Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator at the Department of Architecture and Design of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development (R&D), 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 planets. Her goal is to promote people’s understanding of design, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. 

As architect trained at Politecnico di Milano University, 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 into 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 n Davos, and written copious essays and books. She is currently working on Design Emergency, the podcast, Instagram and book project she co-founded with Alice Rawsthorn in 2020 to highlight design’s role as key toward building a better future for all; she is producing her renowned MoMA R&D Salons –thematic gatherings demonstrating the potential of museums as R&D departments for society; and has just opened Life Cycles, a new MoMA exhibition about the materials of contemporary design.