Running For: Council
John Hejduk used to quote the phrase “architecture is a social art”, it’s unclear who said this originally, but in my experience it’s very true. Gensler as an organization places tremendous value on collaboration. My personal experience, working on very involved, often politically charged projects, is that there’s a subtle art to collaboration. Working though many substantial projects I have seen how boards work and how board decisions affect outcomes. I like to think that this experience would be useful in working with the council.
The other thing I could offer is a bridge to Gensler. Gensler, the largest architecture firm in the world, is not the first place that pops into mind when one thinks of Cooper Union, but I think that as Gensler is such a force within the architectural community, there can and should be a connection.
Lastly, like many others, I’m interested in how Cooper can again become a tuition-free institution.
Immediately upon graduating from CU (BArch ’88) I put my nose to the grindstone working as an architect and raising a family. For the first 8 years of my career I worked first for Edward Larrabee Barnes, then Platt, Byard, Dovell, then Richard Gluckman; I worked primarily on cultural and museum projects including the Dallas Museum Expansion, the Birmingham Museum of Art Expansion and the Breuer Whitney Expansion. For the last 25 years I’ve been at Gensler, New York. I was drawn to Gensler by the opportunity to work on the conversion of a parking garage in Rockefeller Center to Christie’s auction house. For the last five years I’ve been Gensler’s lead architect on the expansion of MoMA, in collaboration with Diller, Scofidio, Renfro. Before that I worked for ten years on two museum projects for The Clark in Williamstown, MA, collaborating with Tadao Ando. Looking back on it all, the common thread is that for the most part I’ve worked on large, complicated public projects with an average timeline of 3-5 years.
When I wasn’t working, I was busy raising two children in Brooklyn, doing normal things like coaching soccer, shoveling snow, pretty routine. Now that my kids are grown up I’m feeling like I have time to give back to Cooper Union. Cooper really gave me the tools to do all of the professional work described above.