class! 

In the mean time I wanted to take a second to invite you all the 5th Annual Peter Cooper Block Party (Sat Sept 22nd)! The public/community Block Party which is sponsored by the Alumni Association (CUAA) is seemingly one of the few autonomous community events left which does not fall under the purview of Development, the Administration, or even Alumni Affairs. The event grew out of a defunct "fundraising" dinner which alumni decided to reassess upon the implementation of tuition back in 2014. For the past 3 years the Block Party has been coordinated by myself, Casey and many of other past and present members of the Projects class, Anton Luz (CE '18) is one of the co-organizers this year! 😎 

I'm including below a few invite images below as well as some language about past and present themes. If you'd like to know more about this event, be involved, or help out please let me know! We're also hosting a costume making party @ Cooper *today Friday 9/14/18* from 5pm-midnight in the 6th floor lobby if any of you want to stop by! Thank you Faye and Owen for the posters! 
block party 2018 invite
The theme of the Block Party this year is 'Are We There Yet?', as a means to invite the community and public to get up to speed with and weigh in on Cooper's plan to 'return to free'. This year's event is centered around arts/crafts and a sculpture garden taking inspiration from Cooper/cultural institutions/the tuition crisis as obstacle course, memory palace, labyrinth, participatory theater, etc! The date is set for Saturday September 22nd from 12-5pm outside of the foundation building at the same time as the annual 'Astor Alive!' festival, and for reference here are some of our old themes and sites (2017: Mission, Means, Union!and 2016: What's Going On Here?)
block party 2018 poster
another block party 2018 poster

A few resources to start:

- a bit outdated but in progress, Projects Class Wiki is where we try to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for ourselves! If you're interested in learning to use the wiki, Casey can walk us through

-The Cooper Union History Project is spear-headed by Barry Drogin and has aggregated many of the historical and present going on as well as previous sites and initiatives by other community members as well as press

-last updated in may 2015 the Free Cooper Union disorientation site was a way to quickly pass on organizing tool-kits and meaningful writing by members of the community and press, there have since been a number of other publications, articles, etc that have been written that are worth sharing but we'll have to collate them together! 

-are you interested in some of the seemingly invisible changes going on around campus? We set up this twitter to track changes to which helps highlight changes such as policy and fee/tuition updates, job listings, new hires, and some of the programs we heard about from Nicole. Of note, Casey just discovered two new website headers 'Initiatives' and "Courses Open to All Students' . 
initiatives page on cooper website

See you all soon,



Hi all — an update on today's visitor! We will actually be joined by Nicole Kidston, Interim Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development, and a Consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.

Nicole is alsp part of the President’s Cabinet:

(For more on the DeVos institute, you can read these September 2017 board minutes, which includes a presentation by DeVos Chairman Michael Kaiser.)

Here is Nicole's bio:
Nicole Kidston
Nicole Kidston is a Senior Consultant with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, supporting a wide range of arts organizations with short and long term goals around strategic planning, community engagement, artistic planning, marketing and fundraising.
Prior to her role with the DeVos Institute, Nicole served as the Deputy Director of Development for Park Avenue Armory, a ground-breaking cultural institution in New York that produces unconventional work that cannot be mounted in traditional performance spaces. In this capacity, Nicole led the day-to-day operations of the 13-person Development Office which grew fundraising over 25% from 2015 to 2017.
From 2005 to 2015, Nicole served in a variety of capacities in the Development Office of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In her last role at the Kennedy Center, she served as one of the Directors of Development, focusing on the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and Washington National Opera (WNO). Her portfolio included identifying and raising over $25 million annually with a team of 18 through individual, government, foundation, and corporate support. She focused particularly on board development, major gifts, sponsorships of productions, series, and educational initiatives, and event fundraising including major Galas and over 170 cultivation events throughout the year. Also at the Kennedy Center, Nicole served as the Director of Affiliate Individual Giving and the Manager of National Symphony Orchestra Development.
Prior to that, Nicole coordinated Kennedy Center major giving, facilitated the international donor travel program and coordinated major giving for international festivals and programming.
Nicole has a degree in Art History from The Ohio State University.

9/9/18: Projects Class begins tomorrow! 2pm (Monday 9/10) in Room 901 NAB

Hi everybody,

Projects Class begins tomorrow at 2pm (Monday 9/10) in Room 901 NAB. See you there!

CLASS 59: Monday 9/10

We’ll start off with an overview of Projects class and do a round of introductions. 

In the second half of class we’ll be joined by Elizabeth Rivera, Senior Major Gifts Officer, for a discussion on development and fundraising.


Course description graph.png


Below is a brief overview of the first half of the coming semester of Projects...

Classes 1-3 (September)

  • Class 1: 
    • Introductions.
    • Visitor: Elizabeth Rivera, Senior Major Gifts Officer
  • Class 2: 
    • Discussion: Finances.
    • Visitor: John Ruth, Vice President Finance and Administration
  • Class 3: 
    • Discussion: Elephants in the room and trojan horses…
    • Visitor: Floyd Young, Director Facilities Management, Capital Planning & Security Services

Classes 4-5 (Early October)

  • Class 4: Projections from Victoria and Jakob, Walid, and Casey.
  • Class 5: Projections from class participants.

Classes 7-9 (Late October - November)

  • Class 7, 8, 9: Close readings.
Great hall box.jpg

7/9/18: Season 3 🤩 🎬

Hey Projects people,

Hope you’ve been having a great summer!

We set up a listserv to stay connected. Visit the link below and drop your email to join:!forum/projectsthecooperunion/join

Once you sign up, you’ll continue getting class updates, and you can also send messages to the entire group by emailing

Ant copy.gif

All colleges make use of the quiet summer to subtly set big plans and small changes into motion, and Cooper is no exception. 

Some things on our radar: new cross-institutional partnerships, all kinds of new policies, a drastically expanding fundraising and development department, a still-impending humanities program revamp, admissions restructuring, growing dataification and focus on institutional research methodologies, encroaching culture of philanthropy, still-developing cross-school fab-lab plans, more new art faculty hires in the coming year, new engineering dean, changing of the security firm (again), new systems for tracking campus assets and maintenance, turning over of some board members and administrators, and an influx of new consultants working on enterprise risk management, restructuring the IT department, and seemingly everything else.


All of this, of course, interacts with some of our previously-identified elephants in the room: search processes and hires, a presidential transition, free education committee, diversity task force, accreditation, community planning collaborative, strategic planning, credit hours, mission rewrite, administrative restructuring, and new great hall programming.

A ilst200.gif

3 years into Projects, we’ve held 60 classes meetings. This semester we have about 10 new people joining us, and some of you already confirmed to be returning.

If we haven’t heard from you yet and you’d like to keep coming by class on Monday afternoons (especially if you’ve recently graduated), let us know. If you can’t attend and want to stay involved by email or otherwise, we’d still love to hear from you.

One of our big questions to discuss amongst returning people is how we can continue to steward all these threads, projects, and tracks for one another as they grow and change. We know it might take a different type of support than it has in the past, be it motivational, material, or workshopping beyond class presentations. We want to hear where you’re at!

Class picture, spring 2018.jpg

We’ve been meeting sporadically over the summer to plan some logistics for the fall and work on our own respective projects. Soon we’d like to start getting together with whoever’s around, too.

If you want to jump on a video chat, we’ll be online on Monday July 16 at 7pm. We’ll send a reminder link next week. And if that date doesn’t work, let us know and we’ll find a time soon.


7/9/18: Fall 2018 Welcome

Hi everybody,

We’re sending you this message because you signed up for Projects: The Cooper Union this fall.

Here’s our course description if you haven’t seen it:

Course description graph.png

This is the third continuous year of Projects. Our participants have included enrolled and auditing students from all schools and all years, alumni, community members, and other interested parties. 

A typical semester includes weekly class bulletins, frequent guest presentations and discussions, site visits, close-reading of texts together; as well as workshops, investigations, and interventions in response to the historical and ongoing goings-on of the institution.

The class first took shape in 2016 on April Fools Day at an undisclosed cigar bar. The original proposal was for an autonomous inter-generational study-group, helping bridge community members grappling with the after-effects of the CSCU lawsuit and the charging of tuition. Soon, a pre-existing class“Projects” was re-cast as “Projects: The Cooper Union”, a space embedded within the curriculum, through which participants come together weekly to attend (as in wait for and stretch toward) expected and unexpected sounds, images, forms, volumes, gestures, feelings, and concepts generated by these unfolding events.


The class is semi-porous, open to people dipping their toes in, and those looking to be connected with information or other resources. If you think of anybody who might be interested, feel free to forward this email and put them in touch with us.

On our class wiki(’ll find documentation from past semesters including meetings, emails, guests, and site visits.

Finally, this semester we’ll be using a listserv for announcements and conversation. Visit the link below and enter your email to get on the class announcement + discussion list:!forum/projectsthecooperunion/join

You’ll then be subscribed to our regular updates, and be able to reach the entire group just by emailing

See you soon!


* * *

⚠️ 🏊‍♀️ 🏄‍♀️  Bonus: special announcement!  🧗‍♀️🗿

We’re planning our annual summer day trip, to the brownstone quarry/waterpark from which the Foundation Building was mined, before class begins. We’ll reach out later with more details, but feel free to reply now briefly if you’re interested.

At the Portland Brownstone Quarries national historic landmark plaque.jpg

5/22/18: Class 58: 🗣 presentations / end of semester 🌞 + summer extension 😎 / studio walkthrough 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

Hi Projects class,

We'll meet today at 2pm in 414 fdn. It's our last class of the semester! The plan for today is: 

  • 📰 weekly bulletin/go around
  • 🗣 presentations:
    • Jakob on curriculum research
    • Cecilia on her book "Harmony and Mutual Respect" (which she first presented on in class ~a year ago!)
    • (others are welcome to present updates as well)
  • 🌞😎 discuss regular calls/meet-ups through summer and into next semester, for anybody who'd find that useful
  • 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️ and to close out the semester, we'll run around the building together, to everybody's studios/workspace/or somewhere else at Cooper that you'd like to take the class for a few minutes

See you in a bit.


Hey Projects class,

Since we were able to do such an extensive go around in our last class (thanks, everyone, for sharing!), we will try to breeze through that this week, and instead spend our first hour of class spitballing ideas about the school store and history/future of Cooper merchandise — bring your ideas. 💭👕🗯👚💬 (See also: the Pioneer coverage of the store from January.)

At 3pm we'll be joined by Dr. Andrew Sparks, who has worked extensively in K-12 and higher education. You'll find more background on Andrew in the previous message in this thread.

Cooper Dog Sweater.jpg

4/21/18: Quick Reminders, Class 4/23/18 & Invites

Hi All,

Quick reminder that this Monday we'll be joined byDr. Andrew Sparks, he is Laura's husband, has worked extensively in the K-12 and higher education in both New York and Philadephia, and along with Peter Buckley will be teaching the second half of 100&Cooper this coming fall 2018. We've heard a bit from Eva, Ariana, Kiersten, Taesha, and Casey regarding topics covered this first semester by Nicholas Tampio.

We'll also have a presentation from Faye and next week one from Cecilia. If anyone would like a bit of space outside the class go around to share in presentation form or otherwise please let us know and we can account for it in the coming weeks. 

Thanks to folks who were able to help coordinate and come along to yesterday's Archive Club & Foundation Walk-Thru with Katie Blumenkrantz and David Gersten. We've run various forms of this encounter over the years and likely will continue to workshop the who/when/where and maybe grab mic'd headset for whoever is leading the tour... pix at the bottom!

Finally, I mentioned to a few of you that Casey & I will briefly be on a panel centered around the idea of the 'Archive' later today at the New School, it is right below Union Square and part of a day of public programming celebrating the Vera List Center's 25th Anniversary. I recommend the panels featuring the other fellows as well if you are free or in the area! 
Art, an Index to (see also Politics): 25 Years of Vera List Center Fellowships
An Index, Conversation I: Archive 
3:00 – 4:00pm
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
Admission is free to all VLC event
How does the necessarily selective nature of an archive bracket and determine what can and will be remembered of our pasts and how does this shape our futures? Who has the capacity to intervene in such structures and what are some contemporary methodologies for doing so? Vera List Center Fellows Wendy Ewald, Casey Gollan, Victoria Sobel,Jonathan Weinberg join in a conversation moderated by Vera List Center Curator Amanda Parmer to think through these questions and their relationships to agency, conviviality, and desire.
VLC walkthrough of Cooper Archives with Katie Blumenkrantz
In Cooper Archives with VLC
Students in Cooper archives during VLC walkthrough
David Gersten presenting in Foundation lobby during VLC Cooper walkthrough
Great hall painting
On the great hall stage during VLC Cooper walkthrough
In the 4th floor shop with David Gersten during VLC Cooper walkthrough

4/1/18: 4/2 Workshopping and Visit with Freshmen Projects

Hi Projects, 📣

Tomorrow we'll meet again in room 414 at 2pm. We'll be workshopping our visit with the Freshmen Projects class (7pm room 215 foundation) in addition to our weekly bulletin. For you reference below is the email/prompt that's been sent to the freshmen. Please come prepared to share and participate during our class even if you are unavailable to attend the evening session. You might consider as we spitballed last week- questions you yourself still or have had about Cooper and personally important or pivotal developments, be they your own experiences or historical instances. In case you missed it a round up of readings and resources was posted in the thread of last week's class emails, I'll include the links again at the bottom of this email as well as an attachment PDF of the assigned Howard Singerman reading for next week. 📚
Dear all, 
In preparation for this week’s presentation by Projects: The Cooper Union, we would like to ask you to answer the following question:
What do you wish you had been told (by another student, faculty, administrators, your parents, friends),or known about your first 8 months in The Cooper Union?
Additionally, please prepare
 (at least) One question you still have about Cooper, this question can as broad or as granular as you find appropriate. 
We hope that you answer these prompts as honestly as possible. As an advanced studio course (comprised of faculty, alumni, students, and external community members) the members of Projects: The Cooper Union are interested in your individual experience, in all its particularity. We are also hoping that your answers may form the basis of a document, primer, or snapshot of sorts, to be distributed to the incoming students in The School of Art next year.  A complement to the Disorientation Handbook, a transmission from then students to the incoming class regarding the state of the school, it’s atmosphere, and more.
We hope that reading the answers will permit us to initiate another workshop, to be completed in class. We will listen to each others’ answers, and should you relate to or find “affinities” with someone else’s answer (regardless of whether you like or not the answer in question), we will ask you to visualize it, with a drawing, a sketch, a photograph, a short video or audio clip.  This second part will be completed in class.
We also ask that you do not sign nor write your name on your answer.  We also request that you seal your answer in an envelope.  Do not write your name on the envelope.  We will gather the envelopes, put them in a bag.  We will read the answers together, picked arbitrarily from the bag, unless you opt to read your own response. 
Course description graph.png
  • Lawerence Abu Hamdan's Taqiyya & The Secret Life of Phonemes are p 68-78 from this catalog on the Notion and Politics of Listening
  • Peter Cooper's 1859 Letter to the Trustees, the dialogic formatting by the Library may be of interest as well as some of the language
  • Previously shared in an earlier class, George Lakoff's Metaphors We Live By , all of which is a great read though chapters 14-18 may be useful per our discussions!
  • Jalal Toufic's Director's Statement for Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts ALBA
  • Postscript on the Societies of Control by Gilles Deleuze
  • Josiah's above mentioned Institutional Liberation from 2016 in eflux by the collective Not An Alternative 
  • Freeman's recommendation of bell hooks' ain't i a woman is also attached below


Hey all, if you missed the talk at Cooper on Tuesday by Jess Marshall — EE '17 and former Projects class student — it's online now. I found it to be a very concise (ᴀɴᴅ ꜱʟɪɢʜᴛʟʏ ᴛᴇʀʀɪꜰʏɪɴɢ) introduction to blockchain-related technologies, and it left me with tons of questions.

