Gia Wolff

Assistant Professor

Gia Wolff is an architectural designer who is interested in architecture that embodies a reciprocal relationship between the user and the built environment and questions the performative aspects of the discipline. In 2013, Wolff was winner of the Wheelwright Prize for her project, Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats, where she currently studies the traditions of parade floats—elaborate temporary and mobile constructions that are realized annually in various carnivals and festivals around the world. She is presently an Adjunct Assistant professor at the Pratt Institute, School of Architecture, New York and an Assistant Professor at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union, New York.

Her work has been featured in recent exhibitions including Canopy, an installation in the Tate Modern's turbine hall for the show Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival (London, England, 2014); Tubes Over Tubes Under Tubes, in collaboration with Freecell Architecture (White Columns Gallery, New York, 2013), Jambalaya (Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, 2013), and What to Maintain (Peter Fingesten Gallery, Pace University, New York, 2014). Wolff is also a collaborator with the Phantom Limb Company on marionette set designs including The Devil You Know (La Mama Experimental Theater, New York, 2010), The Composer Is Dead (Berkeley Repertory Theater, Berkeley, 2010), and 69° South (BAM Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn, 2011).

Wolff has worked at the architecture practices of Acconci Studio, Adjaye Associates, and LOT-EK. She received a Master's Degree in Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design in 2001.

  • 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.”

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  • 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.