Jonah Cohen

Jonah Cohen
Jonah Cohen was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After studying architecture at the Cooper Union he headed west to the promised land of Oregon. As managing principal of Hacker for 25 years, Jonah cultivated a practice based on his conviction that when people thrive, their work, organizations, and communities thrive as well. Jonah has led numerous projects for Hacker including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s experimental theater in Ashland and the joint-use Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum. Jonah served as president of the Architecture Foundation of Oregon from 2011-12 and serves on the Advisory Board for First Stop Portland, an educational group that facilitates global delegations interested in Portland’s model of urban sustainability.

Posts by Jonah Cohen

701

Bringing Presence to Meetings

by Jonah Cohen

As architects, we spend a good portion of our professional lives leading committee meetings – meetings that typically convene by immediately diving in to the subject at hand. Over a 3-year span of time some 15 years ago, I worked with the First Unitarian Church of Portland – with clients who gave me a great gift by modeling a different and compelling way of beginning meetings.

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429

30 million Uzbeks can’t be wrong

by Jonah Cohen

As part of my participation on the Advisory Board of First Stop Portland, I am occasionally asked to meet with visitors or public officials who have come to Portland to learn from our experience. First Stop Portland is run through Portland State University and their mission “To Connect Global Leaders with Local Innovators” translates into well-run densely packed tours.

Recently I had the great experience of meeting with three TV journalists from Tashkent, Uzbekistan who were visiting Portland to document stories on “ecological advances in the US.” Uzbekistan lies at the heart of the Central Asia — one of only two doubly-landlocked countries in the world (the other is Liechtenstein) and a gateway to Iran and Afghanistan. Uzbekistan also happens to be one of the most environmentally degraded countries in the world. Decades of questionable Soviet policies in pursuit of greater cotton production have resulted in a catastrophic situation. The Aral Sea used to be the fourth-largest inland sea on Earth but has now shrunk to less than 50% of its former area.

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161

Implementing Design Excellence Through Design Build

by Jonah Cohen

For the last few years, I’ve participated in a regional initiative examining how the Federal Government’s Design Excellence Program, started in 1990 and overseen by the U.S. General Services Administration, might be applied at the state level through programs, guidelines and case studies. This discussion began at the 2010 Oregon Design Conference, and THA since has had the opportunity to work on a project for the Oregon Military Department (OMD), the Colonel James Nesmith Readiness Center for the Oregon National Guard’s 162nd Engineering Company, which tangibly manifested this goal.

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