Berit Hoff (MA 2010) is director of exhibitions at the Center for Architecture in New York City, where she produces exhibitions and related publications. A native of New York, she received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. Berit was previously employed by Mark Borghi Fine Arts and interned at the Skyscraper Museum.

Why did you choose Bard Graduate Center’s program?

Though I majored in architectural history as an undergraduate, I took several courses outside of my major that dealt with design history and material culture, including a seminar on America in the machine age and an urban archaeology course with a fieldwork component. When I started looking at post-graduate options, my advisor suggested Bard Graduate Center. I received the course catalogue and was impressed by the diversity of subjects taught by this relatively small institution. It seemed like a natural complement to my studies on the “built environment.”

What did you study here? Describe a few of the highlights.

My coursework and thesis concentrated on mid-twentieth-century American design and material culture particularly on architecture and interiors. I took many courses directly related to my focus, such as Pat Kirkham’s Twentieth-Century Interiors and those that complemented my interests, including Ken Ames’ American Furniture in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. I filled my distribution requirements with two courses on the Islamic world—one on books and the other on cities. I find myself referring to these more than I would ever have imagined at the time.

Describe your position at the Center for Architecture.

The Center has an ambitious program of around twenty exhibitions a year. My role is a mix of long-term planning regarding our annual exhibition schedule and related programs, and project management, particularly for the exhibitions we develop in house, for which we hire curators, graphic designers and architects. I am very proud of the main exhibition currently on view, Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes, a travelling exhibition from the Czech Republic. We worked with the exhibition designer to supplement the presentation with a full scale reproduction of a so-called “minimal dwelling unit” (Czech nejmenší byt) based on the writing of Karel Teige that includes reproduction furniture and original light fixtures from the 1920s and 1930s.

What ultimately is your professional goal?

My interests lie in design across a wide range of scales, from small objects to cities. I enjoy the work I do in exhibitions and programs at the Center for Architecture and hope to continue in this realm. In the future I would be interested in working with modernist historic homes or other modernist buildings, especially since more important examples are being converted into museums and cultural centers.