Taking over from Beatrice Lenza, design curator and critic, Angela Rui, continues the #WomanCrushWednesday chain with her nomination...

WHO// Mariana Pestana

CAREER// Architect and curator

WHY// There are people you think you have known for a long time. That you admire and from which you are naturally attracted, not only for the great professional esteem but for the fact that they emit a kind of innate grace. Among these few people who have a similar effect on me, there is the rigour and poetry of Mariana Pestana, architect and curator, Scifi Lover and “PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture, about the ways in which spatial design can enact alternative possible worlds and induce social change.”

"... feeling home at Villa Necchi 🤷🏻‍♀️#holidayhouse #pieroportaluppi #decor" @m.pestana

Her projects are anchored to the urgencies of the contemporary, like the epic traveling exhibition Eco-Visionaries: Art and Architecture After the Anthropocene, and The Future Starts Here for the Victoria & Albert Museum. They are like visions of a free batsman – the one that not only knows where the ball will arrive (which is the purpose of our job), but one that knows very well how to design the parabola so as to make you fall in love with it.

Mariana is silent. As happens with skilled thinkers, one always has the impression of being in the good company of a reassuring simplicity. And in a phase of international successes and well-founded academic respect, during a closed door session she will comment: in this moment of my life, the thing I love to do the most is collecting oranges from my garden. And the way she says it make you feel that such an act is the nicest and most urgent thing you would like to do the instant after. Respect.
After covering the role of curator at the V&A in London for several years, she decides to return to her beloved country, Portugal. Life first. It is there that I met her for the first time – several years ago – where I traveled as a design editor of Abitare, and she was the associate curator for Close Closer – the 2013 architecture biennial in Lisbon curated by the equally epic Beatrice Galilee. We often met in London, New York, and recently Milan. We spoke little, of course, but we discussed books and expeditions with rare shared passion.

Mariana, maybe one day we'll do one together...

Follow Mariana Pestana here – and stay updated to see where the thread will take us next...

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