Lydia Matthews is a curator, writer, educator and founding Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at Parsons, which spans various divisions across The New School. Trained as an art historian at UC Berkeley and London’s Courtauld Institute, her work explores how contemporary artists, artisans and designers foster critical democratic debates and intimate community interactions in the public sphere, often in response to a variety of urgent global and local conditions in their daily lives. Her essays have appeared in numerous journals and exhibition catalogs, and she has lectured internationally on socially-engaged art, craft and design practices. Her participatory curatorial projects in New York, the Post-Soviet region, Turkey and Southern Europe include exhibitions, community-based urban festivals, and multidisciplinary pedagogical exchanges addressing ecological and social sustainability. Commissioned by Fulbright, Open Society Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Emre Senan Foundation and the US Embassy in the Republic of Georgia, she has curated the U.S. contribution to Artisterium International Art Exhibition (Tbilisi, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008), Proteus Gowanus Interdisciplinary Gallery and Reading Room (Brooklyn, 2014), Batumi Backyards Project (Batumi, 2013, 2012), Souzy Tros Art Canteen (Athens, 2013), Kuad Gallery (Istanbul, 2012), Benaki Museum Pireos Annex (2011), Byzantine Museum (Athens, 2008) Byzantine Museum (Athens, 2008), Art Caucasus International (Tbilisi, 2007, 2005).