TED Talk Tuesday – Treat Design As Art?

"Treat Design As Art" by Paola Antonelli

Design as Art: are they interchangeable or are they essentially different? If design is function followed by form can the same thing be said for art, or is art just a form of expression? There is a lively discussion going in the thread of today’s TED Talk, “Treat Design As Art” by Paola Antonelli.

As the senior design curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Paola Antonelli is on a mission to introduce – and explain – design to the world. She stopped practicing architecture in order to focus on teaching, curating, and writing about design. While she understands that most of MoMA’s visitors are there for well-known artists like Matisse and Picasso, she is also trying to entertain them by design-related shows.

In 2012 she brought 14 video games to the museum and that is when, as she puts it, “all hell broke loose.” Some critics ‘got it’ and loved it, while others thought it was completely ridiculous to have Pac-Man and Tetris besides Van Gogh and Pollock. Antonelli explained the logic behind the initial acquisitions to Artinfo:

Our criteria, therefore, emphasize not only the visual quality and aesthetic experience of each game, but also the many other aspects—from the elegance of the code to the design of the player’s behavior—that pertain to interaction design.

She has a method to her madness and explains in greater detail with the TED Talk “Why I Brought Pac-Man to MoMA.”
"Why I Brought Pac-Man to MoMA."

Design is truly everywhere, and design is as important as anything, and I’m so glad that, because of its diversity and because of its centrality to our lives, many more people are coming to it as a profession, as a passion, and as, very simply, part of their own culture. – Paola Antonelli