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Robin Boyd Foundation appoints new CEO

The Robin Boyd Foundation has announced the appointment of former Open House New York executive director P. Joy Villalino as its CEO.

Villalino has a background in public architectural education and design in both Australia and the United States. In addition to her role with Open House New York, she has held positions including museum educator for the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, general manager of Victoria’s State of Design Festival, program director at Federation Square, and board president of Open House Melbourne. She also worked on the sale of Mies Van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House as a twentieth-century deign specialist for Sothebys in New York.

The Robin Boyd Foundation said in a statement that Villalino would bring a unique international and multidisciplinary approach to the role, at what is a critical juncture in the foundation’s development.

“We are very excited to be working with Joy on the evolution of the Robin Boyd Foundation,” said foundation chair Stephen Hare. “Her notable experience and industry connections in Australia and abroad, and her reputation as a collaborator and creative leader make her ideal to lead us into a new era and strengthen the foundation’s contribution to Australia’s architectural and design culture.”

Villalino succeeds Tony Lee, who established the foundation in 2005 in conjunction with Robin Boyd’s family, with the late Gough Whitlam as the founding patron.

Villalino noted that during Lee’s tenure he had helped establish Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street family house (the foundation’s headquarters) as an iconic architectural place and an important public design incubator.

“It is an exciting time to lead the foundation, as it broadens its audience and community engagement in showcasing Robin Boyd’s work and his place in the architectural and design pantheon,” she said.

“I am especially looking forward to cementing his philosophical legacy in contemporary public dialogues about architecture, design and urban development, and enhancing the foundation’s commitment to furthering Boyd’s influence and ideas in seeking a truly Australian aesthetic for the nation’s built environment.”

Villalino joins the Robin Boyd Foundation as it prepares for the centenary of Boyd’s birth in 2019. In addition, its usual public learning programs, open days, and studio workshops, the foundation will be partnering with several Melbourne and regional galleries and museums to celebrate the anniversary.

The year-long celebration will include exhibitions and works highlighting Robin Boyd’s “historic and ongoing influence as one of Australia’s major contributors to architecture and design.”

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