Thursday, March 22, 2012, 6 - 7:30pm

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David Leatherbarrow is Professor of Architecture, Chairman of the Architecture Ph.D. Program, and Interim Chair at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught architectural design, history, and theory since 1984. Before Penn he taught at Cambridge University and the University of Westminster. David Leatherbarrow earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. in Art at the University of Essex. His books include Architecture Oriented Otherwise (2009), Topographical Stories: studies in landscape and architecture (2004), and Surface Architecture (2002), written in collaboration with Mohsen Mostafavi. Earlier books include Uncommon Ground: architecture, technology and topography; The Roots of Architectural Invention: site, enclosure and materials; and On Weathering: the life of buildings in time, again with Mostafavi. In addition to these books he has published over eighty scholarly articles. In the past, his research has focused on various topics in the history and theory of architecture, gardens, and urbanism; more recently his work has concentrated on the impact of contemporary technology on architecture and the city.


Open only to students, faculty, and staff of The Cooper Union.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.