Nov/01
Nader Tehrani

The Tectonic Grain / The 24th Pietro Belluschi Lecture

Nader Tehrani is the Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union in New York. He was previously a professor of architecture at MIT, where he served as the Head of the Department from 2010-2014. He is also Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry. 

Tehrani received a B.F.A. and a B.Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1985 and 1986 respectively. He continued his studies at the Architectural Association, where he attended the Post-Graduate program in History and Theory. Upon his return to the United States, Tehrani received the M.A.U.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. 

Tehrani has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served as the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design, and the University of Toronto’s Department of Architecture, Landscape and Design as the Frank O. Gehry International Visiting Chair.

Tehrani has lectured widely at institutions including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Harvard University, Princeton University and the Architectural Association. Tehrani has participated in many symposia including the Monterey Design Conference (2009), the Buell Center ‘Contemporary Architecture and its Consequences’ at Columbia University (2009), and the Graduate School of Design ‘Beyond the Harvard Box’ (2006). The works of Nader Tehrani have been widely exhibited at MOMA, LA MOCA and ICA Boston. His work is also part of the permanent collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture and the Nasher Sculpture Center. His work has been published in a variety of journals internationally which reflect his research on materiality, fabrication and tectonics. Selected articles include: ‘Versioning: Connubial Reciprocities of Surface and Space’ published in Architectural Design (Sep, Oct 2002), and ‘Aggregation’ and ‘Difficult Synthesis’, featured in Material Design: Informing Architecture by Materiality, by Thomas Schroepfer (2011). He is the 2017/2018 William A. Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

Tehrani’s work has been recognized with notable awards, including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture (2007), the United States Artists Fellowship in Architecture and Design (2007), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture (2002). He has also received the Harleston Parker Award for the Northeastern University Multi-faith Spiritual Center (2002) and the Hobson Award for the Georgia Institute of Technology Hinman Research Building (2012). Throughout his career, Tehrani has received eighteen Progressive Architecture Awards as well as numerous AIA, Boston Society of Architects and ID awards. For the past five years NADAAA has ranked in the top three design firms in Architect Magazine's Top 50 U.S. Firms List.

As the principal-in-charge of three schools of Architecture,  Georgia Institute of Technology, the MSD at the University of Melbourne, and the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, Tehrani has overseen how the various platforms of pedagogy come into conversation with the organization of spaces; as pedagogical building, they not only serve as new spatial models for learning, but as didactic instruments in terms of how they are built, what new technologies they incorporate and how they serve as paradigms for learning.

Nader Tehrani

NADAAA / Dean, The Cooper Union