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Who are you? Could you tell me about yourself?

I’m Joya. I’m also an electrical engineer and Queens born New Yorker. I come from a

large family of Bengali-Hindu immigrants and my worldview has definitely been

shaped by them and the expansive community of immigrants I grew up in. I spent the

first 7 years of my life in the most diverse zip code in NYC and then moved all

around the boroughs. I’ve gone to 7 different NYC public schools with totally

different demographics which taught me about the stratified communities that make

up NYC. This has been pretty formative to my identity and I find that to this day I

continue to push myself to keep moving and learning.

When are you graduating?

May 2023 – But I’ll be staying at Cooper to finish my Masters for about a year or two.

What is your major? And why did you choose your major?

I was originally a Chemical Engineering major and switched to Electrical Engineering for no other reason than my best friend was doing it too. I could go on forever about how majors are unnecessary boxes, but prior to choosing EE, I did not have a strong affinity to the subject at all. However, I’m glad to say that after 4 years of debugging, soldering, and staring at code I am confident I made the right decision. Through the EE curriculum at Cooper I have found a passion for math and machine learning. My ML projects have opened up opportunities for me to engage in many fields I am passionate about: public transportation, fashion design, education, agriculture, energy, and more.

Who is someone you look up to in your field? Either today or historically?

I look up to my professor Sam Keene. Cooper can be a rough place. 14+ hour

workdays where circuits blow up are unfortunately more common than not. Amongst

it all, Keene does an amazing job of keeping not just morale, but student interest high. He’s constantly pushing for more interdisciplinary classes between the

engineers and the artists and I’ve touched skills that I never would have been able to

through his Data Science for Social Good, Generative Machine Learning, and Beer

Brewing class. Shoutout Keene for keeping learning fun.

Why did you choose Cooper Union?

There were quite a few reasons. I knew I wanted to stay in the city. I also went to a

pretty small high school and very much enjoyed being able to bond with my teachers,

so a smaller sized school was ideal. I was originally between applying as an

engineering or animation major and Cooper seemed like the best place to combine

art and engineering. Finally, it was the most affordable option with the best quality of

education. I mean come on – no student loans?

What is one thing that you learned at Cooper that you didn’t expect?

Intelligence is nonsensical.

What inspires you?

Seeing concepts click in younger students. There’s nothing like witnessing an aha


What are you reading, listening to, or watching?

Currently I’m reading Blindsight by Peter Watts. I love sci-fi but I’d say this story goes

a bit further than just that. As for listening, I can only describe my music taste as

“beep boop” music, but I’ve also been listening to a lot of Brazilian Funk lately. I’ve

stopped watching shows recently, but my comfort shows are Avatar the Last

Airbender and anything from early 2000s Cartoon Network.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

Who knows, life is not linear. I’d like to be a Machine Learning Engineer, or whatever

equivalent that would be in 5 years since the field is changing so rapidly, and I’d be

working in a social cause I’m interested in: public transportation, community food

security, or K-12 education. Besides that I see myself cooking a lot, maybe raising a

hive of bees, getting back into drawing comics, and becoming a strong runner and

biker again.

What are you passionate about? And what do you do in your free time to

refresh yourself?

I’m passionate about education reform and community. I spend a lot of time behind

my computer coding, so I like to refresh myself simply by turning off all my screens.

Whether that means cooking a new meal, or just sitting outside and listening, I really

value any bit of time I get to interact with the people, things, and the city I love.

Is there a question we should have asked you? And if so, what is it and what is

the answer to it?

What project or role are you most proud of? It would definitely be being the project

manager for Cooper’s Intelligent Ground Vehicle Club (CooperIGVC). We are

working on building a fully autonomous vehicle by retrofitting the GEM Polaris E2. I

love watching freshmen and sophomores learn to design PCBs, use ROS for SLAM,

employ object detection models, and write firmware for the car — and I love learning

all these things with them to fill in my own knowledge gaps.

Photo from the Cooper IGVC:

Who are you? Could you tell me about yourself?

My name is B Amico, and I’m a 22 year old student attending the Cooper Union. Most of my work falls into the category of graphic design or illustration, but I enjoy being inspired by other modes of making like printmaking and sound art. Through my time at Cooper I’ve developed a particular interest in typography, both in type setting and in the design of the letterforms. Currently, I’m focused making a book of illustration and hand lettering centered around the theme of transgender identity. As a non-binary person, queerness often guides the way I approach design how I choose to communicate with the viewer. Sometimes graphic design can be very insular. Trends come and go and brands are just trying to keep up with whatever is “in.” I’m focused more so on my own personal relationship to typography and image, and how that translates then into graphic design work.

When are you graduating?

I will be graduating this coming May 2023!

What is your major? And why did you choose your major?

Cooper Union does not have pre-determined majors. All students attending the school of art receive a general BFA with no specialization. That being said, most of the courses I’ve taken have been geared towards drawing and graphic design.

Who is someone you look up to in your field? Either today or historically?

