The Plateforme 10 Foundation, which brings together three Vaud cantonal museums in the new Quartier des Arts in Lausanne, has announced that Italian museum director Beatrice Leanza will become the new director of the Musée cantonal de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains (mudac). Leanza will take up her post on 1 January 2023. She succeeds Chantal Prod’Hom, who is retiring and has very successfully led the then newly founded mudac since July 2000. With attractive exhibitions and innovative formats such as “Carte blanche”, Prod’Hom has succeeded in establishing the comparatively small house as an institution on a national and international level.
Beatrice Leanza, born in Milan in 1978, holds a Master’s degree in Asian Studies from the Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia. She began her career at the China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), an alternative art space in Beijing founded by the artist Ai Weiwei. From 2013 to 2016, Leanza directed Beijing Design Week (BJDW), the largest public initiative for design and architecture in China, launched in 2009 by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Ministries of Culture, Education, Science and Technology. In addition to her freelance work as a curator, lecturer and writer, in 2017 she co-founded “The Global School” in Beijing, an alternative education initiative for multidisciplinary creative research and projects. In 2019, she moved to Portugal to become the director of the Edp Foundation’s Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (maat) in Lisbon.
For the garden house, Zittel created minimalist furniture sculptures composed of coloured panels; in 2019, tables, benches and stools were created for the interior and a carpet for a bench. In the second part, the installation has now been expanded with ceiling lights, bowls, trays and more stools indoors and striking bench sculptures outdoors. The five rectangular benches on the lawn in front of the garden house invite people to take different perspectives on the architecture and the garden and to come together in different formations. In the future, the installation will mainly be experienced in the spring and summer months. At the same time, it announces a solo exhibition by Andrea Zittel that will continue the artist’s dialogue with the heritage of modernism at Haus Esters in autumn 2022.
“It is an exciting challenge to accompany mudac in its new phase of development within Platform 10.”, said Beatrice Leanza. “It is also a unique opportunity to work with a forward-looking institution that champions intellectual curiosity and creative optimism at a time when we need it most. Design is in itself a cultural expression of ingenuity, critical spirit and imagination; but it is also, and more fundamentally, a poetics and science of the relationships we enter into with reality that enable us to understand and inhabit the world we are meant to live in. I am excited to embark on this journey with the mudac team, building on its achievements as an institution that can keep pace with ongoing transformations and thus be a site for professional encounters, social debates and practices in creating models for cross-domain research, academic dissemination and citizen participation.”
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