If you have questions, Jess is already on this email thread or you can reach her here:  <>
Poster for blockchain talk
Blockchain talk


Related to the link Vic sent to Metaphors We Live By (which I also recommend checking out), I've been thinking about/working with some of the institutional language which continues to crop up. Maybe this will turn into dry, dense posters in the form of diagrams, definitions, etc...good for places people linger or wait around, like by elevators? Just some etymological definitions that help complicate what words mean...

Let me know if you think of any loose terms or come across interesting definitions!

p.s. If you haven't read the "who did this" page for Etymonline you're in for a treat. One of the weirder website stories I've come across...

Metaphors We Live By.jpg

3/26/18: [Projects: The Cooper Union]

Hi Projects 🏫✨

Just a quick reminder that we're meeting for class today @ 2pm in 414 of Foundation! Apologies for the backlog in class emails and wiki updates, hoping to get those up to date in the near future (& if anyone wants to help pull together those recaps, photos & texts from this semester please let me know, we can work on it together). As per the shared Google folder for working thru documents and ideas, here is the link & everyone welcome to set up their own internal folder/documents/workspace or just peruse-Talking in the Kitchen ♨️.

We'll kick off class with the weekly bulletin (a format reminder below) and then we'll spend the majority of class doing some readings together, workshopping our upcoming visit to the freshmen projects class, and preparing for our upcoming class visit with Howard Singerman, the Chair of Art and Art History at Hunter College. I'll bring some refreshments, please feel free to bring some food or drink to share if you're able! 🐝

  • Progress: fill us in on where you or your group are at with a project (individual or group) 
  • Ask : something specific you need help with & how others can follow up
  • Share: something external you read or saw that feels relevant to the class (reading, media, show, piece)
  • Update: an observation or development internal to the school you think everyone would benefit knowing about
Appeal To The Cooper Community
In the Cooper Archives

3/4/18: Class 50: Full-Time Art Faculty: Leslie Hewitt, Lucy Raven, and Will Villalongo

Hi Projects class 🌬,

This week we’ll be joined in our discussion by Leslie HewittLucy Raven, and Will Villalongo, the three of whom were appointed as the newest Full-Time Faculty of the School of Art in Fall 2016. Here’s the announcement of their hiring, from the May 9, 2016 SoA newsletter:
After an extensive search, the School of Art welcomes three additions to the full-time faculty. All will begin teaching in Fall of 2016: Leslie Hewitt will teach a studio class and Contemporary Art Issues; Lucy Raven, Advanced Film/Video and Sculpture; and William Villalongo, Painting and Basic Drawing.
Leslie Hewitt graduated from The Cooper Union, earned an MFA from Yale University, and has studied Africana Studies and Cultural Studies at New York University.  She has exhibited in a number of national and international galleries and has been included in public collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Represented in MoMA's New Photography 2009, a thematic presentation of significant recent work in photography, Hewitt was also the spring 2012 Guna S. Mundheim Fellow in the visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany. Hewitt currently teaches Professional Practice in the Art History department at Barnard College and is a Visiting Critic at the Yale School of Art. 
Lucy Raven graduated with a BFA in studio art and a BA in art history from the University of Arizona, and earned her MFA at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She works with animation, installation, sound, and the live format of the illustrated lecture. Raven's films and installations have been exhibited internationally, including at MoMA, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; mumok, Vienna; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Portikus, Frankfurt; the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Raven was recently an artist in residence at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, where she created a new site-specific cinema built for a single (3D) image. Raven also teaches in the MFA program at Bard.
William Villalongo received his BFA from The Cooper Union and his MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. His work resides in several notable public collections including The Studio Museum In Harlem, Princeton University Art Museum, the Weatherspoon Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is currently a Lecturer in Painting and Printmaking at the Yale School of Art.
* * *

Class 49: Jalal Toufic

We were visited by thinker, writer, and artist Jalal Toufic.

We began class by reading the Projects Class course description, and then turned to mission statements. Faye passed around her prints of Cooper’s previous and recently revised mission statements, and we read the two versions aloud. “I would fail to write Cooper’s statement,” said Jalal. We then read through Jalal's Director’s Statement for the School of Visual Arts line-by-line, discussing at length the many concepts packed into the statement: failing better; building universes that don't fall apart two days later; the relation between jouissance and art; schools as temporary autonomous zones; the practice of subtle and progressive incomprehension; critique and learning not to correct artworks; failings of an "artistic research" methodology; intuition and communications being sent and received between artworks in the past, present, and future; and how to produce artists and artworks that are not merely "reducible to culture".

* * *

Weekly Bulletin: 2/26/18

  • Dan: Working on building things and could use help, asked if anyone wants to trade physical labor, an hour for an hour. Studio is on the 9th floor.
  • Mauricio: On two committees, Diversity Taskforce and Community Planning Collaborative. Feeling under and over qualified to think about the pedagogy of Cooper. Asking for help accessing the conversation. Walid suggested asking Judith Bernstein about the minutes of the curriculum committee.
  • Dempzil: Preoccupied with show, coming up May 1 together w Yonaton. Has been looking into Aby Warburg. 
  • Yonaton: Working on show. Made posters for Daniel Arsham lecture.
  • Harry: Organized and drove for the bus trip around the city last Monday, visiting: TKTKTK Read printed out articles while we toured around, a kind of moving lecture. Vic and Harry made a Google map of the itinerary, and are open to doing it again and changing it up.
  • Eva: Related a little bit to the idea of the Design Club she has been workshopping, Kelsey, Alex, and Richard invited freshman and sophomores interested in design to gather in the type shop on Tuesday 2/27 from 1-2pm.
  • Claire: Spent time in the archive this week with Archive Club. Found really bad typography in one of the yearbooks.
  • Faye: Archive Club met at the archives. Next fundraiser ideas are making a mug and an ashtray, if people have ideas. An ashtray for “What are you smoking?” or “blowing smoke up your ass”? Suggested to talk with Claire’s friend with the ceramics factory.
  • Liv: Shared that Ariella Azoulay was lecturing in IDS on Plunder: The Origins of Modern Art.
  • Vinny: Still working with the artist who's looking for assistants, if people are interested.
  • Taesha: Architecture Lab CNC routers will be up and running in a week. Architecture Party is March 21. Credit hour switch is now affecting Architecture School. Current discussion in curriculum committee about collating freehand drawing and digital drawing into one representational drawing studio.
  • Amelia: Read a really good article on New Inquiry: “Privacy for Whom?” by Sam Adler-Bell on the white middle-class imaginary of privacy violations versus the compulsory visibility of the welfare poor. The article covers two recently released books: Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks and The Poverty of Privacy Rights by Khiara M. Bridges.
  • Casey: Went to MoMA this week, and a saw Tania Bruguera's Untitled (Havana, 2000), open through March 11. Reading a few books maybe of interest to the class: Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanitiesby Martha C. Nussbaum (for the Tampio class), Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University by Howard Singerman (who is visiting Projects Class on April 9), and Elinor Ostrom's Rules for Radicals: Cooperative Alternatives beyond Markets and States by Derek Wall.
  • Kiersten: Ad Chairs met with the Board, last meeting of the semester. An intense meeting. Invited everyone to the CUAA/community potluck FEC event she is co-organizing with Rachel Appel, and Vic for students and alumni to have a conversation and help answer each other's questions. Not guaranteed to work or be more comfortable than admin sessions but hasn't been tried.
  • Ariana: Swamped with work. ESC meeting from 9-10 in 506. Finals week is coming back to Eng school after being gone for one semester, which was a mess. Working on coming up with a plan on how to make that better. Not enough space or time, maybe proposing to add a day to the academic calendar? Heard that credit hours and set and not gonna change, there's a petition going around. No planned replacement of the time they're cutting.
  • Owen: Knee deep in show, a lot formed out of Projects and path through cooper. Happy to go through with anyone from Tues - Sat. Asked for help on Monday, tig welding, holding plywood together.
  • Kunning: Saw Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away at Guggenheim. Communist party of China announced a plan to eliminate presidential terms.
  • Anton: Visited archive with Claire, Faye, Ariana, looking for things to make merch out of. Arch archive is still in the process of calling students for rights waivers for online database and it's taking a long time.
  • (Taesha: Students now have to sign a waiver about reproduction rights, but you have to purchase images of your own projects, photos are $20.)
  • Jake: Heated debate about communication issues between Ad Chairs and Board/Admin with Kiersten and others. Trying to communicate condition and position of current students at Cooper. Feels like they don't understand what students are going through, with pushes for fundraising, publicity, and advertising feeling backwards...cart before the horse. Board doesn't register the toll tuition payments take on students. Feels like students are being leached for resources: as achieving scholars and monetary units. There is an admissions crisis that's being patched over by the common app, only 250 home tests in Architecture with a 30% acceptance rate.
  • Vic: Went on bus trip, co-planning CUAA event with Kiersten and they're enthusiastic about connecting with students.


Hey Projects 🤹‍♀️,

Just a reminder that tonight @

e-flux Jalal will be in conversation with Walid on the occassion of the launch of Jalal's new book What Was I Thinking?, which we heard snippets from during our class visit. I'll be attending tonight and leaving from Cooper around 6:15ish if anyone wants to go together or meet up there please feel free to message me.

The address and event info are: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 7pm          e-flux, 311 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA

ps- there was a very large turn out to last night's alumni association meeting regarding the state of the school and the FEC report. as far as we continue to seek forms and forums to raise the issues we can talk about how this event went more next class.
alumni association meeting regarding the state of the school and the FEC report


Hey Projects 🛎! Here's the event/invite for tonight's discussion @ the CUAA meeting. Hope to see you there & please help us circulate the invite!



To the Cooper Community, 

An FEC Report has been published, community forums held, and lots of emails sent... 

Did this reach you? Perhaps some of you wonder what this all means and why it matters.

The first half of the Cooper Union Alumni Association (CUAA) council meeting scheduled for Feb 27th has been dedicated to an informal discussion of how we got “here” and where we may be going. 

The meeting will conclude by revisiting the FEC Report due to be voted on by the board on March 15th. The CUAA invites all members of the community to this event: students, faculty, staff, alumni & friends are welcome. The event is a potluck, please bring something to share if you are able.

Date:          February 27, 2018

Time:         6:00 to 8:30 pm 

Location:  41 Cooper Square, Room LL101 

For more information, see the financial monitor's report, and the streamed alumni and community meetings #1 & #2 as well as the Consent Decree and related documents

2/24/18: Class 49/50: Cooper Bus Tour & Jalal Toufic

Hey Projects class, 

Expect a longer recap email later today about our class visit with alumni trustees Paul Nikulin & Stephen Gerard, as well as some documentation from the President's Day bus trip around the city where some of us spent the day visiting historic and present day Cooper related sites.

We'll be meeting this week at 2pm in room 414 Fdn and opening with the weekly bulletin go-around, please bring your asks, shares, updates, or progress-es.

This week

We'll be joined by Lebanese artist, filmmaker, and author of various publications Jalal Toufic. From his website:

Jalal Toufic is a thinker, writer, and artist. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. Many if not all of his books, most of which were published by Forthcoming Books, continue to be forthcoming even after their publication. He was most recently a participant in the Sharjah Biennial 11, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, Documenta 13, "Six Lines of Flight" (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), and "A History: Art, Architecture, and Design, from the 1980s Until Today" (Centre Pompidou). In 2011, he was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD; and in 2013-2014, he and Anton Vidokle, led Ashkal Alwan's third edition of Home Workspace Program, based in Beirut.

 Please take the time to review the following texts, and please bring printed copies to class for discussion:

—The School of Visual Arts Director's Statement

— “Epilogue” (interview with me by Hans Ulrich Obrist), Global Art Forum: Transcripts: 1, ed. Maria Finders (Dubai: IMC, 2007), 311–324

— Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, “Interview with Jalal Toufic,” in Towards a Foreign Likeness Bent: Translation, ed. Jerrold Shiroma, Duration Press, 2005

— Aaron Kunin, “Interview with Jalal Toufic,” Rain Taxi Online, Fall 2001

If you know of folks in the class who might not check their class email regularly please take a second to contact them about these readings. 

2/17/18: MONDAY - NYC Cooper Tour

Hey Projects!

This Monday, we'll be taking a tour of Cooper-related sites around the city for the day in a passenger van. We'll be departing from Cooper at 9:30 AM and expect to return by 6:00 PM.

Please reply here with an RSVP and your cell phone # if you'd like to come with! There are 12 seats available.

Thanks! Hope to see you then.


If you want to peek @ the map so far, it is still in progress: here !

2/11/18: Class 48: FEC discussion (Part II) with trustees Paul Nikulin and Stephen Gerard

Hey Projects class ☔️,

We'll meet this week at 2pm in room 414 Fdn and start with our weekly bulletin updates, so please bring your asks, shares, updates, or progress-es.

