All posts by Brighton Huynh

So, When Are We Meeting Up?

By Ky Yurchuk CE’23


Spring 2020 was a semester of many firsts for Cooper students. It was the first time architecture students had studio without an actual studio. It was the first time electrical engineering students couldn’t do their homework on the sixth floor. It was the first time the Art School’s End of Year Show had to be virtual. Despite all the changes happening to the curriculum, the largest change by far has been the physical distance that we put between us. The residence hall was almost empty in the second half of the spring semester and will only be at half-capacity in the fall. However, as August 31st quickly approaches, many still seem unsure of how open the building will operate, and thus are confused as to whether they should try to get to city in some capacity. With that said, The Pioneer reached out to students, both incoming and returning, to ask them where they plan to be in the fall.

Of the 192 responses, 61 were from Architects, 123 from Engineers, and 8 from Artists. The Class of 2022 was most responsive, but 2021, 2023, 2024, and 2025 were all represented as well. 43 students have apartments near the school where they will live in the fall. 112 have decided to stay home, but of those 112, 67 have decided to commute to Cooper should there be in-person classes or shops available. 9 are going to live in the residence hall (welcome to Cooper, guys!). One has decided to take a gap year and join the military.


It should be noted that almost everyone who will live in an apartment near the school wants to attend in-person classes or use facilities for work. Combined with the 67 students from home who want to commute, a considerable number of students are interested in seeing the Foundation Building and NAB in September. Unfortunately, we live in a time where conditions change with the wind, and as Cooper attempts to adapt to rapidly changing policies regarding the coronavirus, it is unclear at this time what classes or how many students will be on campus in the fall. Thus, 26 people said that they were unsure of what their housing situation will be in the fall. However, of those 26, 14 also stated that they would prefer to attend in-person classes when available.

It does not come as a surprise that a majority of students are itching to return to campus in the fall. Cooper is known for its collaborative environment andthe large-scale projects that its students create. We thrive when we are together, and we all want to be together again.It’s a tough call, as well as a tough transition. Despite the introduction to online learning last semester, it is still jarring to think that our highly hands-on classes will most likely be online again. Perhaps this semester they will be more organized and efficient, and the return to traditional grading may make us more attentive during online lectures. But nothing will compare to the day we return to Cooper Square. 

Please be aware that this was an anonymous survey; we didn’t go verifying leases for apartments or asking for home office/studio setups (although we’d love to hear from you if you have a dope setup!).As such, we cannot guarantee that everyone is following through with the answer they submitted. As we have learned, a lot can change in a month.  Though the lack of clarity is frustrating for everyone, we at the Pioneer thinka little solace can be found in knowing what your student body is up to in the fall.  

Best wishes in the upcoming semester. 



By Nora Ashwood A’23

Azure, lapis, cobalt, Phthalocyanine Blue BN– “This color is also present in Lidl’s Dentalux Total Care Plus toothpaste, listed as the final ingredient.” Farizandi’s Cobalt has a brilliance close to International Klein Blue, but its hue morphs and varies in value, deeper and older– older in that it looks like a blue you remember and not a blue that is before your eyes. The blue is rich and vast and flat, but flat only until your eyes travel to the top right, to the black and (avian) orange at a 30-degree angle. The angle inverts the way you see the entire painting. Suddenly, the blue takes shape and forms an urban space of corners of buildings and too many small apartments jammed into former tenement buildings. Like the product of 3D glasses in a movie theater, the single perspectival slant transforms what is understood as a flat surface into an illusion of deep space with only a pair of black dots, like Mizar and Alcor, anchoring your eyes and keeping them from rising off the top and out of the frame, along with the rest of the shapes… Cobalt is a theatrical stage on which you can apprehend the near naturalistic renditions of light, color, and space taking shape before your eyes.

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Call for Protection of International Students

By Minah Ali (CE’23)

(Editor’s Note: The version of the letter published to the website was adjusted for formatting. A link is avaibable to the unchanged article in the body of the text. A link has also been provided to sign the letter here)

A few hours after President Trump tweeted “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” on July 6th, the Department of Homeland Security released a broadcast message titled “COVID-19 and Fall 2020”. Seemingly politically and financially motivated, the announcement reeked of xenophobia. It stated that nonimmigrant F-1 students taking a fully online course-load, which the Cooper Union was following as of June 2020, may not remain in the United States, possibly facing deportation. On July 9th, the Cooper Union administration responded to this crisis with an email stating a shift to a hybrid model of learning, which requires all international students to be in the US. However, with the SEVP regulations preventing students from taking online courses outside of the US in a hybrid model, international students would not have the ability to remain in their home countries to continue remote learning. In the administration’s email, this clause was misunderstood, which, given the severity of the crisis, shows irresponsibility. A collective of students took action to ensure that the Cooper Union protects all international students at the institution in a letter emailed to the administration.

The following letter was written collectively over the course of 36 hours and amassed almost 250 signatures before being sent to the administration on June 9th at 8 PM EDT:

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Interview with Dr. Rose Ojo-Ajayi

By Kitty Wang (A’23)

Editor’s Note: With our new digitally distance world, we as a team have decided to take advantage of the medium and publish video interviews instead of classically transcribed interviews. The first in our series, Kitty Wang sits down with the Cooper Union’s Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Rose Ojo-Ajayi to highlight her work. The interview is accessible through this link here and also embedded below:

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The Traitors of Modern Feminism: “Gender Critical” Misogyny

By Deena Fahed A’23

Trans exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, are a plague on the contemporary feminist movement. Although these “gender critical” radical feminists comprise a relatively small percentage of people who call themselves feminists, they are a very vocal minority. J.K. Rowling made headlines earlier this month for tweeting that trans acceptance is a Trojan horse for the erasure of “real women’s” identities, adding yet another chapter to her long history of platforming transphobic messages. TERFs contribute heavily to dangerous cultural narratives about trans women, often expressing a vitriolic hatred for them. These narratives contribute to real world violence – nearly half of the trans population in the US experienced some form of harassment in the past year, 47% of them have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, and “trans panic” in still a legally viable defense against murder charges in 40 states – and this violence disproportionately affects trans women of color and lower income trans people.

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NEW YEAR, NEW CHAPTER: The Call for Diversity in Architecture Education through NOMAS at Cooper


By MC Love AR’24

I hope this article finds you ready to join a movement long overdue in architecture. Within the architecture community, minorities face many challenges that most architects would never even consider. Following the petition put forth by the students at Cooper, the faculty and students have been working diligently to reimagine curriculum. There are places within the architecture and design community where privilege impairs diversity, and here are some statistics to paint the picture of what I’m talking about. I have gathered data collected by the National Architectural Accrediting Board regarding diversity in accredited architecture programs:

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Want to Help, but Don’t Know How? Here’s Where You Can Start.

By Sabriah Al-Bahish A’23, Ky Yurchuk CE’23, Brighton Huynh CE’21

With the cold-blooded murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, the Cooper Union Pioneer recognizes that Black Lives have, do, and will always matter. Social media has been flooded with various infographics and screenshots of text suggesting ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against systemic racism. Inherent to the modality of social media, the wider context of a lot of organizations and actions isn’t always conveyed due to (digital) space constraints. This following list includes various charities, organizations, and resources that tackle these systems through various ways; systemic racism is ingrained in almost every facet of our lives. Although we worked to cover a diverse range of issues, these organizations are by no means a comprehensive review of the multitude of people working hard to change the system. We hope that with a dedicated space for these organizations, that we can continue fighting and continue supporting the effort against institutionalized racism not only within this current flashpoint, but also throughout the future.

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