David van der Leer

Exec Dir
DVDL DD

David van der Leer, Principal of DVDL DD, is a consultant, curator, educator, moderator, researcher, strategist, and writer. David’s passion is reinventing the cultural institutions of yesterday—and dreaming up the most inspirational institutions of tomorrow—through excellent architecture and interdisciplinary programs.

David founded DVDL DD in 2018 after having worked and consulted with institutions, government agencies, corporations, and individuals for 15 years. David has extensive experience in bringing together interdisciplinary teams to create successful design projects.

From 2013 to 2018, David was the Executive Director of Van Alen Institute—a 124-year-old design nonprofit that develops cross-disciplinary research, provocative public programs, and inventive design competitions to make cities better places. Prior to repositioning Van Alen Institute, David created and curated the Architecture and Urban Studies program for the Guggenheim Museum from 2008 to 2013. At the Guggenheim, David developed and co-curated the highly publicized BMW Guggenheim Lab that traveled from New York City to Berlin and Mumbai in its own building. He curated projects like stillspotting nyc and exhibitions like Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, among others. In 2012, he co-curated the United States Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and in 2011 he curated for the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture. In 2010, The New York Times recognized David as one of ten promising curators of the next generation.

David teaches on the reprogramming of cultural institutions at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation.

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