Born in Jamaica, Nina has always been inspired by the creativity she witnessed in her homeland: the art of people transforming everyday hardships and limitations into innovative solutions through multiple spheres of life. She imbues the spirit of transformation and innovation into every design project, from the structure of a home’s interior to the streetscape of a city block.
Nina began her professional career designing houses in Connecticut, Arizona and Virginia with the architecture firm Voorsanger and Associates. She went on to work on large cultural institutional projects like the New York Botanical Gardens master plan, the Clinton Library and the Biltmore Theater at Polshek Partnership (now Ennead).
For two decades Nina has been a sought-after educator, having taught architecture and design strategy at Syracuse University and currently at Parsons the New School for Design. Nina has been a registered architect since 2000 holding licenses in New York and New Jersey.
Bachelor of Architecture - Cornell University 1995
Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design - Columbia University 1998
American Institute of Architects
National Organization of Minority Architects
Nina Cooke John’s work is featured in the Center for Architecture’s 2018 exhibition, Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture. “Hip-hop is a cultural movement established by the Black and Latino youth of New York’s South Bronx neighborhood in the early 1970s. Hip-Hop Architecture produces spaces, buildings, and environments that embody the creative energy evident in these means of hip-hop expression. Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture exhibits the work of students, academics, and practitioners at the center of this emerging architectural revolution.”
architecture, urban strategy, design strategy, installation art