Recipient of the Rome Prize, architect and educator Karen Bausman (b. 1958), and a 1982 graduate of The Cooper Union, has made substantial contributions to architectural education. She has held the Eliot Noyes Chair at Harvard University and the Eero Saarinen Chair at Yale University, the only American woman to hold both distinguished design chairs. She was a faculty member of The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University from 1990 to 2004. She received the President's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Architecture from her Alma Mater in 1994.
Her applied research into biological and natural structures underlies her dynamic building designs and has been published widely, including in INDEX Architecture, published by MIT Press in 2003, and Education of An Architect published by Rizzoli in 1988, a sequel publication to the groundbreaking Education of an Architect: A Point of View published in 1971. Her breakthrough works that push the boundaries of structural and visual poetry formed the basis of Karen Bausman: Supermodels, a solo exhibition of her building designs and working methods at Harvard University in 2001. Her work has been exhibited widely, including in Architects Draw: Freeing the Hand and stung by splendor at The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery at The Cooper Union.
Under her leadership as principal of Karen Bausman + Associates, where she is committed to design excellence and the creation of architecture, cities, and landscapes of enduring quality and ecological soundness, her office has been awarded multiyear Design Excellence contracts as part of New York City's ambitious effort to bring new ideas, technology, and environmental soundness to the design of city-financed buildings and infrastructure in New York. Her expertise is currently being applied to numerous large-scale coastal building projects at sites in The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.