Alessandro Melis

Curator of the Italian Biennale Architecture Pavilion, Venice

Dr. Alessandro Melis, RIBA ARB AOU, is a professor of architecture innovation at the University of Portsmouth and the co-director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities in the UK. In 2019, he was appointed by the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage (MIBAC) as the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 17th International Biennale of Architecture in Venice 2020. In 2020, he was appointed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Ambassador of Italian Design. He joined the University of Portsmouth in 2016. His specialist teaching, supervisory, and research interests lie in the fields of community resilience, environmental policies, radical theories, and criticism. Previously, at the University of Auckland, he was the head of the technology area and director of postgraduate engagement at the School of Architecture and Planning. He has been a guest professor in Austria (Die Angewandte, Vienna) and in Germany (Anhalt University, Dessau). He holds a PhD in architecture design from the University of Florence. He has been a member of the academic body of the Foster Foundation and an honorary fellow at the Edinburgh School of Architecture. He has also been invited as a keynote speaker at the China Academy of Art, the MoMA New York, the University of Cambridge, TED, the Italian Institute of Culture in London, and the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. In 1996, he founded Heliopolis 21, a multi-awarded architecture practice based in Italy, Germany, and the UK. The SR1939 Institute of the University of Pisa, the Stella Maris Hospital, and the Auditorium of Sant’Anna, inaugurated by the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, are acknowledged both in scholar publications and in popular magazines as examples of excellence in sustainable design. The recognition of Alessandro’s research is corroborated by a record of over 130 peer review journal publications and by as many citations, including in popular periodicals such as Wired, the New York Times, the Independent, Reuters, and the Conversation. His work was the object of several exhibitions and of a recent monograph (Rome, 2020) edited by Francesco Fallacara Chirico, titled “Alessandro Melis, Utopic Real World.”