The Art Institute of Chicago announced today the appointment of Karen Kice to the position of Neville Bryan Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design , effective immediately. Kice will join Zoë Ryan, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, in building and strengthening the Art Institute’s holdings of contemporary architecture. Kice will also spearhead the development of exhibitions that identify and explore important current thinking and practice in the field of contemporary architecture and urbanism as well as take an active role in bringing these topics to the public with lectures, programs, and publications.

“We are delighted to have Karen join us here at the Art Institute,” said Zoë Ryan, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator, Department of Architecture and Design. “Having worked most recently in Los Angeles, and before that in New York, Karen has participated in the research and initiatives at the forefront of contemporary urban studies. This is a field of utmost significance, encompassing not only architecture but also social and political economies, community engagement, and innovative solutions to today’s issues. I look forward to Karen’s contributions to the field in her new capacity here in Chicago, a city that has always been a leader in progressive practices in architecture.”

Karen Kice is a researcher, writer, and curator in the field of architecture and urbanism. She most recently studied in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, under Professor Dana Cuff, at the University of California at Los Angeles. At UCLA, she was Senior Research Associate at cityLAB, where she was the project manager for Westwood Village Vision –a comprehensive study that investigated the many forces shaping Los Angeles’ Westwood Village and that made recommendations for the community’s revitalization. Kice was also involved in UCLA’s Hi-C program, an exploration of experimental curatorial and theoretical practices, and was part of the curatorial team that developed Ultra Expo , an exhibition focused on the Osaka Exposition of 1970 that took place as part of LA’s Little Tokyo Design Week. Her current research focuses on the influence of the political economy on the built environment with an emphasis on the role of branding, identity, and mobility in architecture. Prior to her work at UCLA, Karen was a research assistant at the Van Alen Institute in New York City where she worked on several exhibitions including The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation (2006) and Coney Island: The Parachute Pavilion Competition (2007).

Kice received her B.F.A. in Art History and Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and received an M.Sc. in Architectural History and Theory from The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

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