XXI Triennale - Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival

International exhibition


1 MAR - 1 SEPT 2019

Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival


From March 1 to September 1, 2019, La Triennale di Milano will present the XXII Triennale, titled Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival. The curatorship of the XXII Triennale has been entrusted to Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design and Director of Research & Development at The Museum of Modern Art.


The International Exhibition is an important forum for reflecting on how design is changing, on how it is reaching into every aspect of our lives, and on its contribution to the development of contemporary society. For La Triennale di Milano, it is an honor and a great pleasure to once again bring together the international design community — designers, architects, artists, institutions, universities, schools, organizations, companies, and other partners from all over the world — for a rich, lively, and productive exchange.


Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival studies the state of the strands that connect humans to the natural environment, some of which have been compromised––if not entirely severed––in recent history. By casting a wide net, the XXII Triennale underlines the importance of the concept of restorative design, and highlights design examples that repair and reconstitute our species’ bonds with the complex systems in the world around and within us.


The curatorial team, led by Paola Antonelli and based in Milan and New York, will select and present design approaches that encourage a multifaceted and comprehensive reading of the issues threatening our collective existence; stimulate an appreciation of the systems in which individuals live and operate; and galvanize attitudes that consider life beyond the next few generations.


The XXII Triennale will feature projects – from objects to buildings, and from interfaces to infrastructures and cities, at all scales, from the cosmos to the microbiome, and in all dimensions – that suggest plausible and concrete avenues for restorative design action In this ambitious endeavor, the curatorial team will be supported by an Advisory Committee of scholars and practitioners, including Adam Bly, