Arts Letters & Numbers: Living Still Life
David Gersten is an internationally recognized artist, architect, writer and educator based in New York City. He is the director of interdisciplinary learning at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where he has been a professor since 1991. At the Cooper Union, he has served as the associate dean of the School of Architecture as well as acting dean of the school. Gersten is the founding director and president of Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit arts and education organization dedicated to expanding the experiences understood as education through creating new structures and spaces for creative exchange across a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, visual arts, theater arts, film, music, the humanities, the sciences and the social sciences. Arts Letters & Numbers conducts workshops in educational and cultural institutions worldwide, while operating an ongoing series of programs, including workshops, sessions, residencies, thesis programs, lectures, theater performances, exhibitions, events, music performances and films productions at its campus located in Averill Park, New York.
Gersten regularly collaborates with and advises international organizations, educational and cultural institutions, as well as education policy groups on a wide range of subjects. He recently presented a keynote address on “Unlocking the Creativity of Youth” at the UNICEF – EXPO as well as at the Chancellors Summit held at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing.
Gersten’s works encompass drawings, stories, essays, films, performances, buildings and constructions. They have appeared in numerous international exhibitions and performance spaces and are held in the collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture, the New York City Public Library’s print collection and many private collections. He has published extensively in national and international publications on diverse areas of research, including the spaces and structures of education, emergent disciplinary geographies, spatial literacy, ethics and technology, market functionality and collective judgment, global resource distribution and the poetic/material/spatial imagination, the city and its transformations, and the linkages between embodied experience, embodied cognition, memory, perception, language, space and education.
Gersten has exhibited, lectured and served as a visiting professor at numerous universities throughout the world. He is a visiting professor at Rhode Island School of Design, an international visiting scholar at CAFA, a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, United Kingdom, and a member of the Big Picture Learning board of directors.
Gersten is a graduate of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union. He has also pursued studies in phenomenology at the New School for Social Research as well as Islamic studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Gersten is leading the OPN Masterclass for architecture students the week of Jan. 13-17 at Iowa State.