Ma Yansong, originally from Beijing, received his master's degree from the Yale University School of Architecture in 2002. Prior to founding MAD in 2004, Ma worked as a project designer with Zaha Hadid Architects in London and Eisenman Architects in New York. He has taught architecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He has also lectured in well-known schools around the world.
Ma was the winner of the 2006 Architecture League's Young Architects Award. He also received the American Institute of Architects Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research in 2001. His work on the Hongluo Clubhouse was nominated for the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2009, and Hutong Bubble 32 was shortlisted for Designs of the Year 2010 by Design Museum in London. In 2008, Ma was selected as one of the 20 most influential young architects today by ICON. His works have won numerous international design competitions, including the 2006 Absolute Tower Competition in Toronto, currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2011.