Mari Lending is a professor in architectural theory and history, and a founding member of OCCAS (the Oslo Centre for Critical Architectural Studies). She is the president of EAHN (European Architectural History Network), and directs the NFR-funded, international research project Provenance Projected: Architecture past and future in the era of circularity. She was a senior researcher in the international research projects Place and Displacement: Exhibiting Architecture, The Printed and the Built. Architecture and Public Debate in Modern Europe (both funded by the Norwegian Research Council), as well as the EU–funded HERA project Printing the Past: Architecture, Print Culture, and Uses of the Past in Modern Europe (PriArc). Together with Tim Anstey, she works on the exhibition research project Warburg Models: Buildings as Bilderfarhzeuge (2020–2024) which studies the role of architecture for the thought of Aby Warburg and his followers.
Mari Lending publishes on literature and architecture, and has edited a number of books, book series and journals. Among her latest books are Plaster Monuments. Architecture and the Power of Reproduction (Princeton University Press, 2017), with Peter Zumthor, A Feeling of History (Scheidegger & Spiess, 2018), Images of Egypt, with Tim Anstey and Eirik Bøhn (Pax, 2018), and Sverre Fehn, Nordic Pavilion, Venice. Voices from the Archives, with Erik Langdalen (Lars Müller/Pax, 2021).
Lending did her first dissertation (Mag. art) in comparative literature on Marcel Proust at the University of Oslo (1997) and defended her Ph.D. dissertation in architectural historiography at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (2005). She has been a visiting scholar at the GSD, Harvard University, Columbia University, NY, and Yale School of Architecture.