Roderick Knox / 211 projects

Rod Knox is a practicing architect. Born 1942 in Kingston, Jamaica, he is a U.S. Navy veteran with degrees from The Cooper Union (B.Art 1970 and B.Arch 1975) and Harvard University (M.Arch 1976).

In 1977, at the invitation of John Hejduk, Knox began a rewarding 40-year teaching career at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. He taught with John in each of the studio’s five years; from Architectonics through Thesis, as well as Advanced Concepts, Crossings, Cutouts, Structures Elective, and Freehand Drawing.

As a student of John Hejduk, and then as a colleague teaching together until John’s death, Knox appreciated Hejduk’s teaching and imparted it to his own students. Knox is noted for always encouraging his students to pursue their professional license.

Deeply devoted to Peter Cooper’s legacy, in the 1970s Knox helped create the Saturday Program, intended as a temporary measure to promote diversity in the student body and to encourage community participation. This was never intended to be a permanent remedial program.

Knox has steadfastly opposed and protested the school’s abandonment of tuition-free education.

After John’s death, Knox was forced out of the design studio, but he continued John’s pedagogy with an Advanced Concepts syllabus incorporating rigorous class travel to study the art and architecture of cities such as NYC, Boston, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

In 2015, with the arrival of Nadar Tehrani, Knox was unceremoniously forced to retire from the school.

In the 1960s, as a student at the school, and in sympathy with a graduating class without a yearbook, Knox created a collage-yearbook titled “MEATBALL, Thanks for the Mammaries” which included pictures of all students, faculty, staff, and the campus. Years later Ari Rabinowitz removed the original films and production sheets from Knox’s office and turned them over to the school. The school has not yet acknowledged the work as Knox’s. This issue has not been resolved.

To date, Knox has been a visiting professor, critic, and lecturer at several universities including Harvard University, City College, SUNY Purchase, FIT, University of Pittsburgh, Cambridge, Howard University, Catholic University, and NYIT.

ROD KNOX ARCHITECT (RKA) is an award-winning firm renowned for inventive solutions to difficult problems. In 1975 Knox was awarded the Alumni Association Award for Service to the School, for his exemplary service and leadership to The Cooper Union. In 1993 Knox was awarded the President’s Citation and inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame.

Photograph by Luiji Pelle Hieri.