Italian curator and critic Beatrice Leanza has been selected to lead the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon as its new executive director. With this selection, EDP Foundation —which funds the museum— opted for a profile with a renowned career in the areas of contemporary art, design and architecture, as well as a vast experience in project and team management.
The Foundation has also decided to make a change to MAAT’s organization chart, which will now have an Executive Director and a Curatorial Board. She began her new role on September 2, and the members of the Curatorial Board will be announced soon.
“The EDP Foundation believes that Beatrice Leanza’s knowledge in the areas of contemporary art, design and architecture, as well as her experience in implementing cultural strategies involving the community, will be crucial to the continued assertion of MAAT as an internationally-recognized cultural institution” the Museum said in a statement.
The MAAT presents itself as a new cultural center in the city of Lisbon, Portugal and represents an ambition to host national and international exhibitions with contributions by contemporary artists, architects and thinkers. A space for debate, critical thinking and international dialogue, which offers an intense and diverse programme conceived for all audiences and ages.
Prior to MAAT, Leanza served as the creative director of Beijing Design Week from 2013 to 2016 and as acting chief curator of the ongoing research program Across Chinese Cities, which was presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014, 2016, 2018. She is also a cofounder of B/Side Design, an international organization that focuses on the development of urban initiatives that have social impact, such as the establishment of the Global School, which is billed as China’s first independent design institute. Leanza began her art world career in Beijing where she worked as a curator at Ai Weiwei’s alternative arts space CAAW (China Art Archives and Warehouse).
Leanza is currently also a board member of Design Trust (Hong Kong) and has been selected for the Young European Leader Class 2018, a think tank promoted by the Friends of Europe Foundation, based in Brussels.