Jonah Rowen

Assistant Professor Adjunct

Jonah Rowen is an architectural historian and educator whose work focuses on the intersections between architectural technics and construction, economics, environments, materials and commodities, and labor. He received his Ph.D. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Planning and Preservation, with a Certificate from the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. There, he wrote a dissertation on buildings' design and production, figured as technologies of risk management and security, in the setting of nineteenth-century Anglo-Caribbean colonialism and exchanges. His research for that project was based on documents from archives in the Caribbean and the U.K., including business records, architects' drawings and other forms of accounting, and their written correspondence with other building professionals, from engineers, fabricators, and builders to insurance agents. Close analysis of drawings constitutes an especially significant mode of evidentiary study in his scholarly work. He holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University, and has taught at Rice University, the Parsons School of Design, the Cooper Union School of Architecture, Columbia University and Barnard College, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Among his publications are essays in Grey Room, Log, and Pidgin, and he was a founding editor of Project: A Journal for Architecture.

View Jonah Rowen's full CV here.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.