Paola Antonelli on curating

09.12.20. Internet

Paola Antonelli is senior curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as the institution’s founding director of Research and Development.

Over more than 25 years at the museum, she’s curated shows such as: Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design, Workspheres, and Design and the Elastic Mind. Most recently, she has been responsible for Broken Nature in Milan’s Triennale in 2019 and Neri Oxman: Material Ecology.

She has lectured and given talks all over the world and picked up a fistful of awards, including 2020’s London Design Medal.

In collaboration with the writer Alice Rawsthorn, her latest project, entitled Design Emergency, is a series of interviews on Instagram Live, which investigate design’s importance during the pandemic.

In this episode we discuss: coping with the crisis at MoMA; why she co-created Design Emergency as the virus took hold; falling into curating; the importance of rejection; creating the museum’s first-ever website; and how computer code is as fragile as ceramics. 

(Pictured above is are Can City Stools by Studio Swine which featured in Broken Nature.)

Find out more about MoMA

Extraordinary 3D printed glass featured in Neri Oxman: Material Ecology at MoMA. Image courtesy of The Mediated Matter Group.

Design Emergency logo. The platform has been co-created with design writer Alice Rawsthorn. 

Think Evolution,created by Aki Inomata, was a  standout exhibit in Broken Nature. Image courtesy of the artist and MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY. 

Paola in action, talking to co-founder of MASS Design Group, Michael Murphy, on Design Emergency