Politecnico di Milano at the Venice Architecture Biennale

The challenging MatRes project is hosted inside the Italian Pavilion and themed “Resilient Communities”

Politecnico di Milano participates in the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, running from 22 May to 21 November 2021, within the Italian Pavilion. The Italian Pavilion’s Resilient Communities, curated by Alessandro Melis, project places climate change at the centre of the international debate this year. It is a firm belief that architecture must contribute significantly to improving the quality of life by providing appropriate responses capable of reacting to climate and social change.

A challenge taken up with the MatRes project by the research groups of the Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Department of Design and Department of Chemistry of Politecnico di Milano. The following took part in the project: University of Verona, University of Milan and MIT-IBM.


“Material Resiliency”

From the microscope to the prototype for a resilient architecture

Section of a tree trunk under a microscope
Section of a tree trunk under a microscope
Early concept sketch of the installation
Concept sketch of the installation
Detail of the pavilion
Detail of the pavilion
Detail of the pavilion
Detail of the pavilion
Detail of the pavilion
The research group before the installation

MatRes is a living laboratory of resilient materials, with biological, organic, sustainable, recycled origins, that have power and freedom to grow and transform over time. The installation evokes a tree metaphor to experience resilient forms, through its component materials. This includes natural composite materials (mycelium, used coffee, cellulose), 4D printing, energy-producing plants, textiles with optical, acoustic or heat-sensitive properties, natural or recycled fibres, positively reacting to stressful stimuli.


Politecnico di Milano, press release, 2021-07-09.


MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab
Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI)
University of Milan
Verona University


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