February 11, 2011
“Studio to Lab: the Didactics of Modernization”
Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts
Visiting Professor, History and Theory, Princeton University School of Architecture
Jean-Louis Cohen studied architecture at the École Spéciale d'Architecture and at the Unité Pédagogique n° 6 in Paris, and received a Ph.D. in history at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in 1985. After having directed the Architectural Research Program at the French Ministry of Housing, he held a research professorship from 1983 to 1996 at the School of Architecture Paris-Villemin. From 1996 to 2004, he held a chair in town-planning history at the Institut Français d'Urbanisme, University of Paris. In 1993, he was appointed the Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. From 1997 to 2003, the French Minister of Culture appointed him to create the Cité de l'architecture, a museum, research and exhibition center opened in 2007 in the Paris Palais de Chaillot. During this period, he directed the Institut Français d'Architecture and the Musée des Monuments Français, the two main components of the Cité. Mr. Cohen's research activity has focused mainly on 20th-centrury architecture and urban planning. In particular, he has studied German and Soviet architectural cultures, colonial situations in North Africa, architecture during World War II, and extensively interpreted Le Corbusier's work and Paris planning history. His recent publications include: Mies van der Rohe (Paris: Hazan, 2007); Above Paris, the Aerial Survey of Roger Henrard (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006); Liquid Stone, New Architecture in Concrete, ed. with G. Martin Moeller, Jr. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006); and Le Corbusier, la planète comme chantier (Paris: Textuel, 2005). He has been a curator for numerous exhibitions including "The Lost Vanguard", at the Museum of Modern Art (2007); "Scenes of the World to Come" at the Canadian Center for Architecture (1995); and Paris-Moscou (1979) and the centennial show "L'aventure Le Corbusier" (1987), both at the Centre Georges Pompidou.