Susan Kare and Paula Scher are two designers that I admire immensely. Too often are female designers overlooked in design history, and these women have been on the cutting edge throughout their careers. Susan Kare designed the first icons for Macintosh in the early 80s with effectively zero knowledge of computers, let alone how to design for/on them. Paula Scher is an incredible typographer, arguably the best in the world. Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of design, and Scher is able to do that using the simplest letterforms and compositions. Her bleeding love for design is so apparent that it’s impossible to not be inspired. Both women are also unwavering in their confidence as designers, and that is a trait that I hope to fully embody myself.

Why did you choose Cooper Union?

I chose Cooper because of how selective they are when accepting students into the school of art, and also how open they are to cross disciplinary creating. When I graduated high school I had so much passion for art that I could not limit myself to just one specific major. Cooper Union is unique in its dedication to interdisciplinary creating. In fact, they require art students to be taking classes in at least two areas of study (I.e. painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, AV, photography, or design). And, of course, I can’t forget to mention Cooper Union’s incredibly long history of producing some of the most notable artist and designers.

What is one thing that you learned at Cooper that you didn’t expect?

Perhaps this is a simple answer, but I learned that I’m passionate about design at Cooper. Before college, I was focused on installation, sculpture and experiential fine art, but after taking the intro to graphic design course I switched my focus almost entirely. At Cooper Union particularly, there’s an incredible community among the students and professors passionate about graphic design, and it’s a community that I connected with immediately.

What inspires you?

Another simple answer, but everything!! I’ve learned that inspiration can be drawn from literally any aspect of life, and, in fact, it’s important to do so. Keeping an observant design-eye open as I go through mundane daily chores makes them much more palatable. I can walk through a grocery store and be blown away by the way they’ve displayed lemons, then use that to guide my next design project. I’m currently making a book about the netting some fruits and vegetables are packaged in.

What are you reading, listening to, or watching?

My media consumption as of late has been pretty sporadic; I’m not locked in to any one book or tv show. I do listen to music often as I make work though. Right now on rotation is Slothrust, Sammy Rae and the Friends, Vulfpeck, and… Fall Out Boy (they just released an album a near ten year hiatus, and I must honor my middle school tortured teen self).

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

In five years, I would like to be working as a part of a design team full of people whom I respect and that inspire me. Another important thing I’ve learned at Cooper is the importance of being surrounded by peers who are also actively working towards being better designers, always pushing themselves. So, I’m not too sure what kind of projects I’ll be working on in five years, but I know want to be part of a tight knit design team.

What are you passionate about? And what do you do in your free time to refresh yourself?

Now that it’s finally spring, I spend a lot of my free time just walking around my neighborhood. I look around with that design-eye open, trying to stay connected to the physical world. Graphic design can be a very computer heavy field, and it’s easy to get sucked into the screen. So, my walks help remind me where design can live–on buses, buildings, street signs, in shop windows, really anywhere and everywhere.


Recent artwork:

Who are you? Could you tell me about yourself?

My name is Yunru Chen, people call me Daisy, I am a 5-year Architecture student at The Cooper Union.

When are you graduating?

I am graduating in late May of 2023.

What is your major? And why did you choose your major?

I pursued a major in architecture as a natural progression from my studies in high school. I attended DASH (Design and Architecture Senior High), a design high school in Miami where I was first introduced to the subject and found it fascinating. Pursuing it in college was a logical step for me. The discipline and the critical thinking skills that architecture school has instilled in me are qualities that I value highly.

Who is someone you look up to in your field? Either today or historically?

I look up to my former Dean Nader Tehrani. His works, working ethic, teaching strategy, and critical feedback are something I find efficient, precise, and effective in the field of architecture and education.

Why did you choose Cooper Union?

I applied for early decision, so I didn't have a choice but to accept the offer. However, I initially chose this school because of its architecture program's reputation, location in New York City, and access to a plethora of resources and platforms. Additionally, the school offers a half-tuition scholarship and places value on everyday practice rather than traditional portfolios, as demonstrated through a home test. Furthermore, the school does not emphasize SAT scores.

What is one thing that you learned at Cooper that you didn’t expect?

I didn’t expect to be able to learn by myself–My position as an architecture student and how I view this field. My personal working method, ethic, and attitudes toward who I like to work with and how I like to work within a team.

What inspires you?

I am not sure what exactly inspires me, it’s too much of an artistic or spontaneous question, I don’t particularly form a thesis or project through inspiration but an accumulation of observations, thoughts, unease, and the desire of putting down a position of my own. It comes through the process of researching a particular field of knowledge and sets of questions I ask about the topic and to myself regarding the intentions to precisely deliver the information and the project.

What are you reading, listening to, or watching?

Currently, I am reading books regarding materials and light, and the histories of showrooms. (Light Construction, Construction Matters, Inmaterial/Ultramaterial) watching crime shows, revenge shows, and listening to a song called Venus Flytrap by Feng Suave.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

Ahh, I have no idea, but I wish in 5 years I will be able to know what I want to do with my life. I want to have my own office. Designing, cooking, and living. I want to become stable and strong mentally and physically.

What are you passionate about? And what do you do in your free time to refresh yourself?

I like cloud watching and drawing clouds. That’s what I do to refresh myself. I like food as well, so I like to eat to refresh myself.

Is there a question we should have asked you? And if so, what is it and what is the answer to it?

Questions and answers only emerge after this is submitted. Just like a print, you would never know what else to do until you made the current print.


A few examples of Daisy's work below.

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