Cooper Union today announced that Nader Tehrani will be taking over as the new dean of the college's Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, effective this month. The announcement ends a drawn-out search for a dean after Anthony Vidler resigned two years ago.
“The School of Architecture offers an ideal environment within which to speculate, experiment, and engage in the critical architectural debates of our time," Tehrani said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with its faculty and students as we extend the school's mission into the next era."
Photo © NADAAA
Before joining Cooper Union, Tehrani headed up MIT's architecture department for four years. He is the principal of Boston and New York-based architecture and urban design firm NADAAA. In 1986, Tehrani founded the award-winning architecture firm Office dA with Rodolphe el-Khoury; Monica Ponce de Leon joined the firm in 1991 (el-Khoury left the firm in the mid-'90s). All three members have recently received deanships at prominent architecture schools: El-Khoury at the University of Miami School of Architecture last year, and Ponce de Leon at Princeton's architecture school in May.
Looking toward his tenure Tehrani said he hopes to expand the curriculum beyond the architecture school: "Now is also a time to expand our conversations with the schools of Art and Engineering, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, to catalyze the broadening of architectural discourse within the institution as a whole.”
Tehrani holds a B.F.A and a B. Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard's Graduate School of Design.
Tehrani joins the Manhattan-based school at a turbulent time: in June, the college's president Jamshed Bharucha and five board members—including architects Daniel Libeskind and François de Menil—stepped down due to a New York State investigation into the college's finances. Cooper Union began charging tuition for the first time in its history last year, which angered many people who viewed the decision as contrary to the school's original mission.