Paola Antonelli is on a mission to introduce — and explain — design to the world. With her shows at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, she celebrates design’s presence in every part of life.
Since she stepped back from practicing architecture in order to focus on writing about design, teaching and curating gallery exhibitions, Italian native Paola Antonelli has become a force to be reckoned with in the design world. Working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1994, she is senior curator of the gallery’s Architecture and Design department and, as of 2012, the museum’s first ever director of research and development. Antonelli has worked on shows such as “Humble Masterpieces,” which celebrated traditionally unheralded design icons such as the paperclip; “Design and the Elastic Mind,” considering the relationship of design and technology, and “Talk to Me ,” which looked at design and the communication of people and objects.
Ever mindful that the majority of visitors to MOMA are attracted by artists such as Picasso and Matisse, Antonelli works to ensure that if they do stumble across a design-related show, they’ll be both entertained and enlightened. In 2012, she led a move to acquire 14 video games for the museum’s permanent collection.
“Paola Antonelli’s goal is to insistently promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged.” — World Technology Network
When the Museum of Modern Art’s senior curator of architecture and design announced the acquisition of 14 video games in 2012, “all hell broke loose.” In this far-ranging, entertaining, and deeply insightful talk, Paola Antonelli explains why she’s delighted to challenge preconceived ideas about art and galleries, and describes her burning wish to help establish a broader understanding of design.