Cooper Union Showcases Student Innovation

Dean's List, East
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
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Maxwell von Stein's Flywheel Bicycle (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Maxwell von Stein's Flywheel Bicycle (Courtesy Cooper Union)

It’s that time of year again: School is giving way to summer vacation, final reviews are winding down, and the life of the architecture student regains some semblance of normalcy. The Cooper Union celebrates this time of year with its traditional End of Year Show, highlighting the work of students in art, architecture, and engineering. Hundreds of projects are now on display at the school’s Foundation Building at 7 East 7th Street on Cooper Square.

The engineering show just wrapped up, but the architecture showcase runs through June 18 and the art school’s work will be on display through June 11. The exhibition is free and open Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 7:00 p.m..  Take a look at a few of the student projects after the jump.

Engineering student Maxwell von Stein applied the principles of a hybrid car to the bicycle to harness the kinetic energy typically lost when braking. With a variable transmission and a flywheel mounted to the bike’s frame, von Stein’s bike allows the rider to pick up speed faster after stopping than with a battery. He takes it for a test ride in the above video.

Daphne Binder's Urbanization of the Dead Sea (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Daphne Binder's Urbanization of the Dead Sea (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Daphne Binder's Urbanization of the Dead Sea (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Daphne Binder's Urbanization of the Dead Sea (Courtesy Cooper Union)

School of Architecture student Daphne Binder sought to bring life to the shores of the Dead Sea. Beyond the actual proposed terraced buildings on  a hillside, Binder found her project raising political questions addressing peaceful coexistence. From an exhibition statement:

“The site explores the potential for urbanizing the Dead Sea area, based on the premise that architecture can and should play a major role in the protection of our world’s limited water resources. Through the thesis project, architecture student Daphne Binder found herself traversing the divide between two nations. Fundamental to this project is the idea that a peaceful relationship between Israel and Jordan should be celebrated and developed through a shared built environment in order to secure the survival of the Dead Sea. These joint ventures can also create an opportunity of productive discourse between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Audrey Berman's Hearth, a mobile bread oven. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Audrey Berman's Hearth, a mobile bread oven. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Audrey Berman's Hearth, a mobile bread oven. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Audrey Berman's Hearth, a mobile bread oven. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Architecture student Audrey Berman’s Hearth takes the bread oven mobile, bringing the communal activity of breaking bread to anywhere throughout New York that you can pedal. She wanted the oven to remain flexible for a variety of social situations and to act as “a vehicle for communication.”

Helen Minsky's Scissor Jacked Drill (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Helen Minsky's Scissor Jacked Drill (Courtesy Cooper Union)

School of Engineering student Helen Minsky created the Scissor Jack Drill to assist in small-scale geothermal installations. From the exhibition statement:

“Small scale geothermal heating and cooling has the potential to reduce costs and save energy for individual homes and buildings. If the drilling costs were lower, this would become a more feasible option to help supplement the cost of heating and cooling a home. For our project we designed and built a low-cost drill (budget of $1,000) that could penetrate granite, with the idea that it could be used for the instillation of geothermal heating and cooling systems.”

Below, School of Art graduate Louis Lim is showing off his installation, Untitled, 2011. The wooden bridge-like structure is composed of creates—natural on the outside but colorfully painted on the inside. The piece enters a dialogue with the surrounding architecture as it moves past columns.

Louis Lim's Untitled, 2011. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Louis Lim's Untitled, 2011. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

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2 Responses to “Cooper Union Showcases Student Innovation”

  1. TS Architect says:

    Great idea on the flywheel bike. Bikes have a lot of room to grow. Why are we still using chains? Why not shaft drive like some motorcycles. Sometimes “good enough” can be improved upon.

  2. Penguin59 says:

    To Maxwell von Stein, about his flywheel bicycle: congratulations on a clever and straightforward design. I would be interested in learning more about the testing and calibration that you had to go through since you built the first prototype.
    Also, does the added weight negatively affect the bicycle’s dynamic handling in a noticeable way?
    Have you considered storing the energy with compressed air instead? I acknowledge that the complexity of the design would be much greater, but you won’t have the weight penalty and even more the bicycle frame could double as air tank.
    Good luck.

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