Campus & Community

Cohen named new chair of Department of Architecture

3 min read

Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), recently announced the appointment of Preston Scott Cohen as chair of the Department of Architecture, effective July 1.

Cohen is the Gerald M. McCue Professor of Architecture and coordinator of the first-year design studios, and he teaches the foundation course in projective and topological geometry, advanced studios, and design thesis.

“I am delighted that Scott has accepted this appointment,” said Mostafavi. “The School will undoubtedly benefit from his deep intellectual commitment to the field of architecture and his passion as both an educator and an architect. I have no doubt that he will make a great contribution to the culture of collaboration that I hope will be a hallmark of the GSD. I also thank Professor Toshiko Mori for her support and leadership of the Department of Architecture during the past six years.”

Cohen is recognized for his innovative geometric forms and his approach to integrating buildings with their environments. The work of his firm, Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., encompasses projects that range in scale from houses to educational and cultural institutions.

Cohen has produced numerous critically acclaimed projects and has won international competitions for important buildings, including the Taiyuan Art Museum, Taiyuan, China (2007–10); the Robbins Elementary School, Trenton, N.J. (2006–10); and the Amir Building, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2003–09). Other projects currently under construction include a Student Center for Nanjing University Xianlin Campus, Jiang Su (2007–09); a public arcade in Battery Park City in New York (2005–09); and the Ya Zhou Bay Science and Technology Center in Sanya, Hainan Island (2008–10).

The author of “Contested Symmetries and Other Predicaments in Architecture” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), Cohen is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Progressive Architecture Awards, and the Visionary Award from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His work has been widely published and exhibited and is in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard.

Cohen has held faculty positions at Princeton University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Ohio State University. He was the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto in 2004 and the Perloff Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2002.