only one theme- he began with the beginning of mankind and ended with now. Later that
semester Bucky asked if anyone would like to help him build his house. I said I’d be glad to, but
I was leaving school at the end of the semester to take a design job so I could support my wife
and two children. He blinked those big, magnified eyes and said, “we’re not going to build my
house later- we can build it in an afternoon.”
In January 1964, the same week I began teaching at Indiana University, Bucky Fuller’s picture
appeared on the cover of TIME.magazine.
Looking back on it now, I realize Harold L. Cohen was the catalyst for importing Moholy’s former
students to form the new Design Department at SIU. Two of my favorite teachers were Davis
Pratt and Elsa Kula. Although I never met him, the much-loved teacher Harold Grosowsky, one
of Harold’s students in Chicago, later joined the faculty at SIU.
By 1966 Cohen had moved back East to Silver Springs, MD where he became the Director of
the Institute for Behavioral Research (IBR) and was appointed President of IBR’s Experimental
College. Concurrently, he was appointed Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at
John Hopkins School of Medicine where he ran a program for young suicidal adults who had
been institutionalized at the Phipps Clinic because of their use of LSD.
In l974, he was appointed Dean and Professor of the School of Architecture and Environmental
Design (now called Architecture and Planning) at the State University of New York at Buffalo. I
kept hearing about Cohen’s inspired teaching methods, including from one of my best graduate
students, Carl Twarog, now a professor of art and design at Eastern Carolina University.
At this writing, Harold and Mary Cohen live in downtown Buffalo where they collaborate in
research and world travel. Harold told me in a recent telephone conversation, “When our
children were growing up, they were asked what was my profession for the school records. I told
them to put down Teacher.” He spoke the word with pride. And it is fully deserved.
Al Gowan, Professor Emeritus • Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts
How Harold L.Cohen made all the difference - continued - By Al Gowan
1960 mouse cage
mouse cage patent
Design at Southern Illinois University