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Question: What impact does your work have on the world

Antonelli: It’s a little hard for me to say.  I can tell  you about some feedback that I’ve had.  For me it really is particularly flattering when I have people, especially children . . . because children are mean judges of design and mean judges of exhibitions.  They don’t . . .  They don’t spare words.  They don’t mince them.  When they come back saying that they understand design better; or that “Oh my god, I have to look at things . . . at the world with different eyes,” that’s the biggest achievement.  I think that the fact that MOMA has had the guts to let me do certain shows that are not very orthodox or not very canonic, but that are really for people to understand better design is one of the biggest achievements.  You know for instance say people usually come to MOMA to see Matisse and Picasso – to see the paintings.  And I am very well conscious that 80 percent of my public has not come to see my show.  They are there because they were seeing something else.  But then I see them in the show and they stay there for two hours.  That’s important.  If I can deposit a radioactive seed in their minds, and they leave, and that continues radiating in them with the interest and passion for design, I want them to stop in the middle of the night and look at a traffic light and notice that it’s been changed, and notice how it’s better to have LEDs than non-LEDs.  You know I just want people to start thinking that way.  I think that could be my biggest contribution – to do that at the level of people and children; at the level of politicians and policy makers; and I’m working on that.

 

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