This week

We’ll continue our discussion of the FEC report, which we started reading through together two weeks ago. 📊 Don't forget your printed copy! 📈If there are questions you'd like to ask directly of a trustee, we’ll have not one but two trustees joining us in class: Paul Nikulin and Stephen Gerard. Paul is an alumnus (CE'06), President of the Cooper Union Alumni Association, Alumni Trustee, and served as a member of the Free Education Committee. Stephen is an alumnus (ME '67), Alumni Trustee, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board.

Last week

We were visited by professional magician Mark Mitton. Mark started with a go-around at the beginning of class to "get the gossip" from us all....with a brief break in the middle for some card tricks. He told us about his training as a magician, apprenticing with Slydini (a.k.a. Quintino Marucci) and Ozzie Malini. He spoke at length about the role of deference and submission in his education as a magician to masters of the craft, as well as his college education in economics. For Mark, being a magician is all about chops, or having and developing skillsets. In magic, he says, the apparent interacts with the actual, and rather than pontificating on truth, a magician is concerned mostly with how tricks either work or they don't. Tricks, says Mark, are the juggling of causal patterns, the apparent elimination of ambiguity, non-philosophical ways of constructing visions, and the sometimes aggressive gathering of social information. Alternating between magic lessons, lecture, and conversation, we ended class by learning how to catch invisible balls, and discussing Mark's hat-grid and duck-rabbit illusions.
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Weekly bulletin

  • Anton shared that ESC is creating a committee to related to searching for a Dean of Engineering. Students of had input in the past but this seems more involved than usual.
  • Eva has been talking with Yonaton about design club, considering casual ways for people to get introduced to and take up the Lubalin Center
  • Bebe asked about how to bring an artist presentation (Tropical Cream) to Cooper? Vic recommended talking to Jackson who runs the student lecture series, or talking to Mike Essl, or Leslie Hewitt (who runs IDS).
  • Liv recommends seeing the Sondra Perry show at Bridget Donahue.
  • Taesha updated that the Architecture School's end of semester show in the Houghton Gallery is being curated this year by the Architecture Archive. Architecture Student Council is working on this year's party.
  • Casey is reading two good books: A History of American Higher Education by John Thelin and Hold On To Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992, by Tim Lawrence.
  • Amelia shared an excerpt from a talk at Barnard College by Sara Ahmed: "The Institutional As Usual: Diversity Work as Data Collection".
  • Vic went to all three FEC feedback sessions.. There were about 10 people at each, they were repetitive, it was unclear what the impetus was, they didn't meet the audience where they were at and it was unclear how they could contribute meaningfully to the discussion. Alumni have been pulling together additional points. A major underlying point is: why should it take 10 years to go back to free. Vic also read an except on belief from "The Case for God" by Karen Armstrong, thinking in relation to "suspension of disbelief" and texts by Jalal Toufic.
  • Walid asked how it works to help people donate directly to the archive? Vic mentioned that Katie has been working with archive club on logistics to make it possible.
  • Claire asked to talk with people about video, especially people interested in wormholes. Kiersten mentioned that Faye might be interested!
  • Jake updated that ASC met on Sunday for an open discussion with student trustee Julian Mayfield and turnout was low but turnout was also a matter of discussion. ASC was inspired by the poster that first years made about the FEC, sentiment was that more of that is beneficial and necessary, to get things out there for people to have a basic awareness. Learned that there's a communications committee that's not active. Julian laid out what he is and will be doing as he graduates. One ASC person is interested in running for student trustee. On another note: there is a company that makes penny crushers for amusement parks that will sponsor a penny-crusher based on foot traffic, you can design the exterior. Cooper doesn't keep track of foot traffic and here's apparently no data, but could be a project to design. Talk to Jake if interested in collaborating!
  • Harry will be in touch with Anton about donating comic sales to the  Archive. Went to alumni session of FEC, finds low attendance not surprising but jarring. Document necessitates presence from community, has been asking people if they've read it, if they're going to a session? (Vic doesn't think low turn out = low interest. An empty room could mean a lot of things to a lot of people: e.g. everyone's on board OR nobody cares OR something else. Attendance shouldn't be used in isolation to contextualize how people feel.)
  • Kunning shared a group show at Artists Space which opened this weekend, trying to destabilize approaches to labor, education. Alumnus Devin Kenny is in it.
  • Owen has been bedridden but going through an interesting line of thought and might prepare a quick presentation. Reading In the Vineyard of the Text by Ivan Illich, thinking about Didascalicon of Hugh of St. Victor, and how the act of reading changed when new technologies of organizing information in a book format became available. Saw an article about what the smallest space information could fit in is? (10^59?) If you pack any more it would create a black hole and it would still be available but take a long time to retrieve. Looking at speedrunning videos, a rogue gamma ray flipping a bit.
  • Cecilia is reading The Exform by Nicolas Bourriaud, on the relationship between politics and art from 1860 to today, and from stonecutters to artists working with information (Walid is mentioned).
  • Kiersten went to the student FEC meeting and was upset, couldn't ask a question about how the turnout until after. Most attendees were student council members already. Trustees were asking students to bring five people and have them bring five people, etc. Only one email was sent and it felt like they didn't want to hear opinions. How do we create a setting for discussion? How do you open up a room so people can join? They had no answers, just said students should've brought their friends.
  • Halle shared that BSU is doing events for Black History Month, forthcoming movie screenings of I Am Not Your Negro Moonlight, and Coming to America. More screenings TBD and maybe a party.
  • Vinny visited an artist's studio who's looking for paid interns for a project, a native american artist who's into the punk scene and creating huge dream catchers. Get in touch for the info.
  • Walid shared next week's class plan: a visit with Paul and other trustees to continue discussion of the FEC.
  • Vic shared that Peter Buckley was moderating a panel "Focused on the Future of Learning: Imagining a Cooper Education in 2040" that was part of the inauguration week, featuring Adriana Farmiga, David Gersten, and Atina Grossman among others. Peter encouraged students to contribute questions by email.
  • Jakob has been thinking a lot about scientific communication, people like Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, James Gleick, people on YouTube making science videos. Read an article on how even deeply trained people harbor deep skepticism of scientific truths. If you measure physiological responses, people have a similar biological response to not believing, a deep and strong resistance to counter-intuitive scientific findings. Exploring relationship of this dynamic in relation to contemporary art and neo-fascism: do people really believe in art in the expanded field: Or is art really just painting and sculpture?
  • Kiersten shared that ASC was having their biweekly meeting with Mike Essl on Thursday, and Ad Chairs were meeting with Mitchell Lipton on Monday to talk about financial aid issues.
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2/4/18: Class 47: Mark Mitton, Professional Magician

Hi Projects Class, 

We'll be meeting again at 2pm  today in 414 Fdn.

Since we'll be joined by a guest we'll share weekly bulletin updates towards the end of class, please still come prepared for the go around:

  • Progress: fill us in on where you or your group are at with a project
  • Ask : something specific you need help with & how others can follow up
  • Share: something external you read or saw that feels relevant to the class (reading, media, show, piece)
  • Update: an observation or development internal to the school you think everyone would benefit knowing about

This week

We'll be visited by Mark Mitton, a professional magician whose practice focuses on 'misdirection' and 'perception'. 

Last week

We began to review the Free Education Committee Report (“Recommended Plan to Return to Full-Tuition Scholarships, January 15, 2018”). 

Laura and the FEC hosted the three out of five 'Community Sessions' (for alumni, students, and faculty. A live stream of the alumni presentation is online for reference. There are 2 upcoming 'Full Community' sessions Wednesday, February 7 from 6-8 p.m. and Tuesday, February 13 from 3-5 p.m.

In response to the feedback events Barry Drogin has summarized some of the points which require additional community feedback and discussion. They echo nicely what we began to discuss last week. 
Class 46
FEC Community Feedback Session in The Great Hall with Laura Sparks and John Ruth
Unofficial poster advertising FEC community feedback sessions.jpg

Bulletin Roundup & MIsc.

- Kiersten, Jake, Evan and the other ad chairs met with new trustees Lynn Landers, Anne Chao, and Wanda Felton. More board updates can be found in Board Chair Rachel Warren's Dec. 2017 Letter to the Community.

-Claire reminded us that Julian Mayfield is continuing his research in the archives pertaining to Cooper before/during/after times of war (enrollment #s, curriculum, language). 

-Yonatan and Eva are planning a design club that will hopefully form next Fall to help facilitate student workshops, so far they're in touch with Sasha @ the Lubalin Center and Mike Essl. 

-Casey shared a passage from Buckmister Fuller's 'Utopia or Oblivion' about the "seeing" or the "sun setting"

-Eva is enrolled in Sam Keene's 'Data Science Projects for Social Good'  which is co-taught by Will Shapiro. It is one of two new interdisciplinary electives Sam is offering this year, the other is a 'Machine Learning and Art' course co-taught by Ingrid Burrington. 

-Taesha commented on the Architecture Curriculum Committee possibly seeking engagement from other members of the community. 

-Walid is the current chair of the Art Curriculum Committee, he updated on some of the more recent committee discussions around senior and end of year show as well as invited the class to visit Situ Studio along with Freshmen Projects.

-Diego, a freshmen in the School of Art joined us for the FEC discussion, he along with other freshmen postered the school with reminders about the ongoing "Community Sessions".

-Dan is still pulling together confirmation on the 41 CS gallery for the EYOS, he is interested in how the class might actively fill the space and looking for others that might want to help coordinate this effort. 

-Kiersten reminded the class that Art Student Council meets bi-weekly in room 215 from 5-6pm with special sessions featuring current trustees Julian Mayfield & Mary Dwyer preceding the upcoming student trustee elections. 

-Kunning invited the class to the first Student Run Lecture Series featuring Manuel Arturo Abreu, info on these events is postered around the school. 

-Anton is working on club funding for the Archive and Exhibition Club and is still hoping to model the closed Archive as a community tool.

-Jonathan and Dempzil are collaborating on re-issuing the 'Mammeries of Time', an unpublished yearbook.

-Victoria shared Chapter 17 from George Lakoff's 'Metaphors We Live By',  in response to some of the language from the FEC report (ie. steep hills, deep holes) the chapter entitled 'Complex Coherence Across Metaphors'.

-Faye and Kiersten distributed more of Faye's hand printed revised vs previous Mission Statements.

-Harry brought up Barry's editorials: "Master Plan Cover-Up" & "The AG's "four assumptions".

1/27/18: Class 46: In-class reading of the Free Education Committee Report

Hi Projects Class!

We’ll meet at 2pm on Monday in 414 Fdn.

Like last week, we’ll start off with our weekly bulletin, please come prepared with a question or something to share:

  • Progress: fill us in on where you or your group are at with a project
  • Ask : something specific you need help with & how others can follow up
  • Share: something external you read or saw that feels relevant to the class (reading, media, show, piece)
  • Update: an observation or development internal to the school you think everyone would benefit knowing about

This week

We’ll be reading the Free Education Committee report together: “Recommended Plan to Return to Full-Tuition Scholarships, January 15, 2018”. If you don’t already have a printed copy, please bring one to class. (Here is a link to the printable version, also attached.)

You don’t need to read the report before class, but if you can take a few moments to poke around the Free Education Committee section of Cooper’s website and re-familiarize yourself with the other documents there (progress updates, financial monitor report, and consent decree) they provide lots of useful background:

We’ll continue our discussion of the FEC report in two weeks time (Feb. 12), when we’ll be joined in class by Paul Nikulin, and have a chance to ask questions directly of an FEC committee member. Paul is also an alumnus (CE'06), President of the Cooper Union Alumni Association, and Alumni Trustee.

After class, Walid has again invited everyone to (optionally) come along with the Foundation Projects class on a visit to/tour of SITU Studio, an architectural and fabrication studio founded by several Cooper alums.

Last week


Stefany Lazar (who has previously been part of the Projects class) presented on Call Your Representatives club, which will gather during club hours (Tuesday 12PM-2PM), with the first meeting on Tues, Jan 30th. If you’re interested, please sign up at the link below, which will also help Stefany get club funding:

(If you have a link or Ask that’d be useful to circulate in the class emails going forward — just let us know and we can include it here.)

Faye also distributed prints of the old mission made with bleach, and an old/new mission comparison slip:
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* * *

Cooper Archives: Katie Blumenkrantz

In the first half of class we visited the Cooper Archives for a tour and discussion with Assistant Librarian Katie Blumenkrantz. This is the 4th time that the Projects class has visited the archives, though it was a first visit for many in our current cohort. Katie showed us the closed stacks, which include many books, administrative records, ephemera, and artifacts (like a piece of the transatlantic cable, old Cooper merch, and Abram Hewitt’s quilted coat) — all organized by an idiosyncratic taxonomy that was established when the archive was founded.

Since we first visited in Fall 2016, there have been exciting developments with the archives. In the past year, Katie has taken on a larger role, and interest in the archive (as measured in reference requests) continues to grow rapidly. While funding is still tight, in 2017 some members of the class (including Anton, Kiersten, Eva, Faye, Julian, and Vic) formed the Archive and Exhibition Club, which has already raised hundreds of dollars in additional funds for the archive by putting on an Ivory Tower screening and producing items available for donation. Other projects like Harry’s Peter Cooper comic (available for donation in the NAB lobby) are also now raising money for the archives. Anton spoke about his experience as a student worker in the archives, helping process boxes of items from public affairs, and asked for ideas and help on a project to make a map the archive’s contents.

Katie also spoke about the future: she is currently at work on processing, curating, and mounting an exhibition to coincide with Laura’s inauguration, including selections from the Cooper Family Documents (acquired through donations from alumni and professors in 2015). She also spoke about longer term ambitions to fund more student workers to help process the archive’s vast amounts of unprocessed materials, reprocess parts of the archive which are not currently being properly stored or cataloged, and to build off the Architecture Archive’s initiative to digitally catalog the collection and make it available for online use.

The Cooper Union Area Study, in the Cooper Archives.jpg

* * *

Cooper Union History Project: Barry Drogin

In the second half of class we were joined by Barry Drogin (EE '83) who, as a student at Cooper, edited The Pioneernewspaper, then went to to publish his independent analysis of Cooper’s finances and politics in The Alumni Pioneer, most actively from 2011-2014. In 2013 he also served as a member of Cooper’s Working Group

Starting with his “Counter-Narratives”, Barry walked the class through his websites, and spoke frankly about the emotional burnout that he faced after years of attempts at helping were turned down, and his work to investigate and analyze Cooper’s financial and political situation were continuously undermined by the previous administration.

