(American, born 1950)
A registered architect, Ian J. Cohn is the founding partner of Diversity: Architecture & Design, New York.
Mr. Cohn has led the multi-disciplinary practice for almost 40 years. Architectural and interior design projects have been published internationally; several were featured in Bob Vila’s Complete Guide to Remodeling Your Home, 1999. Clients have included Walter Cronkite, the noted television journalist; Isaac Stern, the violinist; and Gay Talese, the author. Graphic design/ communications work, including corporate identities, publication designs, and exhibitions (including for the Museum of the City of New York) have won numerous awards and national recognition, including the prestigious Clarion Award for Communications Excellence in 1999.
Following his education at Washington University, St. Louis, where he earned a BA and MArcht (studying with the Finnish architect Aulis Blomstedt, Dean George Anselevicius, and the art historian Norris Kelly Smith), Mr. Cohn began his architectural career in the early 1970s in London working for Barron & Smith Architects, and HKPA Architects. After returning to New York, he worked as a designer for George Nelson, then became an Associate at Perkins & Will, Architects, before founding his own partnership in 1979, initially known as Ian/Aaron Architects.
Mr. Cohn’s interest in photography flourished in 1972, when he was invited to serve as photographer for the Columbia University archaeological expedition to Phlamoudhi, Cyprus under the direction of Dr. Edith Porada. During his free time, Mr. Cohn documented life in the remote village, where only two years later the entire community was forcibly displaced during the Turkish invasion of 1974. Over thirty years passed before the photographs were “rediscovered,” and the archive was declared a national ethnographic treasure, leading to their publication and exhibition at the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia (The Faces of Phlamoudhi, 2009). The emotional impact of displacement, and the return of these photographs to the community in diaspora formed the basis of a documentary film of the same title by Rupert Barclay, awarded Best New Director at the London Greek Film Festival (2014).
One of the first photographers to document the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Cohn’s photographs were included in an exhibition, Katrina Exposed, organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art, 2006 (with some selected for the permanent collection); other images were chosen for an online exhibit Katrina +5: An X-Code Exhibition, published by Southern Spaces, August 2010.
Over the past five summers, Mr. Cohn has returned to archaeological field excavations serving as photographer for the Koc University (Istanbul) expedition to Alalakh/ Tell Atchana, Turkey, led by Dr. K. Aslihan Yener; the University of Akron expedition to Ziyaret Tepe, Turkey led by Dr. Timothy Matney; the University of Manchester, UK expedition to Kissonerga-Skalia, Cyprus, led by Dr. Lindy Crewe, and the University of Leiden expedition to Palloures (Chlorakas), Cyprus led by Dr. Bleda Düring. A selection of photographs of the field work at Palloures is now being prepared for exhibition at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden, The Netherlands, scheduled to open in October 2019.