SAH News

Anthony Vidler celebrates 12 years as Dean at Cooper Union

by SAH News | Jul 03, 2013

Thirteen years ago, in the fall of 2000, the School of Architecture found it necessary to do something it had never done before… conduct a search for a Dean. John Hejduk had been the school’s only dean since it had become independent from the School of Art in 1975. Before that, he had been department Head for 10 years under Esmond Shaw, then Dean of The Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture.

For thirty five years, the School of Architecture had challenged the very definition of professional education in architecture, developing an international reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting places to teach and study architecture, with an unparalleled faculty, precisely defined pedagogy, passionate and creative students and most importantly, visionary leadership.

It would not be an easy deanship to fill. The School sought someone wholly committed to the discipline of architecture, fiercely intelligent, passionate about the role that architecture could play in culture, society and in the very making of history itself. Someone who could honor the past without being bound by it. Someone who had already made a significant mark in architecture, so that a school so identified with a single individual could be guided toward a future built on its core strengths and collective purpose. Someone with the conviction that architecture, even at its most personal and poetic, could engage and affect the world.

The School of Architecture was very fortunate to actually find this second dean. For the past twelve years, Anthony Vidler has engaged and empowered the faculty and students of the school to continue to challenge the very definition of professional education in architecture.

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