His recent work has focused on the Cooper Union History Project. Barry told the story of how in 1873, Cooper’s trustees had invested $100,000 in bonds of Pompton Township, but did not receive the expected $7,000 per year on the investment, leading to some of Cooper’s earliest financial troubles.

As a broad overview, Barry views Cooper’s “middle 50 years” as a period in which Cooper moved from being a non-college to a college much like the one we know it as today. It was also a period of administrative growth, from just a few staff supporting President Gano Dunn, to an administration large enough to span multiple floors and buildings, like today. In researching this period, Barry has conducted a 5 part oral history interview with Larry Gerckens AR '54.

Barry also spoke about the 70’s at Cooper, a tumultuous time in which Cooper’s faculty and staff became unionized, and Dean of Architecture John Hejduk led a gut renovation of the Foundation Building (leading some to feel “Blinded By The White”).

Recounting recent years, Barry questioned whether he has enough distance to write a history of the last 10 years. He noted that the CUHP website relies mostly on quotations from the Attorney General to describe this period.

Finally, Barry scrolled through several documents he is working on (attached), including one about the Use And Abuse Of Infographics, and questionable quotations from the FEC report. (You can access Barry’s presentation materials on Dropbox.) Asked for his take on Cooper’s future, he spoke about a personal desire for radical change and for Cooper to avoid becoming just another college. Citing Cooper’s Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers as a model, and noting that Cooper’s Free Reading Room originally predated New York’s Public Libraries, he posed several questions: What is needed in 2018? What is nobody else providing?

In the second half of class we were joined by Barry Drogin (EE '83) who, as a student at Cooper, edited The Pioneer newspaper, then went to to publish his independent analysis of Cooper’s finances and politics in The Alumni Pioneer.jpg

1/20/18: Class 45: Archive w/ Katie Blumenkrantz and Cooper Union History Project w/ Barry Drogin

Hello Projects Class💌

We'll meet at 2pm this Monday (1/22) in 414 of the Foundation Building. As discussed last week, we'll be starting off each class with a 'Weekly Bulletin'this is a 2-3 minute go around where we'll each speak to one of the following:

  • Progress: fill us in on where you or your group are at with a project (individual or group) 
  • Ask : something specific you need help with & how others can follow up
  • Share: something external you read or saw that feels relevant to the class (reading, media, show, piece)
  • Updatean observation or development internal to the school you think everyone would benefit knowing about

This week

In the first half of class we'll be returning to the Cooper Archives to touch base with Katie Blumenkrantz  to discuss what she sees for the future of the Archives as well look at some of the documents/objects stored there. Hopefully we'll also hear from some class participants that have been working with Katie via Archives research/Archives Club/ or Student Work!

In the second half of class we'll be joined by Barry Drogin (EE '83) who in addition to working with the Alumni Association and on the Working Group used run the Alumni Pioneer. He now helms the Cooper Union History Project.

Last week

We kicked off the semester with introductions of new and returning class members and a proposed overview for visitors and trips. Visitors include, Board members to discuss the Free Education Committee report, Jalal Toufic, Will Villalongo/Leslie Hewitt/Lucy Raven, and Howard Singerman among others as well a possible bus trip to Cooper-related sites and properties and a presentation to Freshmen Projects a seminar that addresses the entire School of Art freshman class. Dan presented a proposal for a collaborative exhibition; Ariana, Kiersten, and Taesha described a two semester humanities course about higher education gearing towards applying to 100&change, and Casey went over the class wiki which hosts documentation from the past few semesters.

Lastly, Walid invited anyone interested to accompany Freshmen Projects (Mondays 7-10pm 215F) on two field trips, one to Pioneer Works this Monday evening 1/22 and the other to Situ Studio on 2/5.

Class 44.jpg
Class 44, Looking at the Wayback Machine archive of


In case anyone missed it Anton sent along Cooper's recently released 990 for 2016 where he cited:

'On page 52 of 58, there is a new mission-old mission hybrid. It has parts from the asterisk, even. I don't know if this answers anything, but this is a legal document of sorts so I guess the new mission was used already. Note instead of how the new mission says "...dynamic setting," the mission in the 990 says things about the "urban setting" etc. so the apparently binding document is different even from the mission, or rather academic vision, sent to the community. More confusion ..'

Below is the directory we generated in class for your reference:​

1/15/18: Class 44: Intros, directory, recap, & score

Hi Projects Class,

Our 4th semester begins tomorrow — welcome back! 🏫 And to everyone joining us this semester, welcome. 👋

We'll meet at 2pm on Tues, Jan 16, in 414 Foundation a.k.a. the sculpture room. (Note: our first class falls on a Tuesday on account of MLK day, but we'll normally meet on Mondays.)

Even if you're not officially enrolled, please feel free to come by tomorrow to say hi, see what's going on, and hear about what we'll be up to this semester. If you need a guest pass, just write back and let us know so we can make arrangements.

On the agenda for our first class:

  1. Introductions / meeting each-other
  2. Class directory + resource & skill mapping
  3. Recap of past semesters and projects
  4. Visualizing upcoming and ongoing dates/processes (a musical score of the institution)

If you're looking for more info, you can check out our class site: which has the course description, and an archive of meetings and class emails going back to the first semester.

12/11/17: Class 43: In-Class Reading & Recaps

Hi Projects class 🌬❄,

We'll meet this week (12/11/17) for our second to last class of the Fall semester, 2pm in room 901 NAB!

If you have not yet, please submit your responses to the following assignments. We'll collect them again in class or you can use the link below:

-1 page about your project, a project you think is worth pursuing or speculative, or approach to this course (individual, group, or otherwise)

-No more than 3 pages typed coming out of your interview with a fellow class member. This can range from transcription to summary and might can include any annotations or additional resources worth appending!

-1 page thoughts, proposals, notes, etc on a possible interaction with Freshmen Projects (a single 3-hour seminar with the entire SoA Freshmen class on a Monday evening this Spring semester). Your idea doesn't need to be confined to the format of a single class visit but that's likely all we'll have official bandwidth to accommodate.

You can submit a PDF or DOC of these files here, or just reply to the email with an attachment:

*Though some people have partial copies of the group interviews we'd like to to collate and distribute a more complete version before the end of the semester so please get your responses in if you have not already!*


This week:

We'll start off by doing a short reading together, followed by a discussion, of 'Postscript on the Societies of Control*' by Gilles Deleuze. Copies will be distributed in class but for your record the PDF is attached below. Hopefully we can use the text as a lens to ground some of our previous visits, observations, and projects.

We'll open the floor to hear back from anyone involved in the Ivory Tower screening and Archive Club event from this past Friday. There will be time to share news of any updates on ongoing or desired future projects and the general going's on around Cooper.

Walid will wrap up class by sharing a bit about his most recent trip to Saudi Arabia, what he was doing there and how it relates to some of his other work on relationship and proliferation of arts and other institutions/systems in the United Arab Emirates, here at Cooper, and by extension-- beyond.

12/4/17: reminder: no class today!

Hi Projects class,

Quick reminder that we're not having class today.

See you on Friday at the Ivory Tower Screening & Community Meet-Up organized by Vic, Jake, Kiersten, Anton, and crew. The event is Free and Public, so spread the word! (10/8/17 from 6-10pm in the Rose Auditorium & Lobby.) Invite with all the details is attached.

12/3/17: Class 42: *No Class*

Hi Projects class 🏝,

There's no class meeting this week (12/4/17)!


This week:

Please use this opportunity to catch up on any of the reflection assignments from this semester:

-1 page about your project, a project you think is worth pursuing or speculative, or approach to this course (individual, group, or otherwise)

-No more than 3 pages typed coming out of your interview with a fellow class member. This can range from transcription to summary and might can include any annotations or additional resources worth appending!

-1 page thoughts, proposals, notes, etc on a possible interaction with Freshmen Projects (a single 3-hour seminar with the entire SoA Freshmen class on a Monday evening this Spring semester). Your idea doesn't need to be confined to the format of a single class visit but that's likely all we'll have official bandwidth to accommodate.

You can submit a PDF or DOC of these files here, or just reply to the email with an attachment:

*Though some people have partial copies of the group interviews we'll try to collate and distribute a more complete version before the end of the semester so please get your responses in if you have not already!*


Recap of last week (11/27/17): Interviews, Mission & Freshmen Projects

We started off class looking the interview documents submitted so far, those who had a chance to read through them commented on aspects like difference in formatting and editing choices as well as possible resonances in topic and sentiment. The conversation steered itself towards addressing real and perceived anxieties about attending Cooper, being a student, availability or lack thereof resources, and how this might play out differently across the 3 schools.

We revisited our conversation about the college's current mission and what we know of the state of the mission revision process. Walid, Harry, Casey, and Victoria presented a document with proposed language that picks up where the mostly available mission draft left off. We spoke about the emphasis on Enlightenment ideals, the presence of some words and absence of others, as well as highlighted the phrases 'a free education that is free from discrimination' and 'science and art, education and service'.

We wrapped up class by reviewing Dan Foster's proposal for Freshmen seminar since he was the only one to type something up, thanks Dan! 🤗 Many liked the idea of allowing for Q&A as well as the possibility of smaller break out groups, we tended towards nuancing when and what parts of history might be useful to share in this context. If and how to address the education of artists in institutions (particularly those in flux), as well as some terms Dan brought up including 'obligation', 'student body', and 'integration'. Josiah suggested we approach the opportunity by thinking about how we might explain both the FEC report as a document as well as present our approach to decoding the document (sharing related documents, our own research and projects, events, objects, locations, etc).


Next Week (12/11/17):

We'll meet at 2pm in 901 of the NAB. Keep an eye on your emails for updates before then & feel free to reply to this thread if *YOU* have updates or anything else to share with the class in the meanwhile!🕵


-Many wanted to know more about the 'Mundus Imaginalis' that Walid brought up, [null here is reading] by Henri Corbin that he sent along.

-Relatedly to the development, honing or resurrection of sense and sensory organs I recently came across an interview with Fred Moten in the Brooklyn Rail where he proposes reassessing the 'holosensual field'

-*This* Friday 12/8/17 come check out the screening of Ivory Tower 6:30pm in the Rose Auditorium. We'll be joined by the director Andrew Rossi and Mauricio Higuera who contributed a significant amount of footage to the documentary for a Q&A. There will be food and drinks, archival materials & much more at the reception in the lobby afterwards! Here's the FB event and a graphic designed by Kiersten, if you're around on Friday and want to help set up or just be around you can reply directly to this email!

P.S. If anyone's interested or free it looks like Laura is holding 1 of 4 "Campus Conversations" of the 2017-2018 academic year this Monday in the President's Office (7th floor foundation) from 5-6pm, more info on that here!

The webpage reads:

Open Houses are intended to bring faculty, students and staff together in a casual setting to get to know one another and foster conversations across the institution. Sign up is not necessary. Open Houses will take place in the Office of the President located on the 7th Floor of the Foundation Building. Confirmed dates are listed below:

Tuesday, October 10 | 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Monday, December 4 | 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 15 | 11:00 - 12:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 4 | 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

11/27/17: Class 41: conversations, freshman project, mission

Hi Projects class,

We'll meet today at 2pm in room 901 NAB. 

We'll revisit the mission, discuss the first stack of conversations & distribute new ones, and continue workshopping our encounter with next semester's freshman projects class. 

To ground our discussion, please jot down one page of notes/reflections/ideas for yourself on the idea of a transmission to the incoming class.


11/20/17: Class 40: Presentations + Discussion (and class recaps)

Hi Projects class, 

We’ll meet today  at 2pm in room 901 NAB. 

Please bring a printed copy of the 3 pages based on your conversation.During the break we’ll make copies for everybody to read and annotate over the coming week. 

Please also submit a PDF or DOC file of your 3 pages here:

We’ll start off today with presentations from Sobel, Dempzil, Jake, and Casey.

And we’ll leave the last hour for a class discussion and a possible prompt.


Recap of Class 39: Class discussions of Ivory Tower event + Diversity Taskforce + mission rewrite (11/13/2017)

We met at 2pm in 901 NAB. We discussed the Ivory Tower event that Kiersten, Jake, Vic, and others have been working on across groups including ASC and Archive Club — now scheduled for Friday, December 8. It will combine a screening, discussion with director Andrew Rossi, community reception, archive fundraiser, and collaborative publication. The discussion touched on the shape of the event, how it has come together and what it takes to pull off, the way school resources are allocated, and what the content of the publication might be.

We then heard about developments related to the Diversity Taskforce, co-chaired by Toni Torres and Sam Keene. We discussed the origin of this initiative and previous ones, the composition and structure of the taskforce, the role students play in and outside of committees, and some of the terms and approaches introduced by Toni in our previous class.

In closing we returned to a discussion of the ongoing rewriting of Cooper’s mission, which we have previously spoken about in class with Peter Buckley, and spent severalclasses workshopping together last semester.


Recap of Class 38: Discussion with Toni Torres, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness + Interview project (10/30/2016)

We met at 2pm in 901 NAB. We were joined by Toni Torres, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness. She presented some background on her studies at UC Berkeley and career including serving as Vice Provost at Drexel University and as an independent consultant. She spoke of the broader charge of her role at Cooper as creating a student-centric culture and climate, and her day-to-day of work like reporting data to federal agencies.

We discussed kinds of data Cooper generates and tracks including: information on entering freshmen; exit surveys and alumni surveys; and data from departments across Cooper such as rankings, retention, grades, giving, and employment rates. Toni spoke about better articulating how data is defined and working on more complete data collection, towards an integrated framework of institutional research and evaluation.

She introduced many terms such as a “student lifecycle approach” and “Theory of Change” model, as well as research methods like focus groups. She also shared some of the people whose writings and concepts have influenced her approach, including: Alexander Astin and Vincent Tinto on student success and belonging, Claude Steele on Stereotype threatCarol Dweck on mindset, and Albert Bandura on agency. 

Toni was kind enough to send along a 3 page bibliography of research and publications she thinks may be useful to the class — see attached.


If you’re interested in questions around “dataification”, I’d recommend listening to this panel discussion from ”New Topics in Social Computing: Data and Education”, which took place in 2015 at Eyebeam in Brooklyn, and was moderated by Joanne McNeil.

11/15/17: re: No class today + interviews due next week

Hi all-

A few quick updates!

