Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art | Summary and Q&A

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Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art


The speaker discusses their passion for design and how it can be utilized to make a positive impact on society.

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Key Insights

  • 💭 Design can be seen as more than just decoration and encompasses a wide range of disciplines and problem-solving, from typography to gas masks for children.


Those of us who believe in heaven have some sort of idea of what heaven would be. And in my idea, heaven is satisfied curiosity. I think of heaven as a really comfortable cloud where I can just lie down with my belly down, like I was watching TV when I was a child, and my elbows up. And I can basically look everywhere I want, see every movie I've a... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why does the speaker believe design is misunderstood for decoration?

The speaker believes that design is often mistaken for decoration because people tend to associate it with choosing fabrics and accessories, rather than recognizing its potential for creating meaningful and impactful solutions to various problems.

Q: How does the speaker use design to make a positive impact?

The speaker utilizes their position at MoMA to create exhibitions that highlight innovative and socially-conscious designs, aiming to inspire visitors and showcase design's potential to improve lives.

Q: Can you provide an example of a collaborative design effort mentioned by the speaker?

Yes, the speaker references a collaboration with designer Hella Jongerius who explored the concept of integrating work and leisure, creating design solutions that support a more holistic approach to lifestyle.

Q: How does the speaker define luxury in relation to design?

The speaker believes that luxury can be relative and does not necessarily have to do with expensive materials or extravagant items. They provide examples of design solutions from Cuba and Sao Paulo that demonstrate how creativity and resourcefulness can create luxury even with limited means.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker describes their idea of heaven as a place of satisfied curiosity and how they have found a similar experience through their passion for design.

  • They discuss their role at MoMA and how they aim to use the power of the museum to make positive changes in the world through design.

  • The speaker highlights various examples of innovative and impactful design, from gas masks for children to furniture for psychological stimulation.

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