Jana Leo received a Masters in Aesthetics (1992) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (2004) from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. In January of 1997, she began a 3 year Master’s Program at the School of Architecture at Princeton University on a full tuition fellowship.
In 2000, Jana Leo was invited to join the design faculty of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union in the team directed by Peter Eisenman. Professor Leo teaches Advanced Topics (section A): “Disembodiment” and has taught in teams studio for 4 years: ARCH 121, ARC131, ARCH111, ARCH151. She is Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty. Currently she is running the studio: “Non Existent Cities” at Syracuse University, where she is a Visiting Critic.
In 1995, Private Cabin and At Home, installations addressing the architecture of pleasure, marked the beginning of a concentrated exploration of everyday life and the attraction for other worlds. In Communication Lair-Another World Hotel, a thesis project, Jana Leo explored the comfort of the home under the tension of the unexpected and the attraction of anonymity. In 1998, she had her first solo show in New York: Smell of Death (the traces of objects and memories on our domestic walls). In 1999, she designed The Object House, a dwelling laid out in the same way memories accumulate in the brain. That same year, a solo show, A, was presented at the Contemporary Art Museum Reina Sofia. In 2001, Jana Leo continued her exploration of houses that are not homes and built the Bubble bed Unit (a case of minimum domesticity. In 2001, she conceived The Other Around, a series of texts, installations and movies about strange presences near home. Jana Leo was awarded grants from The Foundation Arte y Derecho in Madrid (for Wounded Rooms) and from the Pollock/Krasner Foundation. In 2003, The Intruder, a piece from this series, was shown at the First Photography and Video Triennial at the ICP. From 2002 to 2004, she collaborated with Angel Borrego on Architectural competitions for social housing: Europan, EMV Atocha and EMV Orcasitas. Further collaborations with Mr. Borrego included Am/Pm, Green Illusions and The After Lovers, a performance piece performed in Casa de America.
In 2004, Jana Leo presented her thesis project, The Trip With No Distance: perversions and paradoxes of time, space and money in contemporary culture. She won a foundation Botin’s grant for a residency in the International Studio Curatorial Program. Her studio became a “study case room”: Situation where she developed a series of experiments dealing with the construction of mental space, and the creation of a place. She created the space and situation for unusual communications between strangers to take place. Strange familiarity, and public intimacy are main concepts in this dialog.
In 2005, Jana Leo published the announcement of an international idea competition for a new program: Resolution Room, and under the title Dictionary, a list of words that need to be amended. On going is the project: The Golden House: a Hotel+Home+Hospital unit that is also an inversion’s product.
She is currently based in New York and Madrid.