**Jake, Kiersten &I have moved the reservation of the Rose auditorium for the screening of Ivory Tower from the evening of Thurs Nov 30th to Friday DECEMBER 8th- partially this will allow a bit more time for outreach, work better with the schedules of engineers & still accommodate the director Andrew Rossi for a Q&A before the community reception/archive fundraiser in the lobby.**

Kiersten and I (and whoever else is interested/available, we've heard from a few!) are going to bunker down starting today 11/15/17 @6pm in room 604 of foundation to look at some older/recent documents and think through some ideas presented by the class and at the smaller discussion re: publication after class and we'd be happy to work alongside anyone! we'll particularly be trying to pin down what's worth synthesizing in these times, thinking about what might or might not be self-evident and working on a timeline and looking at what's publicly available. 

~9pm Archive club is gathering in the same room, so if you'v been interested but not made it out yet pop by 604!

11/6/17: No class today + interviews due next week

Hey all,

Just a quick reminder that we have no class today, but the three pages of interview material are due next week. Please print a copy and bring it to class.

If you haven't been in touch with your interviewee yet, you should schedule some time to talk with them ASAP. More info, interviewee assignments, & contact info are in the attached PDFs.

The class wiki is also now up to date with some of our recent class meetings (35363738), emails, and visitors (mitchellrichard, and toni). (And you're welcome to also contribute your own notes & documentation there.)

Have a good week!

10/30/17: Re: Class 38 (Attachments: Admissions, FEC, and Jalal Toufic)

Hi All,

I'm also attaching the presentation file shared with us by Mitchell Lipton from 2 weeks ago, as well as the financial spreadsheets Anton re-created for anyone to poke around through. Jalal Toufic's writings, which are often referenced in class are all available for download as PDF here.  If you've got other resources we've missed or that you need let us all know and we can try to source or link them.

10/30/17: Re: Class 38 (Interview assignment)

See attached for the conversation assignment, with 3 pages of synthesis due November 13. 

Also attaching some interview questions generated by the class today. 

Everybody please be in touch with your interviewee to schedule a conversation outside of class in the coming week.

Also, a quick reminder: no class next week on November 6.

If you missed today and have questions, feel free to be in touch with Casey/Vic/Harry/Walid to ask any questions.

Chalkboard of some questions for interview assignment.jpg
Projects -- Conversation.pdf
Some possible conversation questions.pdf

10/30/17: Class 38: Toni Torres, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness + 100&Cooper Application

Hi Projects class 🍂,

We'll meet today at 2pm in room 901 NAB. In the first half of class we'll be visited by Antoinette (Toni) Torres, the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness. She is a new addition to the President's Office and as mentioned in Laura's Welcome (Back) Message, Toni will co-chair a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force along with Sam Keene, Professor of Electrical Engineering who was also a part of drafting new mission language and involved in ongoing Middle States Accreditation.

In the second half of class we'll discuss and workshop a prompt for the coming two weeks. 

- - -


📣 If you have any announcements for the class email, feel free to write to Vic, Casey, Harry & Walid. We are happy to send them around! 

📝 If you haven't submitted your initial 2 pages and related materials, Vic is collecting those files — please email her at Once we have everybody's files in we will share them with the class.

- - -

100&Cooper applications due Nov. 19

If you missed Mary (Dwyer)'s info session on 100&Cooper on Friday, the slides are attached, and Mary can say a bit more in class and answer any questions. In a sequence of two new HSS classes organized by Mary, Ariana, and 4 other students in collaboration with Laura students will study the landscape of higher education in the United States and apply, as a class, for a $100 million MacArthur Foundation grant, "that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time." Classes will be taught by Nicholas Tampio and Andrew Sparks, as well as Peter Buckley (who will also review applications and select participants).

Applications to be part of the 100&Cooper class are open through November 19 at 11:59pm to, Subject: Application Request.

Mary Dwyer presenting on 100&Cooper.jpg
100 & Cooper Info Session.pdf

- - -

Last week (10/23/17):

We had a wide-ranging two-and-a-half hour conversation with Richard Stock, Dean of Engineering. We discussed Richard's history at Cooper as professor and former union president; the current dean search and past dean searches; the day-to-day of running a school, as well as the larger work of "cleaning up", examining systems and trying to streamline them, and implementing policies where they're missing; similarities and differences between the School of Art and School of Engineering, from governance, to curriculum, to admissions; missions and culture, or what makes Cooper "Cooper"; what the future holds for the school of engineering, with modernization of curriculum and teaching styles to reflect a changing world; and we also debated two approaches to getting out of debt, at length: slow and steady vs. an immediate and drastic reformatting to operate within one's means.

10/23/17: Class 37: *Room Change 901 CS* & Class Visit with Dean of Engineering Richard Stock & Class Presentations

Hi Projects class✨,

We'll be meeting today @ 2pm in room 901CS (corner classroom, 9th floor NAB). Class will be split this week between a visitor presentation and the continuation of class discussion!

As always we'll bring some refreshments & since we'll all be talking and listening for most of this session as well please bring some fruits or drinks to share if you can!🍎🎃🍵

- - -

This week (10/23/17): 

In the first half of class we'll be visited by Dean of the Engineering School Richard Stock. Richard is a professor of Chemical Engineer, former President of the Faculty Union (CUFCT), and served as Acting Dean of the School of Engineering starting in 2015. An interview with Richard on (2016) can be found here.

In the second half of class, we'll begin review presentations and coordinate meetings/field trips, visits and events.

- - -

Last week (10/16/17): 

We were visited by Vice President of Enrollment Services Mitchell Lipton. Mitchell oversees much of the admissions process, now called "Enrollment Services" and has been at Cooper since 1997. He presented on changes to the Admissions department since the decision to charge tuition in 2014, as well as commented on trends in applications, recruitment, and acceptance raters.  A previous profile of Mitchell for (2012) can be found here.

We also heard from Mary, Julian, and Amelia wrapping up our first round of class presentations. If you haven't already please email in the 1 page of writing that accompanied your presentation.

Mitchell Lipton, Vice President of Enrollment Services, presenting to Projects class.jpg
Mary presenting research on Yaddo.jpg

- - -

Two classes ago (10/9/17):

We began to share ongoing and new projects and areas of interest/research. If you have not yet emailed a copy of the 1 page of writing that accompanied please make sure to send it in! We'll continue to workshop together the resonances of everyones research and proposals for the rest of the semester/year.

Cecilia presenting on her work.jpg
Student presentations.jpg

- - -

Next week (10/30/17):

We'll be visited by Antoinette Torres, the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness. She is a new addition to the President's Office and as mentioned in Laura's Welcome (Back) Message Antoinette will co-chair a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force along with Sam Keene, Professor of Electrical Engineering who was also a part of drafting new mission language and involved in ongoing Middle States Accreditation.

10/3/17: Class 34: Class Visit with Acting Dean, Associate Professor Peter Buckley

Hi Projects class✨,

Thanks to all who made it yesterday to hear Peter Buckley speak on the state of the Mission, HSS and his take on Cooper history as it relates to our present day situation. We'll be meeting next week @ 2pm on Monday in room 414 Fdn for our first round of class presentations!

Please prepare 5 minutes material to share with us about where your synapses have been firing, what more you want to know, loose ends, or any places you've begun to dig. We're asking in addition to the 5 minutes of shared material that you prepare and bring in 1 page of typed material (& copies for the class if possible) as an exercise in having a point of record for where we're all starting off!

As always we'll bring some snacks & since we'll all be talking and listening for most of this session please bring some fruits or drinks to share if you can! ☕☕☕

- - -

This week (10/2/17): 

We had a chance to talk to Peter Buckley as he enters into his new role as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. He's previously visited the class to talk about "Strategic Planning" as it relates to the current re-writing of the Mission, as well as more generally on the historic misunderstanding and inversions of language throughout the history of the institution and higher education.

We spoke a good deal about accreditation, the humanities, turns in American higher and existing and possible examples of experimental/radical restructuring of other colleges. Peter clued us in on some possible upcoming opportunities to address our "common" experiences in the coming weeks & you can read a Pioneer profile on him here, see what he had to say to Vice about the lawsuit here, and refresh yourself on past missions and accreditation reports he had a hand in here.

Peter Buckley presenting to Projects class, Fall 2017.jpg
Slide from a presentation by Peter Buckley- "Are we a union of anything?".jpg

- - -

Recap from the last class (9/26/17)

Last week we met in 414 before meeting up with Katie Blumenkrantz to tour the Cooper Archives where she explained the state and make up of the collection, how it currently functions and her hopes for expanding its availability to the community and to researchers via campus initiatives and continued upkeep of the card catalog system. The Library maintains an active twitter and facebook page.

We met back up to map out people's studio and work spaces over the years, when we have a chance we'll walk together to see where we've been and where we're going. We then met up with Steven Hillyer, Chris Dierks, and Caitlin Biggers to hear more about John Hedjuk, the renovation of the Foundation building, relocation of the archive, its function over the years and its current effort to roll out a massive digitization & research tool for a subset of curated student work, an initiative independently funded by outside grants as part of the School of Architecture's Strategic Planning. The accompanying show for this initiative will be @ Cooper in October 2018.

Katie Blumenkrantz presents to Projects class.jpg
Steven Hillyer, Caitlin Biggers, and Chris Dierks presenting to the Projects class in the Architecture Archive .jpg

- - -

Next week (10/9/17):

Come prepared to talk, share, and listen, we'll be joined by a few more extended Projects members. If we have time at the end of presentations we can begin our workspace walk through of the 2 buildings or set a date outside of class to get this done!

- - -

Reminders & Notes:

  • "A writer is at the juncture of absolute aloneness, which is not to be reduced to sociological and/or psychological solitude; and absolute collaboration, which is not to be reduced to an explicit cooperation with other artists, with the audience, or even with nature."- Jalal Toufic Distracted 2nd edition 
  • The Board of Trustees just held their fall meeting last week on Sept 27, we can speak to Mary, Julian & Walid among others about this.
  • Following the archive visit some students from class have formed Cooper Union Archive and Exhibition Club they'll be working "to give products directly to the archive or to help fundraise for the future", you can talk to Anton, Kiersten, Faye & Julian for more!
  • Anton is interested in following in Emily's footsteps and producing the yearbook for the graduating class of 2018! Students produce entirely unique yearbooks (available in the archive) with support from the Office of Communications/Mindy Lang.
  • While the Model of the Foundation Building is still on campus I'd like to hold an event bringing the 4th year architects who built it as freshmen together to share the life of the project so far, hopefully in late October please let me know if you are interested.
  • In advance of the community summit we hope to organize as a class in the Spring, Jake, Kiersten, myself and a few others are working to host a community screening of Ivory Tower in collaboration with student councils and Student affairs, we could use some help!
  • If anyone is interested in or proficient in casting we have an opportunity to collaborate withAndrew Wilhelm's Casting techniques class to recast the street lights around the foundation building which are rumored to have been repaired by students in the foundry of the shop at the old Hewitt Building during a recession!
  • Owen is hosting a screening of Abbas Kiarostami's 'Close-Up' (1990) this friday @6pm in room 215 if anyone is interested.
Poster for screening of Abbas Kiarostami's 'Close-Up' (1990) hosted by Owen and Anime Club.png

9/25/17: Class 33: Visit to the Cooper Archives & the Architecture Archive + Studio and Workspace Walkthru

Hi Projects class✨,

Apologies for the last minute email, we'll be meeting today at 2pm in room 414 for foundation. Come caffeinated, we're bringing some cookies. We'll be doing a bit of walking to the archives and then through people's work spaces!

- - -

This week:

Following our weekly round up of observations/updates/questions/developments/etc we'll all head downstairs to meet up withKatie Blumenkrantz for a guided look at The Cooper Archives, we'll look at some material's Katie's pulled as well as talk about the history/present function of the archive and it's contents, what types of materials can be entered and who can have access.

We'll take a quick break and meet back in the lobby @3:40 to head upto meet with Steven Hillyer, alum of the Architecture school, instructor & director of the Architecture Archive. He will show us their collection, and talk about their new digital archive of student work funded by a federal grant.

See also, this video conversation between three of the school's archivists.

We'll wrap up with a walk through the Foundation & NAB to take a peek at where you've all had studio and work spaces over the years.

- - -

Recap from the last class (9/18/17):

We spoke with Interim Director of Finance and Administration Keith Stokeld and heard from Walid a bit about the entanglement of financial/investment & real-estate dealings as they relate to Cooper on the individual to corporate and domestic to global scale.

Interim Director of Finance and Administration Keith Stokeld presents to Projects class.jpg
Interim Director of Finance and Administration Keith Stokeld walks Projects class through reading a balance sheet.jpg
Walid presents on real estate and financial entanglement of Chrysler Building.jpg

Please continue to review the documents assigned last week as they'll be coming up frequently and we should all be logging our questions! For comparisons sake here are two relevant class meetings from last year with Bill Mea (former interim President and CFO) and a follow up with Chris Cloud (then VP of Development)- those who were there can offer insights as to how the numbers and narratives have shifted or stayed the same.

- - -

Next week:

We'll be visited by Peter Buckley, Associate Professor and Acting Dean of Humanities who has also played an integral roll in maintaining Cooper's historical documents and context. He's participated in many committees and most recently was on the committee convened to revise the mission under the umbrella of "strategic planning" and has previously chaired the school wide accreditation process (see his involvement in these documents)

Please begin preparing for our presentation cycle on October 9th, we're asking that everyone prepare roughly 5 minutes to share with the class as well as a typed page of notes and writing about your interests, observations, etc as an exercise in getting it down on the page.

- - -

Reminders & Notes:

We'll try to have Mauricio in soon along with other Projects class alums to talk about some of what they are working on these days. I'm including a link to his collective New Santuary NYC  which held and will continue to hold Vigils for those affected by old and new immigration reforms. Below are a few pictures from the first half of the vigil. 

Text from Sanctuary Vigil.jpg
Sanctuary Vigil.jpg

If you’re around on Tuesday, September 26th at 6pm, there will be a memorial service in the Great Hall for Adrian Jovanovic, who passed away earlier this year.

Adrian was a graduate of the class of 1989, an Alumni Trustee, and a founder of the Committee to Save Cooper Union. He fought for the preservation of free tuition at Cooper Union and was one of our community’s greatest advocates for “getting back to free.” We collaborated with David Gersten and the students who built the model of the Foundation Building to bring the model back down to Cooper from upstate- it was partially set up at the Block Party and we'll be setting it up @ 4:30pm tomorrow Tues 26th for the memorial if anyone wants to lend a hand.

