On the occasion of the Italian Design Day, Mario Cucinella, architect, and curator of the Italian Pavilion at the next Biennale of Venice, and Paola Antonelli, chief curator at the MOMA and curator of the Triennale Design 2019, in a conversation about: design and sustainability.
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 in settings ranging from peer conferences to global interdisciplinary gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, and she has served on several international architecture and design juries. From 1991 to 1993, she was a Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has also taught design history and theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at the MFA program of the School of Visual Arts in New York. A Contributing Editor for Domus magazine (1987‐91) and an editor of Abitare (1992‐94), Paola is also the author of many exhibition catalogues and several titles dedicated to design. The recipient of a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan in 1990, Paola Antonelli is a Senior Fellow with the Royal College of Art, London and received an Honorary Doctorate in Design from Kingston University, London, and from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. She also earned the “Design Mind” Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award in October 2006, and in 2007 she was named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries by Time Magazine.
Italian architect Mario Cucinella is amongst the most important architects practicing in Europe today with multiple award-winning international design projects. Not only is Cucinella’s work lauded for design excellence but he is an undisputed global leader in sustainable practices ranging from individual residences to urban master plans. The impact and significance of his work – both social and environmental – achieved in his role as an architect, educator and in service have been recognized world-wide and most recently (2016) by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) who bestowed upon him the prestigious International Fellowship. In 2017 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded him the prestigious Honorary Fellowship. For the 2018 Venice Biennale, Mario Cucinella will be the curator of the Italian Pavilion.
A winner of several competitions, he has built transformational work in civic, commercial, educational, health care, residential and urban design in Italy as well as in Algeria, China, Ghana, Palestine and other locations. Holistic design excellence, sustainable building and the rational use of energy, are the focus of Cucinella’s practice and research. His work is driven by the positive long-term impact that each building can have on the regeneration of the surrounding environment – natural, socio-economic and urban. Working together with clients and communities, Cucinella always encourages the adoption of a design language capable of expressing the beauty, richness and resources of local cultures.
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