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Student Work Collection Architecture Archive Student Work Collection Architecture Archive

The Cooper Union catalogues decades of student work including projects by Liz Diller and Daniel Libeskind

New York City's The Cooper Union has created online database The Student Work Collection to collate over 80 years of work produced by former architecture students, with notable alumni including Elizabeth Diller, Daniel Libeskind and Toshiko Mori.

Launched this month, The Student Work Collection is an archival website created by The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

The database features student works from the private college's The Irwin S Chanin School of Architecture, produced from the 1930s to 2000.

Student Work Collection Architecture Archive Student Work Collection Architecture Archive
Alumni of The Cooper Union are organised by surname on the database

"We are excited to share this rich body of work digitally and are certain it will help provide an integral reference point for any student, educator or researcher of architecture about the radical changes in architectural education and practice of our last century," said the director of the architecture archive Steven Hillyer.

"Now that this body of work in the archive is fully accessible we are looking forward to expanding the Collection’s published material by adding another 30,000 born-digital images, text, and audio-visual records collected after 2000," he added.

Over 4,000 projects have been made available online, including architectural drawings, models, sketches and project descriptions.

The archive contains a number of designs created by students who went on to become notable architects including Libeskind and Ricardo Scofidio, co-founder of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Scofidio tutored his now partner Diller while she studied at the school.

Student Work Collection Architecture Archive Student Work Collection Architecture Archive
The archive contains filters for finding projects such as thesis, decade or semester

Libeskind's student work includes a case study of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, and Diller's work features box models and bathhouse drawings.

The database catalogues students in alphabetical order, and contains filters according to thesis, decade, semester, faculty or problem. One webpage, called Architectonics or Arch 11, lists the core course's faculty members.

The Student Work Collection is in its first phase, and archivists are now working to expand the online collection to encompass student works created after 2000, such as those of Snarkitecture's Alex Mustonen. Most of these files are already in digital form.

When the second phase launches, which is expected in 2022, it will contain image, text, audio and video records spanning over 4,500 projects, by over 1,500 students.

The archive will continue to grow over the years to include new student work.

"The Collection will become one of the first comprehensive, public, digital resources for historical and contemporary architectural pedagogy and student work," the school said.

Student Work Collection Architecture Archive Student Work Collection Architecture Archive
The college's Architectonics course is also featured

Founded in 1859, The Cooper Union is a private college of art, architecture and engineering, and offers courses in the humanities and social sciences as well. Among its other notable alumni are inventor Thomas Edison and American graphic designer Milton Glaser.

It is located in New York's East Village neighbourhood and is north of NoHo.

"This work, which is the core collection of The Irwin S Chanin School of Architecture Archive, highlights the singular inclusion of humanities in architectural pedagogy that distinguishes The Cooper Union from other schools of architecture," The Cooper Union said.

Another university student database is The Viewbook for California design school the ArtCenter College of Design. Other design databases are the Architecture Schools Database that helps students discover architecture schools, one by Glug of climate strike posters.