John Hejduk (1929–2000) was an architect and educator, and a 1950 graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture. His teaching career at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture began in 1964. The following year he also became the Head of the Department of Architecture. In 1975, when the School of Architecture became one of the three autonomous degree-granting divisions of The Cooper Union, he was named Dean and Professor of the School of Architecture. In 2000 he became Dean and Professor Emeritus of Architecture.
Under Hejduk’s leadership, the School led a radical and influential reconsideration of architectural education that emerged nationally and abroad in the 1960s and 70s. This work was influenced by a faculty of distinguished figures Hejduk assembled, including Raimund Abraham, Diana Agrest, Peter Eisenman, Diane Lewis, and Lebbeus Woods. The School also produced numerous exhibitions and publications, including Education of an Architect, a groundbreaking 1971 exhibition and catalog of student work presented at the Museum of Modern Art, and a second, sequel publication in 1988.
One of Hejduk’s prominent contributions to rethinking the pedagogy of architecture is the Nine-Square Grid Problem, a kit-of-parts design exercise he created in the mid-1950s while he was part of group of young faculty members at the University of Texas. Hejduk later refined the exercise at The Cooper Union, and the Problem continues to be taught in various forms in schools of architecture worldwide.
Numerous exhibitions and publications of Hejduk’s work were produced over the course of his professional career. Structures from his projects have been built at the Gropius Bau (Berlin), the Architectural Association (London), the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), The Oslo School of Architecture (Norway), Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta), Prague Castle (Czechoslovakia), the City of Groningen (Holland), near Madison Square Park at the intersection of 5th Avenue/Broadway and 23rd Street (New York City), Slussen Stockholm (Sweden), in the "La Boca" area of Buenos Aires (Argentina) the Universitat Politécnia de Catalunya (Spain), and The Cooper Union (New York). Buildings from his award-winning projects have been constructed in Berlin under the auspices of the Internationale Bauausstellung Berlin. He was also the architect for the award-winning renovation of The Cooper Union's National Historic Landmark Foundation Building. Hejduk was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and of the Royal Society of Arts.