Paola Antonelli joined The Museum of Modern Art in 1994 and is the Museum’s Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research and Development. Her work investigates design in all its forms, from architecture to video games, often expanding its reach to include overlooked objects and practices. Her exhibitions, lectures, and writings contemplate design’s intersection and interaction with other fields (from technology and biology to popular culture) and with life—that of individuals, communities, all species, and all planets. Her goal is to promote people’s understanding of design, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged.
An architect trained at the Polytechnic of Milan and a pasionaria of design, Antonelli has been named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries in the world by TIME magazine, has earned the Design Mind Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award, has been inducted in the US Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and has received the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists,) the London Design Medal, and the German Design Award, among other accolades.
Antonelli has curated shows at MoMA and in other international institutions, lectured worldwide in conferences ranging from TED to the World Economic Forum in Davos, and written copious essays and books. Following 2019’s XXII Triennale di Milano Broken Nature, devoted to the idea of restorative design, and the 2020 MoMA exhibition Material Ecology, on the work of architect and inventor Neri Oxman, she is currently producing her renowned MoMA R&D Salons—thematic gatherings demonstrating the potential of museums as R&D departments for society—and a new MoMA exhibition about interactive design, among other projects.