David Gersten with the Foundation Model .jpg

ps We're collating some Block Party documentation, if you missed it you can see some pix from the alumni here!

Jake with the Peter Cooper pillow.jpg
Kiersten and Ariana at the Peter Cooper Block Party.jpg

9/17/17: Class 32: Class Visit with Interim Director of Finance & Administration Keith Stokeld and Presentation on Cooper Finances and 2018 by Walid Raad

Hi Projects class✨,

We're looking forward to seeing you again @ 2pm on Monday in room 414 Fdn. for our second class of the semester! We'll bring some light refreshments but this works best as more of a potlucked effort from week to week so please bring something to share if you are able! 

- - -

This week:

We'll be visited in the first half of class by the 'Interim Director of Finance & Administration' Keith Stokeld. Though we've prepared some general questions to guide our conversation with Keith, this is really our opportunity to get a better sense about about the nature of Keith's new role following the departure of Bill Mea (Vice President of Finance and Administration) as well as Keith's views on all things Finance and Cooper. Please try to prepare some questions- no question is too small!

In the second half of class Walid will walk us through some of Cooper's public financial documents- we'll isolate, track, and compare certain budget items, go over financial terms together, and discuss the interrelatedness of finances to pedagogy, mission, and the lawsuit documents. If you get a chance please review:

- - -

Recap from the first class (9/11/17):

For our first class meeting we briefly began to introduce ourselves via school, year, and general interests. We also went over some of how the previous two semesters of Projects were structured and played out. We reviewed some of the current/significant/binding documents impacting the college and the community as well as some of the committee structures that came out of the Lawsuit negotiation between Cooper Union, the Committee to save Cooper Union, and the office of the Attorney General. We also revisited the language of the course description and how this class came into existence.

As a reminder, the class has been and is comprised of students from all 3 schools (across the years) as well as alumni and other interested participants including exchange students! We'll continue to work on building a shared understanding of what and how this college functions—if there are terms or documents or materials that seem confusing, missing, or need clarification please feel free to being them up before, during, or after class or via email!

In the second half of class we discussed a portion of the Lawsuit documents called the Consent Decree which in part mandated the appointment of faculty and staff representatives to the Board of Trustees and related committees. These participants have been deemed 'Observers' because their role is limited to that of an adviser with no voting power on board or committee decisions. We invited to class and heard from Amy WestphalToby Cumberbatch, and Walid Raad about their experiences as current observers.

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- - -

Next week:

We will meet @ 2pm on Monday in room 414 Fdn. before walking over to the Cooper Union Archives to meet with Katie Blumenkrantz and then to the Architecture Archive to meet with Steven Hillyer.

Following the archives we'd like to walk together to see all of your studio and study spaces, maybe we'll drop a trail of breadcrumbs....🐁

- - -

Reminders & Notes:

  • The class wiki is hosted here✨, you can find information, links, documents and pictures from most of the last 2 semesters! All of the previous class emails are hosted here
  • All of the lawsuit documents are currently being hosted on Cooper's website here, a previous Board Chair's official statement are here.
  • The Free Education Committee was formed as one of the many results of the lawsuit, their periodic updates, reports and committee members can be found here.
  • An older essay by Walid about leveraging the community's actionable means is worth revisiting here. The disorientation website hosts an archive of toolkits and essays by other community members and was regularly updated from 2013-2015 and can be explored here.
  • Many Projects class members are involved in hosting the 4th annual Peter Cooper Block party, we're reprising our role having hosted it last year amidst the construction rubble! The theme this year is 'Mission! Means! Union!" and will be outside the foundation building on Saturday September 23rd from 12-5pm 😜.

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8/23/17: Projects Class, Fall 2017 🕵️‍♀️

On a "mission" we never expected...

To a world we never imagined...

An adventure we'll never forget...

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Hey all,

We're emailing YOU because you're alums and/or auditors who've mentioned some interest in the Projects Class this fall. This semester we're scheduled for Mondays from 2-5pm in 414 Foundation, and our first class is Monday, September 11.

Please respond with a YES if you're available in that timeslot & up for continuing on, so that we can get a sense of our roster, and also see about getting you guest passes or building access.

If you're a MAYBE...we wanted to underscore that we know people who aren't in school are wrangling chaotic work schedules while also trying to make time for personal projects, and we'd like to find ways of folding in non-student participation that're more flexible than the expectations of being an enrolled student, while still allowing for reliable group inquiry and the development of individual/class projects. 

We're still figuring out what it looks like to have a class with durational non-students, so let us know if you have thoughts on how it could work for you and we can build around that. 

Alsooo, if there are people on your mind who you think *should* be in the class that aren't yet, feel free to recommend some names. It all takes a bit of coordination on our part, so it's not totally open, but we'd like for the group to be able to expand & contract in ways that makes sense.

Projects 2017 concept

We've been scheming with Walid throughout the summer and we're planning for this year to be pretty different, with minimal repetition of past visits/guests/etc. 

In cases where we DO re-visit familiar things, like the archives, we want to consider what it means for people like ourselves to be coming back to these same rooms and materials year-after-year??

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In the way that we devoted a bunch of class time last semester to following and deconstructing the rewriting of the mission, we have some new ideas for projects involving the whole class. One is the idea of doing a case study of one of the schools. Another is planning a larger community event around understanding the lawsuit and CSCU's work, as they relate to ongoing committees and the 2018 Free Education Report deadline and Chrysler rent bump.

For an early heads up on the reading, we're planning on producing spiral bound copies of the Cross-Petition for everybody in the class, and dividing it up into sections early on to finally all close-read and analyze as a class.

First Class

Monday, September 11


414 Foundation

Come through, and if you'd like to give a hot take on what you have been pursuing in the class or anywhere in your work, there will be time for that during intros.

In the second half of class, most of the faculty/staff Board Observers (Yuri Masnyj, Amy Westphal, Toby Cumberbatch, & Walid) will report back and take questions on their role in the committees they sit on and their participation, which came out of the lawsuit.

September Quarry Trip

We're going to rent a van again and head up to Brownstone Park, either on Labor Day 9/4 or the following weekend 9/9. Let us know your availability for both dates, if you're in for a day of chill waterpark fun and lowkey material history. Tickets are ~$36 for the day including UnLiMiTeD ziplining, and we'll all our split gas/car expenses.

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Final section (SORRY for the longest email ever)

We are STILL working on the book. We got contributions from everybody and think it'll be amazing. We're also updating the wiki continuously with expanded documentation as we pull it together:

We'll be floating around, scheming and working on orientation, block party (sept 26!), lawsuit event, and a TBD inaugural event. If you want to get together or know more on any of those fronts, just let us know!

🐜 🐜 🐜 

Casey and Vic

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5/7/17: Class 30: publication, potluck, recap, summer plans

Hey Projects class,

See you on Monday at 2pm for our final class of the semester 🙀

We'll do snacks potluck-style, so feel free to bring something to share!

Please bring in the spreads you've submitted & any other materials you'd like to include in the class publication. We can look over everything together, with the aim of turning the publication out by the end of May.

We can also spend some time re-capping the year, if anyone has reflections to share.

And we can talk about ☀️ summer project plans ☀️ — seeing who's around & thinking about what's helpful in terms of moving things forward, until we reconvene as a class in the fall.

4/26/17: Today! Free Education Committee gathering 6-8pm @ Fish House, Film Festival 9pm-12am @ Rose

Hey Projects class,

Two quick reminders: 

The Free Education Committee is hosting a "Community Gathering" just for students, tonight from 6-8pm at the Fish House. We know some of you have class, but please attend if you're able!

Free Education Committee conversation.jpg

And the Cooper Union Film Festival begins tonight, from 9-midnight @ Rose Auditorium 


Congrats Rachel, Magnus, Dempzil, and everyone involved! Looking forward to it.

Opening night is tonight!!! Films by Alex Tomlinson, Brianna Leathurbury, Ida Pruitt, Sam Rosner, Paloma Stephanie Izquierdo Alomá, Dempzil Chavian, and Gilberto Mena! Drinks following the screening!

4/20/17: Class 28: publication, 5 minutes, mission + gersten talk tonight, upcoming buckley visit, and film festival

Hey Projects class,

We'll see you on Monday 4/24 at 2pm.

Please bring in some initial materials, sketches, and drafts for a class publication/reader, which we'll risograph! Some ideas: a short reading that feels relevant, sketches, notes, proposals, writings, or something new. As a starting point, the dimension of each page is 8.5x11 in (letter), and we're thinking that it's feasible for everybody to have 4 pages across 2 spreads, like below. Together we can look at it all and move forward from there!

- - -

We'll also continue our 5 minute presentations, from those who haven't gone yet, as several people have volunteered to present this week. We'll go around really fast with everyone, too, to consolidate whose projects are coming to an end before the academic year, and ask everyone to specify if you're working collaboratively with others in the class and/or if you need help.

Registration is coming up and we will continue projects in the same time slot, Monday 2-5. We welcome anybody in the class who's graduating to continue on with us!

- - -

Finally, time-permitting, we'd like to continue our work on the mission. Re-attaching the 35 page reading on the purpose of a mission, from last week's email. On May 1st, we'll be joined by Peter Buckley, who served both then and now as the chair of mission-related committees. So if there are any questions coming up, maybe we can formulate some topics in advance of his visit.

If you missed part I of David Gersten's lectures on John Hejduk yesterday, please try to attend the Part II tonight (Thursday) at 6pm in room 315 fdn. He mentioned that it'll tie back to Cooper and education, so it seems relevant to our discussions.

- - 

Also, Rachel and Magnus and others have been working on the Cooper Film Festival, which is coming up next week. See attached for a draft poster. And please help spread the word!

Film Festival Poster.jpg

p.s. If you're around on Sunday, alumnus Barry Drogin is leading his annual visit to Peter Cooper's grave site at Green-Wood Cemetery. Recommended, if you haven't been yet!

Join fellow alumni at the Annual Visit to Green-Wood Cemetery, final resting place of Peter Cooper.

Rain or shine, appropriate activities planned.

WHEN: Sunday April 23rd, 2017 at 3pm

WHERE: Green-Wood Cemetery

Meet at the 9th Avenue (Prospect Park West) Entrance at 20th Street

(F Train to 15th Street)



RSVP by date: Friday, April 21, 2017

RSVP to: Barry Drogin, EE ’83,
























































DIED APRIL 4, 1883


4/14/17: Class 27: Visit to Whitney Biennial + required reading

Hey Projects class,

This Monday we'll meet at 2pm outside the Whitney Museum (99 Gansevoort St) to check out the 2017 Biennial together.

We'll need to enter as a group, so please arrive on time! And if you can respond ASAP to me with a quick YES or NO on if you'll be joining us Monday, that'll help us logistically.

- - -

Following up on our workshopping of the mission statement, see attached for ~30 pages of required reading excerpted from The Cooper Union: Institutional Self-Study Report, 1998.

The Cooper Union- Institutional Self-Study Report, 1998.pdf

- - -

Later this week, David Gersten is giving two talks at Cooper about John Hejduk: on Tuesday April 18th from 10am-noon, and on Thursday April 20th from 6pm-8pm. Both will be in Room 315 of the Foundation building. Highly recommended! See attached for the poster.

Gersten Hejduk Talks.jpg

4/9/17: Class 26: 5 min presentations (continued) + mission hour + studio visits

Hi Projects class! This week:


Continuing 5 min presentations from anybody who didn't go last week.

Spending another hour on the mission, together. Here're Vic's notes from our discussion two weeks ago, as well as the lists of words that we all narrowed down last week:

We had mentioned maybe focusing on generating new language this week, so please bring any ideas to that end, as well as other ideas on how to deepen our workshopping of the mission going forward.

Here's another link to Julie Castelluzzo's 60 pages of mission research:


On the subject on generating language, Stefany sent along this link to Roget's visual concept-neighborhood-thesaurus:

(If anybody else has links/references to share, feel free to reply-all, or just email me and I will collect 'em in the next class email.)

We'll see some of you for studio visits before & after class:

11:30am Magnus (211)

12:15pm Lulu (614 across from emily)

1:00pm Anamika

5:15pm Cecilia (416 4th floor foundation)

6:00pm Ray (If you haven't signed up yet, we'll bring a sheet to class with more slots in the coming weeks.)


In the news, for discussion:

New York Adopts Free Tuition

SUNY and CUNY students from families with incomes up to $125,000 will not pay tuition. But some aid experts are alarmed by requirement that graduates stay in state for same number of years they receive the benefit.


Here's a link to the banner idea doc that Emily shared everybody on last week: "i think we should full haul a bunch of images and text into it. let's get as many thoughts in one place as possible that we can pull from when we congregate alas. I want to meet Monday after class 5:15-6 and start actually working on stuff next week!"

(See her email on the last thread from April 5 for more!)

4/2/17: Class 25: 5 minute presentations + mission discussion + studio visits

Hi Projects class,

See at 2pm on Monday 4/3!

  • 5 minutes*

We'll get started on the 5-minute project presentations from everybody. If you're feeling stuck or your project feels outdated, speak to what you'd like to be doing now and going forward =E2=80=94 what feels actionabl= e or meaningful now? Also maybe name a project or two that feels adjacent to your work.

  • Mission*

We'll also spend ~an hour of class continuing our ongoing discussion around the mission. The plan is to devote a little bit of class time each week to this through the end of the semester, as a shared project for grounding and processing.

For more on the history and purpose of the mission, check out this amazing PDF prepared by librarian Julie Castelluzzo: "Mission Vision 1988 - 2015[1]" with ~60 pages of research. Julie is currently serving on the Mission and Goals subcommittee of the Middle States accreditation process[2].

It's also worth briefly perusing CUAA's index of candidate bio/statements[3] to get a sense of who's running for Alumni Association Council and Alumni Trustee positions. Each candidate had to write a kind of personal mission statement about what Cooper means to them and how they see themselves contributing.

  • Studio visits*

Monday 4/3

* *11:30am* OPEN
* *12:15pm* Jakey (611)
* *1:00pm *Xavier (616)
* *5:15pm* Raphael
* *6:00pm *Rachel (2nd floor back corner by day's office)
* *6:45pm* Dempzil (9?)

