Nader Tehrani: The Animate Analytique

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Exterior of a modern building with a tree in the foreground.

Adams Street Branch Library, 2021. photo / provided

Peter Eisenman Lecture Series endowed by Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown


The composite drawing in the form of the Beaux Arts analytique served as an architectural tool to reveal critical part-to-whole relationships, all while adopting tectonic fragments at varied scales to show how even organic artifacts can be the result of hybrid thinking. Economical in its representation at one level, but also complex, allusive, and inventive at another, the analytique indicated that architecture is somehow projected amongst different forms of representation — for instance, between the plan and section. The animate analytique extends this tradition by incorporating time and motion, both central to architectural cognition, to illustrate fluid connections between forms of representation, ideas, and the creative process. Inherently pedagogical as a device, it is also a means to reveal the instrumentality of specific modes of representation in dialogue and confluence. Conceived as both a design tool and post-game analysis, the animate analytique constructs a narrative that is as succinct in its ability to illustrate simple diagrams as it is complex in its ability to synthesize heterogeneous ideas.


Nader Tehrani is Founding Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry.

For his contributions to architecture as an art, Nader Tehrani is the recipient of The American Academy of Arts and Letters' 2020 Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize. Tehrani has also been named the 2022 National Design Awards Design Visionary by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; honored for his innovation and impact on the field of architecture. Working on interdisciplinary platforms, Nader Tehrani's research has been focused on the transformation of the building industry, innovative material applications, and the development of new means and methods of construction, as exemplified in his work with digital fabrication. Tehrani's work has received many prestigious awards, among which are an unprecedented nineteen Progressive Architecture Awards.

Tehrani is former Dean of The Cooper Union's Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture where he served from 2015–2022 and former Head of the Department of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning where he served from 2010–2014. Tehrani has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served as the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design, and The University of Toronto where he served as the Frank O. Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architecture. He also served as the William A. Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

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