Running For: Nominating Committee

Campaign Statement

The Garden We Keep

As a student of John Hejduk at the school of architecture, I remember him saying, “Good teachers affect lives, great teachers change lives, but master teachers change the genetic formation of the soul.” The Cooper Union was my master teacher.

How I came across the school is quite a story by itself, for another time, but suffice to say that it did save my life, literally. I graduated in 1988 from Cooper, and my son just started at the architecture school in September.

The Cooper Union, besides its relevance within the concurrent interdisciplinary debates, has always been somewhat of a seed library for what is to come, at times, decades later.

I believe Cooper’s promotion of truth, compassion, and social inclusion is more relevant now that it has ever been, and free access to quality higher education is, unequivocally, the inherent habitat of the institution’s mission.

I see the inauguration of President Spark as a fresh start to pick up momentum for bringing back the legacy of The Cooper Union by engaging full participation of every single member of its community.

It would be a privilege to offer my years of academic and professional experience and connections, along with my passion and knack for bringing people together for a common cause.

I will work towards invigorating the alumni and other interested bodies for more active participation.

First and foremost, let’s bring Cooper back home to tuition-free!


Lily Zand is an architectural designer, installation artist, and educator who is recognized internationally for her animated, mobile design and relentless promotion of environmental issues.

She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, and a Master in Design Studies from GSD at Harvard University.

She established Q-LLP, her New York-based architectural firm, in 2001. She applies her cross-disciplinary approach to a diverse array of innovative projects from private residences for superstars, and commercial projects for financial companies; to public installations in abandoned bunkers and structures in Germany, the Baltics, and gang infested parks in Chicago’s urban developments.

Ms. Zand has also accumulated over twenty years of experience in teaching at numerous academic institutions throughout the United States and abroad, including Architectural Association, Cambridge University, Oxford Polytechnic in England, Kyonggi University in Seoul, Technical University Berlin and Torgelow Institute in Germany, Columbia University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Illinois at Chicago, Cornell University, Chicago Art Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Cranbrook Academy, ArcheWorks, and the Graham Foundation, among others. She has been widely exhibited, and published in various journals including a+u.

She studies jellyfish, amoebic structures, and water as cognitive models and sustainable organizing devices.

In 2009 she founded School of Jellyfish— An Interdisciplinary Design House for the Advancement of Sustainable and Resilient Living, in Beacon, NY, raising awareness of pertinent urban design and community development issues through workshops, lectures, and events, enticing municipal leaders and the public to make better decisions about their city and natural environment.

She lives with her husband, and their dog, Gravity, in New York City and Hudson Valley.

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