Founding Partner | Chairman | Design Principal
Della and Harry Mcdonald Chair
Member of Los Angeles Planning Commission
Former Dean, School of Architecture, University of Southern California
Qingyun Ma was born in 1965 in Xi’an, China. He obtained his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tsinghua University and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a visiting professor and critic at renowned institutions such as Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania in the United States; and ETH Zurich, the Berlage Institute, and Berlin Technical University in Europe. He started his own architectural practice, MADA s.p.a.m., in New York in 1996, and moved his office to China in 1999. In the past 11 years, he has led the design team to yield substantial design results and complete a vast range of projects making MADA s.p.a.m. a global architecture firm, exemplifying Chinese contemporary design and practical ability. The company’s works have been successively exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 2002, Pompidou Art Center in 2003, European Art Year in 2004 and 2005, and Greece Petro in 2006, among others. MADA s.p.a.m. has entered in many international competitions and has won many special honors. He has also been awarded titles including Architecture Vanguard and New Trends Representative of Architecture in Europe and Asia.
He has become a representative of the Beijing Olympic Games Bidding Committee and worked as the Urban Planning Representative Expert to take part in the bid of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2006, Ma was appointed as the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California, becoming the first Chinese dean of a foreign university. In that same year, he founded American Academy of China, which received high political and economic attention in 2007. He was invited by the Shen Zhen government to be the chief curator of the 2007 Shen Zhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale on Urbanism and Architecture. Since 2009, Ma has been working as the architecture design consultant for urban development for the city of Los Angeles, and in 2010 was invited by Disney Headquarters in California to be a consultant for the Shanghai Disney Project. In 2010, Ma was named one of the World’s Most Influential Designers together with master architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. Most recently, he has been invited as a member of the Awards Committee Official Exhibitors for the 2010 Shanghai Expo.
Founded by Mr. QingYun Ma in 1996 in New York and, launched in Shanghai in 1999, MADA s.p.a.m. has been developed into the most energetic and creative design firm in China. Based on its trans-cultural mission and cross-pacific practice, MADA has become one of the most visible firms both in China and around the world through its critical thinking and participative practice. MADA s.p.a.m.'s work has been widely published and exhibited, including the first cultural facility exhibited in the Venice Biennale, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and the first solo show from China in Aedes Gallery in Berlin. Currently we have more than 50 designers and architects based in the head office in Shanghai.
It is the firm's belief that Architecture is a collective endeavor and building execution is a team effort. MADA's strong team spirit is apparent in all our projects, and quickly becomes a core for leadership amongst our collaborators, therefore, successes in many of projects. The quality of MADA's architecture reflects the quality of MADA's teams - proactive, responsive and decisive.
Lead by Qingyun Ma, MADA's approach to architecture has been cross-territory and inter-disciplinary. Among which, creative participation in cultural infrastructure and commercial confluence has been the most noticeable one. Ma has been curators in some most important exhibitions involving governments, private sectors, and art circles. An affiliated company, SPAMAPS has invested and facilitated the first contemporary art museum and artist residence program in Xi'an, China. This approach to urbanism and architecture is manifested by the name of the office s.p.a.m. which stands for strategy, planning, architecture, and media.