Lessons From Modernism

Research consultant for the Lessons From Modernism exhibition.

Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design


Exhibition team: Kevin Bone, Kenneth Frampton, Steven Hillyer, Sunnie Joh

Exhibition press release:

Lessons From Modernism examines selected works of architecture completed between 1925-70 through the lens of sustainability. This analysis of the use of environmental strategies — long before they were commonly used in 21st century buildings — opens at The Cooper Union’s Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery on January 29th

Through an analysis of the influence of nature and the environment in architectural design, Lessons From Modernism provides new insights into works achieved by a diverse selection of architects, including Le Corbusier, Paul Rudolph, Jean Prouvé and Oscar Niemeyer. The exhibition demonstrates how these architects integrated environmental concerns into their designs and explores the extent to which these practices have produced environmentally performative and distinctive architecture.

The 25 examples shown in the exhibition were extensively researched and documented by a team of Cooper Union students, faculty and alumni. These buildings demonstrate the importance of the aesthetic of clarity and utility that characterizes 20th century modern architecture. This aesthetic, or really, these values, inform the contemporary green building movement today.