Education Innovation: Constant Variation in the Analysis Problem at the Cooper Union School of Architecture 1968-2008

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


This paper formulates questions about architectural knowledge, disciplinarity, and the forces impacting on education practices in relation to architecture’s past in general and in response to calls for innovation in particular. It does this through the lens of an overview survey of four decades of the Analysis Problem studio at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, 1968 to 2008. The paper examines the Analysis Problem as a minor line of inquiry in the history of architectural education that can nonetheless serve as one index to approaching conference themes about changing education practices in an innovation environment. The paper considers select studio briefs across the forty-year period, assays conceptual themes and formal responses by students, and extends the examination to begin to articulate differences between enduring versus more critical potentialities in and outside the discipline. Four examples are considered roughly on a decade basis, one each from the 1970s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. The paper conjectures that a deep engagement with architecture’s past is one strategy for creating the conditions of possibility for hitherto unimagined architectural relationships to appear, and that these relationships constitute one mode of innovation. Opening a critique of and response to current calls to innovate in education practices and on educators, the paper addresses the conference theme Architectural Education and Research, contributes to discussions about areas native to versus opportunistic for architecture courses, and makes a modest contribution to studies of the history of architectural education over the last 70 years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProject to Practice: Innovating Architecture
Subtitle of host publicationArchitecture AASA 9th International Conference 30th September – 1st October 2016
EditorsAnthony Burke
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherUniversity of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016
EventArchitecture AASA 9th International Conference - University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 30 Sept 20161 Oct 2016


ConferenceArchitecture AASA 9th International Conference


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