Academy Award-winning film director and curator of MOMA, New York, speaking at MOME’s graduation ceremonies

Date: 2023.05.10
As part of its refreshed graduation ceremony, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) will host world-famous creative industry professionals and artists. This year’s welcome speeches will be delivered by Senior Curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Paola Antonelli and Academy Award winning film director of Hungarian descent Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

Reinvented last year, the graduation ceremony is designed to provide graduating artists with takeaway and inspiration for the future. The Foundation for Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design invites prominent and internationally acclaimed creative industry professionals and artists to speak who could serve as a role model for the students on account of their impressive career journey. In summer 2022, it was world-renowned philosopher Byung-Chul Han and Chief Design Officer of Mercedes-Benz Gorden Wagener who shared their thoughts with graduating students. This year, the BA diploma ceremony will feature Academy Award winning film director of Hungarian descent Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, while the MA diploma ceremony world-famous architect, Senior Curator and Director of Research and Development at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Paola Antonelli.  

In addition to working as an architect and curator, Antonelli was lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts MFA programme, New York. She has been named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries in the world by TIME magazine and is particularly noted for her ground-breaking curatorial activity ­-- in 2012, she was the first curator to purchase video games for the museum, now numbering over 30, with some of them included in the permanent exhibition.  It is her mission to advance the redefinition, understanding and positive impact of the role of design. As a design critic, she researches and analysis of the impact of design on everyday life. Her work redefining genres is the subject of several of her books including Design Emergency.  

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi studied Comparative Literature at Princeton University, and proceeded to earn an award for her very first film A Normal Life. Free Solo, co-directed with her husband Jimmy Chin, won the Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2019. One of the most impactful documentary films in recent years, it follows rock climber Alex Honnold’s free solo climb of the granite monolith El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. 

An interesting fact about the MOME diploma ceremony is that all diploma projects are on public display: both the exhibition featuring the masterworks and the diploma defence of the individual programmes are open to the public. The several-day exhibition features diploma projects by fashion and textile design, product design, and architecture students, among others. 

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