This just in from the Museum of Modern Art, in New York: The graphic designer’s “best friend,” Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design, will expand her duties at MoMA as its new director of research and development:
Going forward, Paola will divide her responsibilities equitably between the Department of Architecture and Design and Research and Development. The new assignment is intended to provide the Museum with information and critical tools to evaluate new initiatives, and identify new directions and unexplored opportunities, particularly, but not exclusively, in the digital realm. As the Museum continues to augment and enhance its digital strategy across the organization, the Director of Research and Development will foster an environment that encourages critical analysis and new ideas about the way culture, and museums in particular, live, operate, and are experienced online and in person.
Antonelli will focus on digital strategies and research related to interpretive materials for visitors, and modes of expansion for curatorial and educational programs—for exhibitions, special projects, discussions, and socialization.
More broadly, the Director of Research and Development will monitor cultural developments and consolidate research that can be shared by various departments in order to keep the Museum at the forefront of research.
Antonelli has curated several critically successful exhibits, including Workspheres, devoted to the workplace of the near future, SAFE: Design Takes on Risk, Design and the Elastic Mind, and Talk To Me (about the digital future). She has taught design history and theory at the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, as well as at UCLA and Harvard. She is the author of Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design and other books and catalogs. In addition to directing R. & D. at MoMA, Antonelli will continue her curatorial activities focused on contemporary design in the architecture and design department.
For a behind-the-scenes look at working in the MoMA design team, check out our DesignCast with Julia Hoffman, the museum’s creative director of advertising and graphic design.