Beijing born architect Yan Song Ma has been recognized as a important voice of a new generation of architects. His works are widely published and exhibited since the founding of his company MAD in 2004. He studied at Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture, holds a master degree in Architecture from Yale University and taught Architecture at the Central Academy of Fine arts in Beijing. Prior to founding MAD, Yansong Ma worked as a project designer with Zaha Hadid Architects in London. Yansong Ma received the American Institute of Architects Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research in 2001 and won the 2006 Architecture League Young Architects Award.
In 2008, Ma was selected as one of the twenty most influential young architects today by ICON magazine while Fast Company named him one of the ten most creative people in architecture in 2009. In 2010, he became the first architect from China to receive a RIBA fellowship. In her RIBA fellowship jury report RIBA President Ruth Reed declared: "Ma Yansong is a young Chinese architect who has come to architectural maturity at a time when his country is beginning to allow the freedom of expression so vital to the artist and sufficient freedom to the economy to allow his ideas to be realized as buildings. His work expresses the tension between the individual imagination and the needs of society as a whole."