Andrew Goodhouse (MA 2013) is an editor at M+ in Hong Kong, where he contributes to the museum’s published material in print and digital formats. His focus now is on the publications for M+’s grand opening, which present design and architecture, moving image, and visual art from its collections of twentieth- and twenty-first-century visual culture. Previously, he worked at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, where he edited and managed publications, including When Is the Digital in Architecture? and Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen, and participated in the relaunch of the institution’s website as an editorial platform.

What attracted you to the BGC’s program?

I studied anthropology as an undergraduate, and I was especially interested in the material dimension of this. My final project focused on the collections of the musée du quai Branly in Paris and it made me realize that there was much more I wanted to learn about the way material things are used to form narratives, either historical or contemporary—something I hadn’t really been sensitive to in a serious way before. At this point it was clear to me that continuing my studies made sense and I was quickly attracted to the BGC’s focus on material culture, specifically on taking objects as a starting point. The fundamentally interdisciplinary character of the academic program was a strong draw, and I was also very interested by the fact that exhibitions and publications were important components of the BGC’s activities.

What was your focus of study here, how did you find yourself involved with it?

At the BGC my interest eventually crystallized in a project on Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, a contemporary work that draws on traditions of giving and wishing. This emerged from a paper in Professor Ittai Weinryb’s Ex Voto seminar, and the topic brought together questions of narrative, agency, and material networks that I was interested in. But one of the things I most enjoyed about studying at the BGC was the open attitude towards research methodologies within a specific topic, which allowed me to explore different directions while also choosing a focus. For example, in Professor Amy Ogata’s Material Culture of Childhood seminar I especially enjoyed looking at Isamu Noguchi’s Radio Nurse baby monitor in terms of what it could say about the design of separate spaces for parents and children and a changing relationship of autonomy and dependence. The rigor but also the flexibility that Professor Ogata defined for our discussions in the seminar offered many possibilities. Even thinking about Radio Nurse today I regret not trying to connect it to other material that we studied, like the development of children’s television.

Describe your position and how you came to it. What sort of projects are you working on?

While I was at the BGC I worked in the gallery office, mostly on publications. This was a revelation for me. I especially enjoyed proofreading and bibliographic research for William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain. Working on The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking was also rewarding. I was participating in the two-semester seminar led by Professor Nina Samuel that resulted in this book, and I gained insight into the material from multiple angles. My experience working on BGC publications played an essential role in my decision to pursue editorial work as a career. At M+, I’m contributing to the development of the editorial program in advance of the opening of the museum building, which is designed by Herzog & de Meuron on a prominent site in Kowloon along Victoria Harbor. The presence of the building is accompanied by a presentation of the collections online and in print, giving audiences another way to encounter the ideas and research interests of the young institution. I’m now working with curators, authors, and graphic designers on publications that address specific aspects of the M+ Collections, a kind of first statement of the collections-building work that the museum has done and continues to do. It’s a pleasure to be involved in the conversations at this stage and to see how best to explore formats and consider approaches on a project-specific basis.

How has your experience at BGC helped your career?

The strong foundation I gained at the BGC shaped my approach to my career, and support from faculty, staff, and students guided the first steps I took as I finished my degree. The BGC’s emphasis on thinking across disciplines taught me to look for connections, alternatives, and ways in which things and people can relate to one another in different contexts. In a professional sense, the kinds of questions and discussions that filled the two years of my MA fostered my interest in working on editorial projects and in extensive collaboration.