Founding Director, Board of Directors

David Gersten

David Gersten is an architect, artist, writer 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 held the Ellen and Sidney Feltman Chaired professorship and is a former Chairman of the School’s Administrative, Curriculum and Admissions Committees.

Gersten is the founding Director of: Arts Letters & Numbers, a non profit arts and education organization dedicated to creating new structures and spaces for creative exchange across a wide range of disciplines including: Architecture, Visual Arts, Theater Arts, Film, Music, Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. Arts, Letters & Numbers conducts workshops in educational and cultural institutions worldwide while operating an ongoing series of programs: workshops, courses, lectures, theater performances and film productions at its ‘Mill’ located in Upstate, NY. Arts Letters & Numbers proposes a new model in the art of teaching and learning, an emergent structure for questions and works; a school, a theater company, a film company and a publishing company all inside of each other, all creating transformation.

Gersten has been a visiting professor in the U.S. and abroad at: City University of New York; Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain; Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark; Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar and Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz in Bolivia; and Universidad Catolica de Cordoba in Argentina. Since 2006 he has been a visiting professor in the Architecture Department and Graduate Studies divisions of RISD teaching seminars and studios across sixteen Masters of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture departments. He regularly teaches workshops and lectures in academic and cultural institutions though-out the world, including: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, (Denmark), McGill University (Canada), Brown University, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Harvard University, Yale University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, The Canadian Center for Architecture, the National Science Foundation, the Círculo de Bellas Artes, (Madrid, Spain), The University of Manitoba (Canada), The University of Puerto Rico, and the United Nations International School where he serves on the strategic planning committee and has served as the chair of a sub-committee on ‘visionary language’ and ‘lead communicator’ for ‘A new vision for education in the 21 century’

Gersten’s works include: 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, the financial markets and collective judgment, nuclear weapons and debt, global resource distribution, ethics and technology, the poetic / material imagination, social justice and the linkages between: embodied experience, memory, perception, language and space. Essays include: “ Hunting Life: Prefigure is Epilogue” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, the Peabody Museum, Harvard University; “Globe Double: Mimetic Capital; technology”, Ineffable; Architecture Computation and the In-expressible, Loft Publications; “Empathy; Material and Spatial” The Making Of Design Principles, RISD; “Creative Imagination In the Shadow of Oppenhiemer” Critical Digital, Harvard; ‘The Finisher’ Boulevard, Saint Louis University; “Embodied Knowledge Navigating Disciplinary Geographies” Making Science Visible, National Science Foundation; “Nacho Criado Leapt into the abyss and found it only came up to his knees”*, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid Spain; Arts, Letters and Numbers: New Disciplinary Geographies” Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life Edited by: Elizabeth Ellsworth: Punctum books; “On drawing and friendship / drawing on friendship” “Svein Tonsager & Friends, Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark; “The Exchange: Heart Rate / Interest Rate”, “Where are the Utopian Visionaries: Architecture of Social Exchange” Periscope Publishing, “Discreet Machines of Desire: from Edward Bernays to Robert Oppenheimer” 99th ACSA Annual Meeting: WHERE DO YOU STAND Conference Proceedings 2011, “Hejduk, Hamlet and the Ghost Promise” Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain, The Paris-based publisher Editions Firmin-Didot will soon release “Hunting Life: A Forever House”, a collection of Professor Gersten’s drawings and writings.

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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