The Museum of Modern Art in New York established the world’s first curatorial department for architecture in 1932. At the time, it was a bully pulpit of sorts for Philip Johnson, who would identify and later create his own work in the vein of the International Style. Fast-forward 80 years, when MoMA appoints Pedro Gadanho as the institution’s curator of contemporary architecture. Gadanho is the antithesis of Johnson: approachable, globally minded, and a practicing architect who has steadily built a volume of work on a mostly local scale in his native Portugal. One week after his move stateside, we sat down with Gadanho to chat about his interior architecture (including a recently finished house south of Lisbon) and what he hopes to address in his new role, such as the perception of public space, international accountability, and envelope-pushing exhibition design.
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