100 Minds

From around the world

Paola Antonelli

Senior Curator, Architecture and Design, The MoMA

New York City, United States

In 100 years, design will be at the center of things, a benign and necessary force in all facets of human experience.

One of design’s most fundamental tasks is and has been to help people deal with change. The technological, political, scientific, cultural, moral, universal acceleration of the past century does not show any signs of slowing down. Change might just become a constant, a paradox that will make design even more necessary.

In 100 years, design will therefore be at the center of things, a benign and necessary force in all facets of human experience and research, from politics and economics to science and the arts. Designers will not be identified and subdivided according to their specialty—furniture and interfaces after all will be the same thing in the liminal world to come. On the contrary, like physics, design will be loosely separated between theoretical and applied.

Theoretical designers will be exquisite generalists—a bit like French philosophers, but ready to roll up their sleeves. Applied designers will still work on objects and environments, but they will also visualize complex infrastructures and systems so that scientists, policymakers and the general public can manage and influence them. They will be in charge of making sure that the built world remains at human scale and at the same time remind humans of their rightful and humble position in the universe.

What I really dream of, however, is teleportation…

Paola Antonelli Bio:

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design of The Museum of Modern Art, where she has worked since 1994. She has lectured worldwide and has served on several international architecture and design juries. In 2007, she was named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries by Time Magazine.

Paola Antonelli’s goal is to promote design’s understanding until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged. She is currently working on several shows on contemporary design and on Design Bites, a book about foods from all over the world appreciated as examples of outstanding design.