Project Description

Board Member Profile

Alessandro Melis

Born 1969, Cagliari, Italy

Board Member Profile


Born 1969, Cagliari, Italy

Alessandro Melis is an architect, curator, and academic who has designed ecologically sustainable art buildings and recently curated the Italian Pavilion, titled Resilient Communities, for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.

He is the inaugural IDC Foundation Endowed Chair Professor at the New York Intistute of Technology. In 2021 he was the curator of the Italian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia. That same year he received the medal of the Italian Parliament Presidency. Alessandro has been nominated  Ambassador of Italian Design (ADI-Italian Minitry of External Affairs), in 2021 and 2022. Previously, he was Director of the International Cluster for Sustainable Cities at the University of Portsmouth, Director at the Postgraduate Enagagement at the University of Auckland, and Director at the TPAI program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. His research interests are in the field of climate sensitive design, community resilience and temporary appropriation of the public spaces. Alessandro Melis is acknowledged, together with Telmo Pievani, for introducing the evolutionary biology concept of exaptation in Architecture. The relevance of his contribution to research is evidenced by 200+ publications, by as many citations in popular publications, and by conferences at institutions such as the University of Cambridge, MoMA New York, the China Academy of Art, TEDx, and the Italian Institute of Culture in London. Recent monograph books on his work include “Alessandro Melis. Utopic Real World “, published by D Editore, and “Heliopolis 21”, published by Skira.

In 1996, Alessandro Melis founded Heliopolis 21, a multi-awarded architecture practice based in Italy and in the UK. The SR1938 Institute of the University of Pisa, the Stella Maris Hospital  and the Auditorium of Sant’Anna, inaugurated by the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, are cited in scholarly publications and in popular magazines as examples of excellence in sustainable design. 

Alessandro Melis has been principal investigator and transnational coordinator in international research, including the interdisciplinary project CRUNCH – Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus, involving urban living labs in Gdansk, Miami, Taiwan, Eindhoven, Uppsala, and Southend-on-Sea.

Alessandro Melis’ Presentation

Alessandro Melis’ Curatorial Work

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