MoMA Curator Paola Antonelli Appears on Colbert Report to Talk Design

Paola Antonelli on The Colbert Report (Screenshot by Hyperallergic)
Paola Antonelli on The Colbert Report (Screenshot by Hyperallergic)

How well designed is your coffee mug? Our personal design heroine and all-time curator crush Paola Antonelli appeared on the Colbert Report last night to critique all those everyday objects we take for granted in advance of her next big show at the Museum of Modern Art.

Antonelli’s exhibition is called Applied Design, which she describes in her snappy interview with Colbert. She predicts that “design will go the way of physics,” with “theoretical design” — out-there experiments, not necessarily practical — and “applied design” — the creation of usable objects like Colbert’s ceramic mug, which Anontelli affirms is definitely an example of design, but it “could be better.”

Applied design resides less in the imaginary realm that so often awes us and more in the boundaries of our actual reality. Examples include Studio Libertiny’s Honeycomb Vase, a geometrically formed vase created not by a 3D printer but by bees (they call it “slow prototyping”), and Massoud Hassani’s affordable, efficient mine detonator made out of bamboo.

“Design will manifest itself in much more than cute chairs,” Antonelli tells Colbert. The future might seem overwhelming, but the curator has some sage advice: “Be yourself and you’re going to be modern.” Watch the full interview below. Applied Design opens at MoMA on March 2.

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