Founding Director, Board of Directors

David Gersten

David Gersten is an internationally recognized artist, architect, writer and educator based in New York City. He is the Director of Interdisciplinary Learning at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where he has been a Professor, since 1991. At The Cooper Union, he has served as the Associate Dean of the School of Architecture, under Founding Dean John Hejduk, as well as, Acting Dean of the school. Gersten is the founding Director and President of: Arts Letters & Numbers, a non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to expanding the experiences  understood as education through creating new structures and spaces for creative exchange across a wide range of disciplines including: Architecture, Visual Arts, Theater Arts, Film, Music, the Humanities, the Sciences and Social Sciences. Arts, Letters & Numbers conducts workshops in educational and cultural institutions worldwide, while operating an ongoing series of programs: workshops, sessions, residencies, thesis programs, lectures, theater performances, exhibitions, events, music performances and films productions at its campus located in Averill Park, NY.

Gersten regularly collaborates with and advises international organizations, educational and cultural institutions, as well as, education policy groups on a wide range of subjects, including: art / science / humanities collaborations and the future of education. He recently: presented a keynote address entitled ‘Unlocking the Creativity of Youth’ at the UNICEF – EXPO, as well as, at the Chancellors Summit held at CAFA in Beijing.

Gersten’s works include: buildings, drawings, stories, essays, films, performances and constructions. His works have appeared in numerous international exhibitions and performance spaces 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 extensively in national and international publications on diverse areas of research including: The spaces and structures of education, emergent disciplinary geographies, spatial literacy, ethics and technology, market functionality and collective judgment, global resource distribution and the poetic / material / spatial imagination, the city and its transformations, and the linkages between: embodied experience, embodied cognition, memory, perception, language, space and education.

He has exhibited, lectured and served as a visiting professor at numerous universities throughout the world. In addition to serving as President / Director of Arts Letters & Numbers, he is currently: the Director of Interdisciplinary learning and professor at the Cooper Union, a visiting professor at Rhode Island School of Design, an International Visiting Professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in Beijing, China, a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in the UK and a member of the Board of Directors of Big Picture Learning.

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.


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