Monday 4/10

* *11:30am* Magnus (211)
* *12:15pm *Lulu (614 across from emily)
* *1:00pm *Anamika
* *5:15pm* Cecilia (416 4th floor foundation)
* *6:00pm *Ray
* *6:45pm *OPEN



3/21/17: Class 24: Cecilia presentation + 5 min presentations from everybody

Hey Projects class,

For this coming Monday, everybody please come prepared to present on your project for 5 minutes. We'll keep time, doing a back-to-back round with everyone. Consider this a chance to share where you're at — wherever that may be — and to think, as a class, about how we can help each other. Feel free to bring in any kind of notes/material/byproducts/work-in-progress, or just talk.

We'll also hear a full presentation from Cecilia.

- - -

Additionally, Vic and I set up a doodle if you'd like to sign up for a studio visit with us, before or after class on the coming two Mondays. We've already had really good discussions this semester with Dempzil, Jake, Emily, Sarah, Stefany, Owen and Delaney.

This is optional, and could function as a studio visit, workshopping of your project, an informal check-in, or anything that'd be useful. We can talk about loose ends, map out resources, and maybe establish recurring meetings. If we've already met, you're welcome to sign up again, and if we run out of slots we'll just add more in the coming weeks. Reply to AllReply to SenderForward

3/18/17: Class 23: Discussion with Zoe Salzman, CSCU attorney

Hi Projects class,

Hope you had a good spring break! We'll see you on Monday at 2pm. In the beginning of class we'll have a little bit of time to regroup and discuss the CSCU documents together.

From 4-5pm we'll be joined by Zoe Salzman[1], a partner at law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady[2], which represented the Committee to Save Cooper Union in their lawsuit. Here's their press release[3] on the settlement.

Before class, please take some time to revisit the three legal documents, available on CSCU's website[4]: Justice Bannon=E2=80=99s Decisio= n[5], Cross Petition[6] (Includes AG Investigative Findings), and Consent Decree[7].

You can also listen to=C2=A060 minutes of Q+A[8]=C2=A0with the legal team, = from when they visited Nonstop Cooper, so that we can build on questions which have already been asked.



3/6/17: Class 22: Visit to Lubalin Center w/ Sasha Tochilovsky + discussion and/or presentations from Sarah, Xavier, and Cecilia

Hey Projects class,

We'll meet today at 2pm in 901 NAB. If Sarah, Xavier, and/or Cecilia are ready, we'll hear presentations from them. Otherwise they can present next class, and we'll have some time today to catch up on our discussions and all the goings on. Did everyone see Laura's campus notice[1]?

- - -

At 3:45 we'll head to the Lubalin Study Center for Design and Typography[2] to meet with Sasha Tochilovsky[3], who is the center's curator, as well as an associate professor of design, and alumnus of the School of Art.

After Cooper he attended Cranbook[4], and ran a design studio called ME/AT in New York with Mike Essl. In 2010 Sasha co-founded the Type@Cooper[5] postgraduate certificate program.

The Lubalin center was founded under former dean George Sadek[6], who we heard a bit about from Steven Hillyer ("Hejduk and Sadek!"), to archive the work of alumnus Herb Lubalin[7], and has since grown to include over 50,000 items across the field of design history. In 2015 the center celebrated its 30th anniversary[8], with an exhibition[9] co-curated by Mike Essl and Sasha, and they've also run exhibits on pharmaceutical design[10], and New York design studios[11]. You can see more at Aiga[12] and Curbed[13], and as well as in Cooper's video interview with Sasha[14] and the other two archivists.

Like the other archives, the center is mostly open by appointment, but Lubalin has a robust social media presence, with a widely-followed Instagram account[15], and an active=C2=A0Twitter[16] and Flickr[17]. Sasha also recently produced an online series called Flat File[18], which presents deep research on one item at a time from the Lubalin's collection in the form of a highly-stylized photo/video essay.



2/27/17: Class 21: Mike Essl + presentations from Anamika, Magnus, Cecilia

Hey Projects class,

Hope you had a good break. We'll see you on Monday at 2pm in 901 NAB.

For the first part of class we'll be joined for discussion by Mike Essl[1] (rescheduled from several weeks ago). Mike is a school of art '96 alumnus, associate professor of graphic design, co-founder of The Committee to Save Cooper Union[2], and acting dean[3] of the School of Art.

In the second half of class we'll hear presentations from Anamika, Magnus, and Cecilia.

- - -

Other links of interest:

Laura Sparks has made available a bunch of opportunities for meeting/discussion[4] =E2=80=94 sign up!

Board chair Rachel Warren sent her first newsletter[5]. It includes a link to the first Annual Report of the Financial Monitor[6], which came out of the CSCU settlement.

Feel free to reply or reply-all with any other links or readings on your mind.



2/11/17: Class 20: Richard Stock + presentations from Cecilia, Anamika, Chester, Magnus, Stefany

Hey Projects class,

See you on Monday at 2pm in 901 NAB. In the first half of class we'll hear more presentations, and in the second half we'll be joined for discussion by acting dean of engineering Richard Stock. (And there will be an actual break this time!!)

- - -

  • Presentations*

We've got Cecilia, Anamika, Chester, Magnus, and Stefany on the calendar for this week. If we don't get through everybody, we'll bump any remaining presentations to the following class, which will be February 27 after founder's day break. (Thanks for the great presentations last week, Ray, Jess, Leo, and Rachel.)

  • + Guest: Richard Stock*

At ~3:15 we'll be joined for discussion by Richard Stock[1], professor of chemical engineering[2], acting dean of the school of engineering, and former president of CUFCT[3] (Cooper Union Federation of College Teachers, a.k.a. the union for full-time faculty members).

Further reading: "Meet the Deans" interview[4], alumni association interview[5].

See also, letters published in Richard's time as CUFCT president: a 2015 memorandum[6] on computer science, and 2014 memorandum[7] on CSCU's lawsuit.

- - -


On Sunday 2/12 at 2pm, Terror Pigeon[8] is world-premiering a 30 minute surround-sound laydown, which he's been workshopping in Vic's basement over the past month. You're invited!

  • TPSSLD is a new show I'm building this winter. It's a set of mostly

brand new TP music performed for an audience that is lying on the ground. The music is performed in hexaphonic sound, with a speaker in each corner and a subwoofer on each side of the audience all operating independently, creating a lush, serene, and for brief moments, punishing, soundscape. The show is a half hour long. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, foam, thermarests, and big stuffed animals to the show for their comfort. Air mattresses cannot be accommodated for spatial and sonic reasons.*

After class on Monday 2/13...a Babycastles valentines day celebration, 7-10pm...come for the extreme romance music of CUTE BOYS and DJ KICKFLIP...stay for the valentine making: W 14th St. near union square)



2/4/17: Class 19: Mike Essl + presentations from Ray, Leo, Cecilia, Jessica + Rachel project update

Hey Projects class,

See you on Monday at 2pm in 901 NAB!

For the first part of class we'll be joined for discussion by Mike Essl[1], school of art '96 alumnus associate professor of graphic design, co-founder of The Committee to Save Cooper Union[2], and acting dean[3] of the School of Art.

In the second half of class, we'll hear short presentations from Ray, Leo, Cecilia, Jessica, (and Ella?). And Rachel has updates on a project proposed last semester.

Also, passing on contact info for those who had further archive questions, or wanted to schedule followup research visits, please be in touch with=C2=A0Katie[4]=C2=A0( and=C2=A0Steven[5] ( directly.



1/24/17: Class 18: Visit to Cooper Archive w/ Katie Blumenkrantz & Architecture Archive w/ Steven Hillyer

Hi Projects class!

We'll see you on Monday 1/30. We've got a double archive visit planned, but we'll meet first at 2pm in room 901 NAB, and head over together.

For those of you who were with us last semester or have already spent time in either archive, both Katie and Steven have offered to pull additional materials that are relevant to your research interests.

  • Please reply with requests for anything you'd specifically like to see

or revisit by Friday 1/27 and we will forward those along.*

First we'll visit assistant archivist Katie Blumenkrantz[1], who will give us a tour of the Cooper Archive[2], and tell us about the general history and current state of the library.

After that, we'll visit Steven Hillyer[3], director of the Architecture Archive, which houses everything from building plans to publications to recent student work. It's definitely worth perusing the online timeline[4] which they've put together. They are also working on a new digital archive of student work[5], funded by a federal grant.

See also, this video of a conversation[6] between three of the school's archivists. (We'll visit Sasha at the Lubalin Archive later in the semester.)

- - -

We also started a Google Drive folder[7] with everybody here on it, and added an empty doc[8] for whoever is interested in the collective mapping project which Walid mentioned to self-organize. Feel free to jump in to the folder and edit, add documents, drop in new or old things, however is useful for you.



1/22/17: Class 16 + 17 links and readings

We'll see you this Monday at 2pm, in 901 NAB. Nader Tehrani[1], the new Dean of Architecture, should be joining us for half of the class. See also: his page[2] on the Cooper website, letter[3] and interview[4].


Here is the class wiki, that was mentioned:[5]

As you can see, it's pretty rudimentary but contains some useful pa= ges and collections. It's open for you to register and edit — p= lease feel welcome to poke around, make changes, and ask for help if you're interested in contributing.

  • Presentation schedule (Spring 2017)[6]
  • List of Meetings[7] so far
  • List of Documents[8] we've reviewed (this section needs some organization). This folder of readings on Dropbox[9] might be easier to navigate.
  • Class emails[10] from last semester, which might help fill in some context for anyone just coming in.


Cooper's Course Catalog[11] and specifically, for this week, the se= ction on Architecture[12]. January 15 progress report[13] from the Free Education Committee[14]. Letter from Laura Sparks[15], announcing that she will be hosting a community gathering in the Great Hall on Tuesday January 24, from 12:15-2pm. Also, Magnus sent along this New York Times article: Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.[16] If you dig you'll find Cooper in their dataset. Maybe we can make a kind of digest for sharing readings and news going forward, but for now here's what we have. (Let's continue workshopp= ing better ways to share resources!)



12/21/16: Thank you! Self-grading, reflections, documentation.

Hey Projects class,

Thank you to everybody who participated in Projects this past semester! While we were prepared (if nobody enrolled) to spend forty-five hours meeting as just the three of us, the questions, insights, and research that you all bring to the class has already drawn out some really exciting and unexpected resonances. We're looking forward to a second semester together, moving all of our projects forward, while continuing the class's ongoing inquiries and debates around Cooper Union as a system, context, and sometimes subject.

(And thanks for presenting in our final week, Owen, Emily, Rachel, Madeleine, and Suzy.)

Self-grading, due Wed 12/28. Please grade yourself, and submit to the three of us via email what letter grade you'd like us to put down.

Reflections. The three of us will meet in January to reflect and plan for the coming semester. If you've got reflections or feedback, we'd like to hear. Please be in touch with any or all of us about that. Also, if there are walkthroughs or visitors you'd find useful in the spring, let us know ASAP and we will try to arrange for them.

Documentation. Please submit your presentation files, and any other Projects documentation from the fall semester, here:

Dropbox will ask for your name, so we have it attributed — and we won't share anything without your permission. This will help us greatly in our ongoing processing of your ideas, and tracing the arc of everyone's projects. (Feel free to also submit phone pix, links, notes, unrealized thoughts, etc. If we don't hear from you, we'll be in touch individually later on.)

Spring semester. It looks like we'll be joined by some new people in the spring. Everybody is invited to continue participating regardless of enrollment. Class will continue on Mondays from 2-5pm. However, our first class of next semester will take place on Tuesday January 17 from 2-5pm, due to holiday scheduling. We'll send a reminder closer to the date of class. Have a great break!

12/11/16: Class 14: Projects presentations and discussion w/ Dempzil, Jesse, Emily, Jakob

Hey Projects class,

Looking forward to presentations tomorrow (12/12) from Dempzil, Jesse, Emily, and Jakob. Mauricio is also interested in collecting and discussing any ideas related to the mission documents he distributed two weeks ago, so everybody bring your ideas on that.

For the following week — our last class of the semester! — on 12/19, we have Owen and Rachel, as well as open slots for anyone who never signed up.

Also, if you're free after class, you're invited to a presentation Vic and I are giving at The New School at 6:30pm, on the idea of the "Nonstop," which should be a casual and fun potluck.


12/4/16: Class 13: Projects presentations and discussion w/ Gabriela, Lulu, Mayaan, and Suzy

Hey Projects class!

Looking forward to presentations tomorrow from Gabriela, Lulu, Mayaan, and Suzy.

Also attaching the rest of the schedule as it currently stands. Trying not to cramp anybody's time, since we've been able to get through about 4 presentations a week so far.


* Gabriela
* Lulu
* Maayan
* Suzy


* Dempzil
* Jesse
* Emily
* Jakob


* Owen
* Rachel

11/27/16: Class 12: Projects presentations and discussion w/ Ian, Maya, Jake, Gabriela, Walid

Hey Projects class!

Looking forward to more presentations and discussion tomorrow. We've got Ian, Maya, Jake, Gabriela, and Walid on the calendar. (And maybe quick check-ins if anyone has updates on projects or things on your mind.)

Full schedule is here:

11/20/15: Class 11: Projects presentations and discussion w/ Casey, Vic, Walid, Delaney, and Raf=

Hey Projects class,

Tomorrow we'll begin several weeks of presenting and discussing projects with each other. Tomorrow we'll hear from me, Vic, Walid, Delaney, and Raf.

These can be done in any format that makes sense for you, and are mostly intended to help give the rest of the group ideas about how we can help each other move our questions, thinking, and projects forward.

Here's the schedule for the next few weeks (also pasted below):

If you're not on the list yet, please write back with your preferred date and I'll update the wiki.


- - -

11/21 - Vic - Casey - Walid - Delaney - Raf

11/28 - Ian - Maya - Lulu - Jake -

12/5 - Rachel - Suzy - Jesse - Dempzil -

12/12 - - - - -

12/19 - - - - -

11/14/16: Class 10: Discussion w/ Javier from Buildings and Grounds + Project Presentations

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class 10: Discussion w/ Javier from Buildings and Grounds + Project Presentations

Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:18:18 -0500

Hey Projects class,

We'll meet at 2pm in 414 today for a discussion with Javier from Buildings and Grounds. There's no presentation, so come with questions!

After that, Walid, Victoria, and I will share a bit about projects that we've been thinking about and working on.

We'll also figure out who wants to present when, over the coming two weeks.

p.s. here's the link to the Dropbox for uploading documentation from visits, and any other research or documents you'd like to share with the class (nobody has used this yet):


11/06/16: Class 9: Presentation/discussion w/ Chris Cloud, VP Development

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class 9: Presentation/discussion w/ Chris Cloud, VP Development

Date: Sun, 06 Nov 2016 22:04:04 -0400

Hey Projects class!

