News — 24 Jan 2020

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam appoints Amanda Pinatih as design curator. Pinatih is an art historian, curator and PhD candidate. She is co-founder of the Design Museum Dharavi in Mumbai, India, and was member of Crafts Council Nederland and a guest lecturer at various academies.

Pinatih sees design within a broader socio-political context and has curated and produced exhibitions and projects that engage with social, socio-cultural, political, decolonial, technological and economic issues. As a curator, she develops interdisciplinary exhibitions from a global perspective. She also likes to experiment with makers who combine the design and production processes.

Pinatih is co-founder of the Design Museum Dharavi, the first museum in Dharavi, a neighbourhood with 1 million inhabitants in the heart of Mumbai. The museum, a nomadic exhibition space, showcases local talent and is characterized by the use of design as a tool for social change. In addition, the museum constantly rethinks and challenges the boundaries of what a museum can be. With the Design Museum Dharavi, Pinatih has produced projects for the New York Times Art for Tomorrow conference in Qatar, The Design Museum in London and the Broken Nature exhibition at Triennale Milano last year. In its founding year, the museum was the recipient of the Leading Cultural Destination Award 2016 for Best New Museum - Asia Pacific and was nominated for the Beazley Design of the Year Award 2016.

In addition, the new Design curator has developed exhibitions in various capacities. Pinatih curated the HOW & WOW exhibitions for the Crafts Council Nederland where young makers were exhibited alongside established names. The central questions were always: who are the heritage makers of tomorrow?, and how is this shaped by cultural identity? She is currently completing the exhibition One Square Meter Berber with designer Mina Abouzahra for the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Marrakech. Focusing on the design talent, creativity and craft techniques of the female weavers of Berber carpets, one of the project’s aims is to build a more inclusive chain in the trading practices of Berber carpets.

Simultaneously with her appointment at the Stedelijk Museum, Pinatih is a PhD candidate at the VU University Amsterdam, where she researches how collections with a colonial origin in Dutch museums can play a role in forming the identity of younger target groups with a migrant background. The basis for this is objects that travelled from Indonesia to the Netherlands during the colonial period. Pinatih will also investigate ways of interpreting the collection of the Stedelijk from a polyphonic perspective.

“With the appointment of Amanda Pinatih we gain a curator who is able to provide the rich design collection of the Stedelijk Museum with new perspectives. Her experimental approach draws on the development of alternative forms of knowledge transfer and looks at how historical collections can be reactivated and play a meaningful role for a contemporary generation. Pinatih’s committed attitude is a refreshing addition to the Stedelijk; we look forward to working with her.”

Amanda Pinatih: “Museums can spotlight the profound social changes that define the world today. As a Design Curator, my personal, interdisciplinary vision is all about finding original ways to tell new stories. I am excited about collaborating with my future colleagues at the Stedelijk Museum and putting this into practice, using the museum’s collection in dialogue with new work.”