David Gersten

on sabbatical academic year 20/21

David Gersten is an architect, writer, theater director and internationally recognized educator based in New York City. He has been a Professor in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union since 1991, where he has served as the Associate Dean under Dean John Hejduk and the Acting Dean of the School of Architecture. He has taught studios and seminars at every level of the Architecture School’s five-year program, as well as in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has held the Ellen and Sidney Feltman chaired professorship and is a former chairman of the School’s Administrative, Curriculum and Admissions Committees. Gersten currently heads Architectonics, the first-year Design Studio, and teaches an Advanced Concepts seminar entitled; ‘A Material Imagination of the Social Contract’

Gersten is the founding Director of Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit education, theater, film and publishing organization dedicated to creating new structures and spaces for creative exchange across a wide range of disciplines including: Architecture, Visual Arts, Theater Arts, Music, Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. Arts Letters & Numbers conducts workshops in educational and cultural institutions worldwide while operating an ongoing series of educational programs, theater performances and films productions at its ‘Mill’ located in Upstate NY.

Gersten's drawings, stories and constructions have appeared in numerous international exhibitions, and are held in the collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture, the New York City Public Library’s print collection and many private collections. He has published widely in national and international publications including RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, the Peabody Museum, Harvard University; Ineffable; Architecture Computation and the In-expressible; The Making Of Design Principles, RISD; Critical Digital, Harvard; Boulevard, Saint Louis University; Making Science Visible, National Science Foundation; Nacho Criado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid Spain. The Paris-based publisher Editions Firmin-Didot will soon release Hunting Life: A Forever House, a collection of Gersten’s drawings and writings. He has published and lectured extensively on diverse areas of research including new disciplinary geographies, the financial markets, nuclear weapons, ethics and technology, the poetic/material imagination, social justice, ecology and the linkages between memory, perception, language, space and culture.

Gersten is a graduate of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. He has also pursued studies in phenomenology at the New School for Social Research as well as Islamic Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Academic areas of interest

Gersten has published and lectured extensively on diverse areas of research including: the financial markets, ethics and technology, the poetic/material imagination and social justice and the linkages between memory, perception, language and space.

a photo portrait of RISD faculty member David Gersten
  • BARC, The Cooper Union