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Nader Tehrani named dean of The Cooper Union school of architecture

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Nader Tehrani
Nader Tehrani
Photo courtesy of NADAAA.

Nader Tehrani, a professor of architecture at MIT, has been appointed dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. He joins the school in July.

Tehrani, who joined the MIT faculty in 2007, served as the head of MIT’s Department of Architecture from 2010 to 2014. He is principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry.

“By uncovering a rich rhetorical repertoire in building construction, Nader Tehrani has enlivened our architectural imagination like no other architect practicing today. Through his impressive body of work, teaching, writing, and academic leadership, he stands out as one of the most brilliant minds in architecture,” said Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. “His commitment to reconnecting design with construction has brought the Department of Architecture closer to MIT and to the top of rankings among architecture departments in the world. We will all be closely watching Cooper Union in the years to come.”

As the founding principal of two firms, Office dA and NADAAA, Tehrani has directed over 25 years of intensive design research and has been widely published and exhibited. Among his architectural projects are the MacAllen Building, the first LEED Gold certified multi-family housing building in Boston, and Helios House, the first LEED-rated gas station in the United States. Numerous private and institutional commissions include the Dortoir Familial in Southern France, the Rhode Island School of Design Fleet Library, and the architecture school building at the University of Melbourne.

Tehrani has been recognized with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, and 16 Progressive Architecture Awards, as well as numerous American Institute of Architects, Boston Society of Architects and I.D. awards. In 2013 and 2014, NADAAA was ranked number 1 in design in Architect Magazine's "Top 50 Firms in the United States."

Work by Tehrani has also been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and is in the permanent collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

J. Meejin Yoon, current head of the MIT Department of Architecture, said that Tehrani brought pedagogy and practice together in a transformative way for the department. “Nader’s ability to draw together academia and the profession into critical debates created incredible momentum for the department. We will continue to build on this momentum for years to come," Yoon said.

Tehrani said that he is honored to join The Cooper Union as dean and looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with the MIT architecture and design community. "I owe a tremendous depth of gratitude to my dear colleagues and students at MIT. Of all institutions, MIT has maybe been the most transformative in my thinking, if only because it offered, again and again, spaces of uncertainty and challenge that no other could give,” he said. “Beyond anything, I have enjoyed my debates and discussions with peers at MIT, and I look forward to extending this conversation from beyond its borders, forming relationships between MIT and the Cooper Union community from which both schools can benefit."

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