Broken Nature: from the Bee Awards to the "Nazione delle Piante"

From March 1st to September 1st 2019 the Milan Triennale presents the XXII International Exhibition, entitled Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, curated by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design and Director of the Research and Development Department at MoMA.

The exposition proposes an “urgent” theme, which aims to shed light on the state of the increasingly compromised bonds of man and natural environment. The Exhibition will in fact highlight the importance of the “reconstituent design”, using concrete examples that can repair and rebuild the complex relationship between earth and man. Different projects are proposed to suggest likely ways to take action.

"Bee Awards"

For the first time, the Milan Triennale will bestow the Bee Awards. An international jury is meeting in Milan on February 27th to select three International Participations present at the Exhibition, according to the interpretation of the theme and the relevance of the proposed ideas. The winners are going to be announced during the inauguration, on February 28th.

Authors’ projects

The thematic exhibition will include some works specifically commissioned for the occasion. In particular, the projects are proposing creative approaches to correct the self-destructive course of humanity but also to think in a different way to our relationship with the environment and with all the species present on the planet. Some of them are:

  • Ore Streams by Formafantasma: an in-depth investigation around the waste cycle and a collection of office furniture made from recycled materials that can no longer be sold;
  • The project by Neri Oxman & Mediated Matter Group, MIT Media Lab, which is using melanin on an architectural scale: a demonstration of how design can be, at all scales,  a powerful, poetic and rigorously scientific comment on prejudices and human mistakes;
  • Birdsong by Sigil Collective: an investigation of the relationship between (real or fantastic) birds, humans, the landscape and the history of Syria.

Besides the commissioned works, the thematic exhibition will include a selection of a hundred projects from the last three decades, which are examples of design, architecture and restorative art from all over the world. Among these there are: Transitory Yarn by Alexandra Fruhstorfer, Nuka-doko by Dominique Chen and Whale Song of Google Brain, the Hippo Roller by Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, the residential project Quinta Monroy by Elemental, 100 seats in 100 days by Martino Gamper and, finally, the low-cost Eyewriter by Zach Lieberman, an open source eye tracking system.

"La Nazione delle Piante"

Finally, a special participation will join the National Participations at the XXII Milan Triennale: La Nazione delle Piante. It will be an immersive installation based on the theories of Stefano Mancuso - one of the highest authorities in Plant perception. Mancuso's assumption is that humanity can avoid a catastrophic future by looking at plants in a new way, in order to use them not only for what they have to offer, but for what they can teach us.


When and where

XXII Exhibition of the Milan Triennale
1 March - 1 September 2019
Viale Alemagna 6, Milan