"Free as air and water"

For more than a century Cooper Union was unique among American design schools in offering an education that was not only first-rate but also tuition-free. In recent years it’s fought a dramatic battle to remain true to its democratic ideals and egalitarian mission.

Cooper Union was long unique among U.S. design schools in offering an education that was not only first-rate but tuition-free. It’s fighting hard to remain true to its egalitarian mission.

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  • Aaron Rothman
  • Naomi Stead

Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is a professor of media studies at The New School in New York City.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is a columnist for Places. A monograph of his artwork, Signal Noise, is forthcoming from Radius Books.

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David Heymann

David Heymann is a columnist for Places. He is an architect, and the Harwell Hamilton Harris Regents Professor in Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a columnist for Places. She is an architecture critic and Head of Architecture at Monash University.

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