California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA


The Future of the Design Studio: Nader Tehrani at CPP ARC

By sarah123
Feb 3, '19 12:22 PM EST

Cooper Union's Dean of Chanin School of Architecture named inaugural Paul Helmle Fellow

POMONA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2019) – Nader Tehrani, dean of Cooper Union’s Chanin School of Architecture, has been named the inaugural Paul Helmle Fellow by the Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona.

Tehrani will give the department’s first lecture of the year on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Interim Design Center (Building 89). The fellowship program, endowed for the next 15 years by alumna Juliana Terian (‘80), honors the legacy of the late Emeritus Professor Paul Helmle. A faculty committee selected Tehrani for his significant contributions to architectural education and the profession, and the clarity of his design thinking and acumen when engaging students.

“Paul was great at guiding students to better understand ‘their ideas’ in the larger landscape of architectural notions, and yet Paul also taught a very influential studio where students learned design by working in the manner of known masters,” said department chair Professor George Proctor. “As a teacher Paul was egalitarian, sensitive, thoughtful, engaging, conversational, enthusiastic, and adventurous. As a colleague, I found Paul to care very deeply about architecture and the program at Cal Poly Pomona.”

In January 2019 Tehrani taught a 10-day workshop that challenged students to confront the future of the design studio: as practice increasingly operates in a multi-disciplinary setting, while the use of studio space has grown to accomodate many more and new activities and individuals require less personal workspace, given the digital domain.

In addition to his leadership duties in academia, Tehrani is also the co-founder and design principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to advancing design innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration with the construction industry. He previously served a professor of architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, where he led the as its Head of Department (2010-14). Throughout his career, he was honored with 15 Progressive Architecture Awards as well as numerous AIA, Boston Society of Architects, and ID awards.

His research and installation work have been showcased in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Currently, his work is part of the permanent collections of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.

The Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona is one of the nation’s top-ranked programs. For four consecutive years, it has made the DesignIntelligence’s annual list of the country’s Top 25 Ranked Architecture & Design Schools in several categories for undergraduate (No. 12) and graduate (No. 8, master’s in interior architecture) programs. Learn more at

2018-19 Bernard Zimmerman Lecture Series