Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do at Cooper-Hewitt?
I manage the exhibition design process for all our exhibitions, including the designers who design our exhibitions, graphics, and lighting, and plan the schedules and budgets for how the exhibitions are built.
What was your background before coming to Cooper-Hewitt?
I started my museum career at the Guggenheim Museum, as an intern in the exhibitions department, and worked my way up before coming to the Cooper-Hewitt in 1999.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Working with talented designers and learning something new from each exhibition is always a pleasure.
What was the most memorable moment for you at Cooper-Hewitt?
Recently, I was amazed during tours of the mansion construction to see parts of the galleries exposed that hadn’t been seen since Andrew Carnegie’s day.
How has the renovation either opened new doors or posed new challenges for you?
Both! I have been deeply involved in planning the new campus, exhibition and visitor experience. The planning process has been very challenging but also an opportunity for the Museum to re-envision ourselves and our working process.
Looking forward, what are you most excited about once the museum reopens?
I am really looking forward to seeing our beautiful new exhibition design actually realized and built. I also enjoy the installation process, which is intense and exciting.
Do you have a favorite designer or design era?
I’m partial to Bauhaus work, and the “form follows function” philosophy.
What’s the last exhibition/book/movie/city that left a lasting impression on you?
Last year I went to London and absolutely loved it. New architectural buildings, such as the Renzo Piano’s “Shard” and Lord Norman Foster’s “Gherkin,” are wonderful and, although iconic themselves, work beautifully with London’s famous architectural monuments. My favorite museum was the V&A, where both the building and the collection are beautiful.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of the museum/design world?
In the past I’ve had serious hobbies such as paleontology and flamenco dance, but currently I’m doing graduate work on a masters’ degree in environmental management from Harvard. It is deeply challenging and rewarding. Besides work and school, spending time with my husband and daughter is a top priority.
Finally, if you could redesign anything, what would it be?
In my role as the Chair of the Sustainability Committee, I look forward to shaping the museum into a 21st century sustainable institution.