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Zoe Ryan appointed curator of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial

Zoë Ryan have been appointed as the curator of the second Istanbul Design Biennial, to be held from 18 October to 14 December 2014. British curator and writer Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Since joining the museum in 2006, British curator and writer Zoë Ryan has been building the museum’s first collection of contemporary design in addition to expanding its holdings in historical and contemporary architecture. In addition to her work at the museum, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Art History Department at the School of the Art Institute and at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches a Masters-level seminar focused on critical issues in design.

Prior to working at the museum, Ryan was Senior Curator at the Van Alen Institute in New York, a non-profit public art and architecture organization committed to improving the design of the public realm. In addition to editing the Van Alen Report, the Institute’s quarterly journal, she organised a variety of exhibitions including “The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation”.

Ryan has also held curatorial assistant positions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Ryan is often called upon as a juror and critic and has lectured on her work internationally. She has served on the advisory committee of the Experimenta Design Biennial in Lisbon and was part of the curatorial advisory committee for Spontaneous Interventions in the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. She served as Chair of the Jury for the National Design Awards, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York in 2013, and that same year was part of the jury for the Wheelwright Fellowship, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach to her work, Ryan’s recent exhibitions include “Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects” (2012), the first survey exhibition of this Chicago-based architecture practice; “Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, and Sandra Backlund” (2012), which investigates the construction of narratives in fashion design; “Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention” (2011), a major retrospective of this iconic Chicago architect; “Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design,” (2010), an international survey  exploring inter-disciplinary practices in architecture and design; “Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design” (2009), the first solo exhibition of the work of this important industrial designer’ and “Graphic Thought Facility: Resourceful Design” (2008), the first solo show of the work of the eponymous London-based studio.

In fall 2012, Fast Company magazine named Zoë Ryan one of the 50 people shaping the future of design.

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial will be realised under the co-sponsorship of Vestel and VitrA. The conceptual framework of the biennial will be announced at a press conference in November 2013 by the curator Zoë Ryan.

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Advisory Board Members are Chairman of the Board of Vitra Design Foundation, Mr. Alexander von Vegesack; Aga Khan Award for Architecture recipient, architect Han Tümertekin; architect, editor, writer and curator of the first Istanbul Design Biennial, Joseph Grima; Industrial Designer and Director of the first Istanbul Design Biennial, Özlem Yalım Özkaraoğlu; UltraRPM Chairman Paul McMillen; Vice Rector at Yasar University and Board Member and Design Coordinator of Izmir Mediterranean Academy, Prof. Tevfik Balcıoğlu and; Vice President of Icograda and graphic designer, Yeşim Demir.