We'll be joined on Monday at 2pm by Chris Cloud[1] , Interim Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development. Here's a bit more on his professional background[2]. We'll meet in 414 Fdn., and walk over to the office at 30 Cooper to check it out after our discussion, if there's time.

p.s. here's the link to the Dropbox for uploading your documentation from our various visits, and any other research or documents you'd like to share with the class:



10/30/16: Class 8: Fish House walkthrough + wiki & documentation + Gersten readings

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class 8: Fish House walkthrough + wiki & documentation + Gersten readings

Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2016 20:13:02 -0400

Hey Projects class,

See you on Monday at 2pm in 414. At 2:15, we'll head over together to the Fish House for a tour from Buildings & Grounds staff. This probably isn't going to take the whole class time, so after the walkthrough we can continue our discussions of projects and readings, including the Course Catalog[1].

- - -

It looks like Cooper's Form 990 for 2014[2] (disclosing lots of financial info) was recently published online. Worth a look and discussion, if you have a chance to peruse it.

- - -

I've been working on some updates to the Wiki[3], starting to form structured collections of Documents[4] we've reviewed, Meetings[5], and Class Email[6] announcements. If you've used Wikipedia, it should be straightforward enough to navigate this, and you're welcome to contribute however you find useful either directly or through talking with me. I'm happy to talk more about how to use this with anyone who's interested. My hope is to build a bit of a resource as we go, even if it's just for our reflections together.

- - -

If you've got pictures from our trips together so far (quarry, archives, walkthroughs, etc.), we'd love to start collating what everyone is taking note of, visually. You can drop batches of files onto this Dropbox URL, and they'll be attributed with your name. Once we've have a chance to sort things out I'll share the folder with everyone. We'll also include a link for photos from last week in emails going forward.

- - -

Finally, see attached for a bunch of readings from David Gersten!



10/22/16: Re: Class #7: Gersten Walkthrough + Course Catalog + Nonstop Dinner Sunday

Subject: Re: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #7: Gersten Walkthrough + Course Catalog + Nonstop Dinner Sunday

Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 18:45:55 -0400

Hey all! Just a quick reminder to RSVP if you're coming for dinner and discussion in Brooklyn tomorrow (Sun) at 7pm with Lincoln Alpern from Nonstop Institute. We'll also be joined by some other Antiochians and friends, and maybe screen some videos after. Should be a good time.

10/19/16: Class #7: Gersten Walkthrough + Course Catalog + Nonstop Dinner Sunday

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #7: Gersten Walkthrough + Course Catalog + Nonstop Dinner Sunday

Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:13:15 -0400

Hey Projects class,

Cooper's course catalog is attached. Please read!

Versions going back to 2008 are available online, and Katie can probably dig up older versions from the Archive if any historical questions come up:

- - -

On *Monday 10/24* we'll be joined by David Gersten for a Foundation Building walkthrough. See you then!

- - -

On *Sunday 10/23 at 7pm *you're invited to a casual dinner at Vic's place in Bushwick, BK with our friend Lincoln Alpern a student of the former Antioch College[1] who was also deeply involved with the Nonstop Institute[2]. *Please RSVP by Friday *with your availability (and any dietary restrictions), and we'll plan accordingly.

In 2008, Antioch's board actually shut down their college, due to financial mismanagement not so different from what happened at Cooper. In its absence the Nonstop Antioch movement independently and rigorously organized a school in exile. Lots to learn from them.

See also: this NYT article *"Can Antioch College Return From the Dead Again?"[3]*, as well as the Antioch documents scattered throughout the pink Reflections I book[4].



10/07/16: Re: Class #4: Friday 10/7, 2-5pm, 215 Fdn. w/ Jeff Scudder

Subject: Re: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #4: Friday 10/7, 2-5pm, 215 Fdn. w/ Jeff Scudder

Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:36:43 -0400

Hey all,

Just a reminder that we're meeting with Jeff today at 2pm in room 215 Fdn (at the end of the hall on the second floor).

See ya soon!

10/04/16: Class #4: Friday 10/7, 2-5pm, 215 Fdn. w/ Jeff Scudder

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #4: Friday 10/7, 2-5pm, 215 Fdn. w/ Jeff Scudder

Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2016 20:33:02 -0400

Hey Projects class,

See you this Friday 10/7, 2-5pm, room 215 (Foundation Building), with guest Jeff Scudder. Apologies to those who can't make it due to scheduling conflicts—we'll see you all this coming Monday.

Also, if you want to join us for a full three-day bender of Jeff events...on Thursday 10/6: Encounter: Explained Pictures from 6:30pm-8pm at The New School...and on Saturday 10/8: Scudderowsky's 'Tune a double-feature at Vic's place in Brooklyn with performances from Jeff as well as an improv crew headed by Tao Yang. Should be a fun 6/7/8!

See below for a scatter of notes, screenshots, and links from our Monday work session. Thanks to all who stopped by!

10/03/16: Re: Class #4 w/ Jeff Scudder + upcoming events and classes

Subject: Re: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #4 w/ Jeff Scudder + upcoming events and classes

Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2016 10:52:33 -0400

Hey all, just some quick reminders:


Please let us know your availability (or unavailability) for class on Friday w/ Jeff Scudder, here:

And email us if you'd like to show/discuss something you've been working on—it doesn't have to be projects-specific, just anything you might want to talk about with Jeff and the class. We're still looking for several people!


Also, on Thursday evening (6:30-8pm) we're hosting an encounter with Jeff at The New School (near Union Square), with drawings/performance and a conversation. You're invited! Also, free + open to the public if you wanna bring a friend.


Vic and I will be around today from 2-5 for an open work session in the sculpture room, so feel free to come by and work on/talk about questions, readings, and projects. We're gonna try to bring a projector and printer.


09/27/16: Class #4 w/ Jeff Scudder + upcoming events and classes

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #4 w/ Jeff Scudder + upcoming events and classes

Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:02:51 -0400

Hey Projects class,

We're not meeting officially this coming Monday 10/3. Victoria and I will hold an informal work session in the sculpture room from 2-5pm, if anybody wants to join us during our regular time. We'll probably be going over some of the documents we've shared, explore the wiki format, and collate questions and resources from our notes.

Instead of Monday, we'll have class on Friday 10/7 at Cooper, with guest Jeff Scudder.

Please respond here with your availability (10am-1pm or 1-5pm).

We're looking for 2-3 people to bring work (pre-existing or developing) to discuss, so email back if that's of interest, and we can send around a location and order once the details fall into place.

Here's more about Jeff:

Jeffrey Scudder lives and works in Maine and L.A. where he spends his time programming and making pictures. He currently teaches Digital Painting at UCLA Design Media Arts and taught previously at Parsons School for Design. Scudder received an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2013 and worked previously at the design studio Linked by Air.

Also check out his website, teaching syllabi, web pages, drawings, instagram, and many picture-making websites/apps Finger Quilt, No Paint, Shrub, and Bug.

- - -

On Thursday 10/6, Victoria and I will also be hosting an Encounter: Explained Pictures from 6:30pm-8pm at The New School (U L104 University Center Lower Level, 63 Fifth Avenue). Jeff will draw several pictures and we'll have a discussion after touching on some of the threads we mentioned in class. Check out the event trailer.

- - -

Walid has also confirmed some building walkthroughs for the coming weeks, just so you have these on your radar:

10/10 Monday Building walkthrough with Diane Lewis + visit to Architecture Archive with Steven Hillyer. Steven recommends starting to peruse the online architecture timeline before then.

10/24 Monday Building walkthrough with David Gersten.



09/22/16: Class #3 readings, Bill Mea visit, wiki

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #3 readings, Bill Mea visit, wiki

Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:27:11 -0400

Hey Projects class,

On Monday, we'll meet in the sculpture room, and then go upstairs together to visit Bill Mea. Consider any questions you might want to ask him!

Before class, please read/watch: Cooper Union Budget & Financial Projects, Fiscal Year 2016 Nonstop Cooper Think Tank #4: Presidential Search, September 2015 (VIDEO) Working Group Report, December 2013 CUFCT (Faculty Union) Contract

Links to the documents + video, and a running list of readings so far, are here:

As you find time, also keep reading/annotating the governances and legal documents. We ran out of time to discuss it all, but they'll surely keep coming up throughout our discussions.

As you'll see Victoria and I started a class wiki for collecting documents, resources, and questions. Feel free to make an account and poke around. We can talk more about how to use it as we go.


p.s. Walid confirmed a visit with Steven Hillyer, Director of the Architecture Archive, for October 10, so we can channel some of the building/site/history questions into that session. Steven recommends starting to peruse the online architecture timeline before then.



09/15/16: Class #2 location, readings, and discussion + archives resources

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] Class #2 location, readings, and discussion + archives resources

Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2016 19:32:40 -0400

Hey Projects class,

Thanks for a great first meeting! Here are notes for this coming week on where to meet, what to read, and what we'll be discussing.

Location We'll meet this coming Monday 9/19 in the sculpture classroom (same place as last week). Later, we'll walk over to the former St. Marks Bookstore/Nonstop Cooper space together (31 Third Ave).

Readings Please read the attached School of Art Governance (20 pages), School of Architecture Governance (8 pages) & amendment (1 page) + Attorney General Cross Petition (56 pages) before class.

A note on the provenance of these docs: The School of Art governance is a scan of Walid's copy from when he was first hired. (I couldn't find it online, otherwise.) The two-part Architecture governance came by request from Claire Gunning in the library. The Attorney General document was downloaded from The Committee to Save Cooper Union's homepage, and is one of three documents linked there which are suggested but not required for this week, if you find it interesting to get the full picture of the legal documents.

This week's class + discussion Victoria and Jakob Biernat are going to give a presentation. We'll discuss this, along with current events (new president!?), the readings, and any questions you've come up with since last week.

Archives followup If you haven't poked around the Cooper Archives website, it's worth a look. The Library's Facebook page is funny, too. On their libguides site, you can see an overview of what they've got catalogued, including a folder-by-folder breakdown (which is helpful to reference when making requests). Please email Katie if you've got any archives questions or requests, she's here to help us navigate these things! ( Also worth checking out: the Architecture Archives timeline, including lots of facts, timelines, and images of the building and rebuilding of Cooper.



09/01/16: First class + pre-class events

Subject: [Projects: The Cooper Union] First class + pre-class events

Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2016 17:24:53 -0400

Hi projects class,

We're excited to see you all on Monday September 12th at 2pm. After meeting for introductions, we'll be visiting The Cooper Archives and speaking with our wonderful assistant archivist Katie Blumenkrantz.

We also wanted to invite you to a few events coming up before our first class. These are optional but encouraged.

NOTE: please RSVP to us as soon as possible if you are interested in joining us on our Brownstone Park/Quarry excursion (details below), because we need to reserve transportation in advance.

See you soon,

Casey, Victoria, and Walid

- - -

1. Saturday September 3rd

Peter Cooper Block Party

Free + Open to the Public

A bunch of the class is already involved in pulling together this year's Block Party—Emily is doing balloon arches + repping Art Student Council, Jasper and Maja are DJing, Owen is working on design and production, and Jacob is running A/V and helping Risograph some publications. Hope to see the rest of you come through. Please help spread the word! Lots more info on our Website + Facebook Event

Block Party — 12pm - 5pm 

Free + Open to the Public

@ Cooper Union, outside Foundation Building

Peter Cooper Movie Screening — 6pm

@ The Great Hall, 7 East 7th St.

Afterparty — 8:30pm - 11pm

@ 31 Third Ave. (former St. Marks Bookshop/Nonstop Cooper space)

2. Thursday September 8th, 6:30pm-8pm

Post-Democracy Paradise-Lost: Presentation by Casey Gollan and Victoria Sobel

@ The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor

Free + Open to the Public

3. Sunday September 11th, all day

Bus Trip from NYC to Brownstone Park

@ Portland, Connecticut (2 hours north of NYC)

This present-day family-friendly waterpark is the site of the brownstone quarry out of which the Foundation Building was built. We might be swimming, or might just be taking a tour, or walking the perimeter. Let's see! 

Please RSVP if interested, and note that there may be shared costs for transportation and tickets, but don't let that stop you from indicating interest—we can try to work $ out once we have a reservation in place.

05/26/16: Projects Class meeting: Today at 4pm! (Thurs 5/26)

Subject: Projects Class meeting: Today at 4pm! (Thurs 5/26)

Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 13:56:18 -0400

Hey all, we're meeting on the 6th floor of Foundation Bldg. **today** (5/26) at 4pm. See you then.

Sorry for the typo in my earlier message which misstated the day as Friday!

Thanks to everyone who got back to us, we'll be in touch with more in the coming weeks.

05/23/16: Re: Projects Fall 2016 Class Meetup — Friday, May 26, 4pm

Subject: Re: Projects Fall 2016 Class Meetup — Friday, May 26, 4pm

Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 18:07:53 +0200

Hey projects class,

Just a reminder that we're meeting this week on Thursday at 4pm, Foundation Building, 6th floor.

Let us know if you can (or can't) make it! I think we've heard so far from Cooper, Dempzil, Suzy, and Agata.

- - -

Projects: The Cooper Union

Unfolding events in The Cooper Union are generating expected and unexpected sounds, images, forms, volumes, gestures, feelings, and concepts. In this class, we will attend (as in wait for and stretch toward) some of these.

As such we misunderstand The Cooper Union as a proposition constituted by and constituting missions, properties, bodies, languages, figures, among others.

We engage chronologies that may not settle; numbers that may not add up; bodies that come and go.

Co-taught by Walid Raad, Victoria Sobel, and Casey Gollan, the class is open to 2nd , 3rd and 1st semester 4th year students working in all media. The course is also expected to continue in Spring 2017, so students registering in the Fall are expected to make a 2-semester long commitment.

05/17/16: Projects Fall 2016 Class Meetup — Friday, May 26, 4pm

Subject: Projects Fall 2016 Class Meetup — Friday, May 26, 4pm

Date: Tue, 17 May 2016 19:07:35 -0400

Dear all,

In preparation for our upcoming Fall 2016 class, Projects, we would like to invite you to an initial meeting on Thursday the 26th at 4PM in The Cooper Union's Foundation Building 6th floor.

Please let us know if you can make it.


Casey, Victoria, and Walid