Guggenheim Create New Curatorial Position for Architecture and Digital Initiatives

Guggenheim Creates New Curatorial Position for Architecture and Digital Initiatives


Troy Conrad Therrien Appointed to Advance the Guggenheim’s
Innovative Programs for Architecture, Urban Studies, and New Digital

(NEW YORK, NY – November 7, 2014) — Richard Armstrong, Director,
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, today announced the
appointment of architect and scholar Troy Conrad Therrien as Curator,
Architecture and Digital Initiatives. As the first person to hold this
new position, Therrien will contribute to the development of the
museum’s engagement with architecture, design, technology, and urban
studies, in addition to providing leadership on select new projects
under the direction of the Chief Curator and the Director’s Office.

The Guggenheim’s role in architecture has always been one of
patronage, commissioning Frank Lloyd Wright to design its landmark
building in New York City and Frank Gehry to design the celebrated
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which extended the institution’s global
constellation of museums. The Guggenheim has also involved major
architects in the design of special exhibitions, including Zaha Hadid,
Jean Nouvel, and I.M. Pei. In recent years, the Guggenheim has expanded
its programming to encompass robust online outreach as well as
groundbreaking, off-site architectural initiatives such as the BMW
Guggenheim Lab and stillspotting (2011–13), which were inserted into the fabrics of multiple cities around the world.

“Advancing innovative programming that relates to architecture,
technology, and urban studies, particularly on a global stage, is a
priority for the Guggenheim,” Richard Armstrong stated. “Troy’s
impressive and dynamic background spanning academia, architecture, and
computer science should expand our forward-looking curatorial team.”

As Curator, Architecture and Digital Initiatives, Therrien will
articulate and advance the Guggenheim’s mission to be an agent of social
change through its array of public programs on- and off-site and in the
digital realm. Building on the Guggenheim’s role as a convener of
dialogues about contemporary architecture and urban development,
Therrien’s work will look beyond traditional exhibition programming to
more discursive models such as think tanks, public forums, online
content development, and the establishment of networks for intellectual
exchange around the world.

A major and immediate component of Therrien’s work will be related to
the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition. His appointment follows the
announcement of a record-breaking number of architectural submissions
to the open and anonymous competition and the launch of the project’s
popular, interactive, online gallery of entries.
Therrien will help organize an exhibition of six shortlisted
submissions to be held in Helsinki in the spring of 2015, and he will
play a key role in developing and articulating the programmatic elements
of the proposed museum. These efforts will require a direct engagement
with leaders in the arts, architecture, and design communities of
Helsinki, New York, and other relevant locations.

Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief
Curator, said, “Troy’s appointment represents an important expansion of
the curatorial department’s engagement with issues related to design and
the digital realm. He brings conceptually rigorous expertise and
hands-on experience in both areas, which should enrich the Guggenheim’s
programming on all levels—from architectural initiatives to our digital

About his appointment, Therrien stated, “The front lines of
innovation are migrating from the digital frontier to its wake, to the
social and cultural effects of the last decades of radical change. I am
excited to join the Guggenheim, an institution that embraces innovation
as its mission, at precisely the moment when I believe museums will
become the most urgent sites for this discourse and experimentation.”

Therrien earned his MA in histories and theories from the
Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He also
received an M.Arch. from Columbia University, where he was awarded the
AIA Henry Adams Medal as top graduating student, and a BA in computer
engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Therrien holds the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor of
Architecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture,
Planning and Preservation, where he teaches design, theory, and
technology courses related to his work as co-director of the
Architecture Online Lab, which is dedicated to investigating the effects
of the digitization of the physical environment, and The Energy Issue,
Columbia’s flagship research initiative dedicated to the cultural
aspects of global energy issues, which Therrien founded and directed.
Previously, he was Chief Architect of Digital Communications and
Research, also at Columbia University. As a former partner of
Therrien–Barley, he worked as an innovation consultant to companies such
as Audi, Louis Vuitton, and Microsoft. As an independent curator,
Therrien has worked on exhibitions at the Berlage Institute, the
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Columbia University, MoMA PS1, and
elsewhere, and has worked on various projects with the New Museum.
Therrien has written widely on architecture and technology, and is a
regular speaker and design critic at venues around the world.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting
the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and
contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research
initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the
1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
(currently in development). Looking to the future, the Guggenheim
Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take
contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the
museum, including with the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, and
with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More
information about the Foundation can be found at

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