Paola Antonelli

Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, and Director, Research and Development, The Museum of Modern Art

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) gold medal, 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, among others, the 2019 XXII Triennale di Milano Broken Nature, devoted to the idea of restorative design, and the MoMA exhibitions Never Alone (2022, on video games and other interactive design) and Life Cycles (2023, on the materials of contemporary design,) Paola is currently working on Design Emergency––the podcast and Instagram project she co-founded with Alice Rawsthorn in 2020 to highlight design’s role as key toward building a better future for all––and producing her renowned MoMA R&D Salons—thematic gatherings demonstrating the potential of museums as R&D departments for society.