Portsmouth academic named as Curator at the world’s most prestigious architecture exhibition

The Italian Government has appointed Dr Alessandro Melis as the Curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – in Venice in 2020.

Dr Alessandro Melis in blue jumper with arms folded in front of his lab space.

Dr Alessandro Melis

The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities (MIBAC), Alberto Bonisoli, made the announcement last week.

The project was chosen by the Minister as part of the preliminary investigation carried out by the Italian General Directorate for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Suburbs (DG-AAP).

The role is one of the most prestigious in the architectural world.  As director and curator of the pavilion, Dr Melis will be responsible for the exhibition design and construction, the members and roles within the curatorial team, organising several lectures, seminars and conferences, the selection of the architects and works on display, and the writing and editing of the catalogues and other planned publications. Dr Melis’ ‘Resilient Communities’ project for The Italian Pavilion addresses issues of great urgency for architecture in Italy, such as climate change and community resilience. It will explore current trends of growth and development of Italian urban areas and suggests opportunities for these areas.

The Venice Biennale is universally recognised as the most important global event in the world of architecture. Being there is like receiving an Oscar for an actor or a film director. It is a recognition that is worth a whole career. Probably, in the case of the Italian Pavilion this is even more true, since Italy is the host country and its pavilion is by far  the largest one (about 2,000 square meters).

Dr Melis is Director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities at the University. His research topics concern innovation in the field of environmental sustainability, resilience and regeneration. He has been the curator and keynote speaker at numerous conferences, such as the MoMA in New York and the China Academy of Art. He currently coordinates international research projects on resilience in architecture.

The International Architecture Exhibition is the architecture section of the Venice Biennale, the world’s largest global arts festival. The Architecture Exhibition will run between 23 May and 29 November 2020.

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  1. Congratulations Dr Alessandro Melis. Really happy for you and wish you to have great achievements as a curator.

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