Orion Behavior Design Studios designed and built a completely new web site for The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, vastly improving its ability to showcase not just its academic programs but its vitality, culture and various timely event offerings. The challenge was to help the venerable institution clarify the purpose of the website, to help create a more unified presence for the school’s different faculties and majors, and to help them devise a new editorial and content strategy to meet those goals.

Engaged Environment

Our solution was to create a platform where the site’s editors could feature far more varieties of powerful images depicting not just campus life but also the great engineering, architecture, and art projects that are produced by the students and faculty. Showcasing active and engaged students, faculty, and staff was key to adding vitality to the portrayal of the school. Each page also provides an environmental background such as an architectural detail relevant to the subject of the page.

Balancing the Historical & Modern

Orion created a design solution that not only expresses the recent revitalization of Cooper Union’s campus architecture and program relevancy, but simultaneously surfaces the institution’s founder and founding principles within a persistent historical banner attached the site’s footer, as a means of balancing the old with the new.

Multiple Ways to Enter Content

Wayfinding on the site includes supporting both audience self-segmentation and groupings of institutional offerings based on the most common user needs.

Brand Extension

Cooper Union’s logo was redesigned by the prestigious identity design agency Doyle Partners. For the new site, Behavior created an interactive algorithmically generated animation of the new logo, unifying the school’s science and art philosophy in a visually and intellectually compelling way.


  • Infused life into the school’s online presence
  • Promoted school’s vitality both inside and beyond the classroom
  • Leveraged photography of engaged students, faculty and alumni
  • Utilized imagery of key architectural and environmental elements relevant to each area of the site
  • Persistent historical footer connects founding principles with institution’s forward momentum
  • Collaborated with multiple internal stakeholders
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