Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli is currently Senior Curator in The Department of Architecture and Design. She joined the Museum as Associate Curator in 1994, and was Curator from 2000 to 2007. Ms. Antonelli has organized a number of important and well-received exhibitions at MoMA, including Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design (1995); Thresholds: Contemporary Design from the Netherlands (1996); Achille Castiglioni: Design! (1997-98); Projects 66: Campana/Ingo Maurer (1998); Open Ends and Matter (September 2000 February 2001); Workspheres (2001); Humble Masterpieces (2004); SAFE: Design Takes On Risk (2006); Digitally Mastered: Recent Acquisitions from the Museum's Collection (2006–07); Just In: Recent Acquisitions from the Collection (2007–08); Design and the Elastic Mind (2008); Rough Cut: Design Takes a Sharp Edge (2008–09); Action! Design over Time (2010); and Standard Deviations: Types and Families in Contemporary Design (2011).

Ms. Antonelli has lectured worldwide in settings ranging from peer conferences to global interdisciplinary gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, and she has served on several international architecture and design juries. From 1991 to 1993, she was a Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has in the past few years also taught design history and theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at the MFA program of the School of Visual Arts in New York.

The recipient of a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan in 1990, Ms. Antonelli is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, London, and has received an Honorary Doctorate in Design from Kingston University, London. She also earned the Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award in October 2006, and in 2007, she was named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries by Time magazine.

Ms. Antonelli is the author of many exhibition catalogues, including the ones for SAFE: Design Takes On Risk (2006) and Design and the Elastic Mind (2008), as well as Objects of Design (2003), a book dedicated to design objects in the Museum’s collection, and the publication Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design (2005), which highlights how good design facilitates and enriches our daily life. She is working on Design Bites, a book on foods from all over the world appreciated as great examples of design.


Session: The Art of Our Time

Our mission is helping you understand and enjoy the art of our time," intones MoMA's mission statement. Passionate dedication to the art of our time, however, can get a curator into a pickle. A few selected parables on the intersection of institutional practice and cultural acceleration.