Steven Hillyer received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in 1990. In keeping with a longstanding tradition of mounting exhibitions and publishing work that informs the pedagogy of the School, Hillyer has curated, designed, and installed nearly 40 exhibitions at The Cooper Union and abroad, presenting the work of—and often working directly with—such distinguished architects as Raimund Abraham, John Hejduk, Bernhard Hoesli, Louis I. Kahn, Daniel Libeskind, Franco Purini, Carlo Scarpa, Massimo Scolari, Michael Webb, and Lebbeus Woods, as well as the artists Anthony Candido, Torkwase Dyson, Mary Kelly, Costantino Nivola, and Robert Slutzky, and photographers J. Henry Fair and Margaret Morton. Hillyer’s international work includes exhibitions at Prague Castle, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Steven Hillyer has also participated in the fabrication of numerous publications produced by the Architecture Archive, in capacities ranging from production coordination to design supervision and editorial work. He edited the recent publications Thesis 2017, Thesis 2016, Thesis 2015, Tony Candido: The Great White Whale is Black, and Lessons from Modernism: Environmental Design Strategies in Architecture, 1925-70.
In 2016 Hillyer initiated a significant initiative to develop and publish an online database of the Architecture Archive’s Student Work Collection, possibly the largest archive of architectural pedagogy in existence, with the ultimate goal of it being a global, public resource. Phase 1 of this project, inclusive of 2,500 projects completed between the 1930s and 2000, launched in November 2019. Phase 2 of the project, set to be completed in the spring of 2022, will add approximately 2,200 projects completed from 2003 forward. T his project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
Aside from his work at The Cooper Union, Hillyer is an award winning screenwriter, playwright, producer, and co-founder of New York City based Arkanjel Productions with creative partner Tim Marback. Their first feature film, The Event, starring Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis, Sarah Polley, and Parker Posey was released domestically and internationally in 2003. Hillyer is currently developing several projects he has co-authored, including Black Mary, a television series about the woman who ran one of the most powerful crime families in Chicago, and the play Mend, which was presented as a workshop at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End in 2018.