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Paola Antonelli appointed Director of Research and Development at MoMA in newly created role
Paola Antonelli, Director of Research and Development, and Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Photo: Robin Holland.

NEW YORK, NY.-Paola Antonelli, The Museum of Modern Art's Senior Curator of Architecture and Design, has been named Director of Research and Development, effective immediately, it was announced today by MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry. Dividing her responsibilities equally between the Department of Architecture and Design and Research and Development, Ms. Antonelli's new assignment will provide the Museum with information and critical tools to evaluate new initiatives and identify new directions and unexplored opportunities, particularly in the digital realm.

"As the Museum continues to augment and enhance its digital strategy across the organization, its research and development activities 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," said Mr. Lowry.

"Museums and schools can be considered R&D departments of society, as they pursue a slower, more reliable, productive, and constructive progress that incorporates technological and industrial innovation, but filters them through a humanistic sieve," commented Ms. Antonelli. "The Museum of Modern Art can count on unique resources—its mission, its programming, its collection, its staff, as well as its privileged dialogue with artists and with its resourceful and responsive audience—to produce new experiences and discussions that will have far-reaching consequences in shaping culture, and thus will have a positive influence on society."

Ms. Antonelli's initial focus will be on applied research in response to specific questions and topics related to digital initiatives, potential partnerships, research related to interpretive materials for visitors, and modes of expansion for curatorial and educational programs—for exhibitions, special projects, discussions, and socialization.

In this role she will also monitor cultural developments and consolidate research that can be shared by various departments in order to keep the Museum at the forefront of research; engage experts and colleagues in accordance with various research streams; and convene gatherings and exchanges that will inform new models of cultural engagement that are designed to expand the Museum's mission.

As Senior Curator, she will continue to pursue curatorial activities focused on contemporary design in the Department of Architecture and Design, including exhibitions, acquisitions, and research.

Throughout her 18-year career at MoMA, Ms. Antonelli has worked continuously in an experimental vein, testing the present effects and possible future consequences of new technologies on design and therefore on society and culture. She has organized such important exhibitions as Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design (1995), Workspheres (2001); Humble Masterpieces (2004), SAFE: Design Takes On Risk (2006), Design and the Elastic Mind (2008), and Talk To Me: Design and the Communication Between People and Objects (2011). She lectures worldwide in settings ranging from peer conferences to global interdisciplinary gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Aspen Ideas Festival, and she has served on several international architecture and design juries. 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, and from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.

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