Jia Yi Gu appointed new director of MAK Center for Art and Architecture | News


Jia Yi Gu new director and curator of MAK Center for Art and Architecture

An active member of LA’s architecture and design scene, Jia Yi Gu is appointed as the MAK Center for Art and Architecture director. After a long search by the Center, she will take on directorial and curatorial responsibilities with her wide-ranging expertise in architectural curation, history, research, and design leadership.

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA for Critical Studies in Architecture, she graduated with honors from the University of California San Diego with a B.A. in Visual Arts and a Master of Architecture degree from UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. She explains that her Ph.D. work focuses on “the instrumentality of models in the postwar architecture office as a site of demonstration for architectural expertise.”

Archinect Feature: Spinagu Exemplifies a Contemporary Practice with Academia, Profession & Experimentation all Running at Full Steam. Image Thick, the exhibition. SCI-Arc Gallery, 2017

She brings her vast knowledge in curatorial practice and institution building from her roles as a Visiting Artist at California College of the Arts, where she teaches History and Theory and her previous role as the former director of Materials & Applications in Los Angeles. She is also the co-founder of Spinagu architecture research and design studio led alongside Maxi Spina.

MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, CA. Image © Josh White, 2014/Courtesy of MAK Center

Her trans-disciplinary approach to architecture and design will provide the MAK Center with a fresh approach. “Jia Yi Gu is an excellent choice for leading the MAK Center, as she combines far-reaching curatorial practice and experience with exciting new ideas for the MAK Center’s future activities,” shares Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, General Director and Artistic Director of the Museum of Applied Arts. 

She will succeed under Priscilla Lovat Fraser’s leadership, who has directed the MAK Center since 2017. The MAK Center shares that Fraser will end her tenure as a director with Autonomous Design, opening in May 2021. The exhibition features the work of seven contemporary Danish artists, designers, and architects to “interrogate design’s agency in a post-functional world.”

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