Lala Zuo is an Assistant Professor of Art History at NYU Shanghai specializing in East Asian art and architecture. She received her BA in archaeology from Peking University with a special concentration on heritage architecture. She studied East Asian art history in addition to architectural history and theory at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned both her MA and PhD.
Dr. Zuo is the author of Diversity under the Great Unity: Yuan Regional Architecture, the first in-depth English-language work to present regional traditions of Chinese architecture based on a detailed study of the timber construction system. In the book, Dr. Zuo presents case studies of twenty known buildings along the Yangtze River built during the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) based on her field trips and surveys. Although the primary focus of this book is the technical evolution of surviving Yuan architecture, its interdisciplinary approach goes beyond architecture by offering a re-evaluation of Chinese society in light of cultural and religious diversity under Mongol rule.
In addition to her primary research interest in the architecture of mid-and-late imperial China, she has also published multiple scholarly articles about heritage preservation and digital projects on art and architectural history. She is currently working on her second book project examining Chinese architecture built in the United States since 1800 with a focus on their cross-cultural significance domestically and internationally.
Dr. Zuo teaches introductory and special topics courses on the art and architectural history of China.