Grace Ong Yan

Assistant Professor

Grace Ong Yan, PhD


Architecture & Design Center
Room 208


Grace Ong Yan

Assistant Professor

Areas of Specialization

Interior Design, Architectural & Interior Design History/Theory


PhD, History and Theory of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania
MArch, Yale University
BArch, University of Texas at Austin 

Professor Ong Yan is an interior design and architectural historian and accomplished interior and architectural design professional. Her research interests include branding and interdisciplinary exchange, corporate modernism, histories of modernism, and the emergence of media culture in design. As an educator committed to innovative design, scholarship, and research, she brings eighteen years of teaching experience in the history and theory of interior design and architecture. Previously, she was on faculty at IE University School of Architecture, Segovia, Spain, where she brought innovative teaching methods to online education, and at Moore College of Art and Design. She has also taught at Jefferson (Philadelphia University), The Barnes Foundation, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and served as the Reyner Banham Fellow at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

Professionally, she has worked at offices of Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners and at Gensler’s New York branding studio. Her independent design work has been recognized with awards from the Storefront Gallery for Art & Architecture in New York and by the Osaka International Design Competition jury. The second edition of her book Architect: The Pritzker Prize Laureates in Their Own Words was released in 2018; she is currently working on a third book, Building Brands: The Evolution of Corporate Modernism. Her scholarship has also been published in several journals including in the series Companion to the History of Architecture, Volume IV, Twentieth-Century Architecture (Wiley Blackwell), and the journal Design and Culture, The Journal of the Design Studies Forum (Berg). Professor Ong Yan is a current member of the board of directors, and the past chapter president of Docomomo US/Greater Philadelphia.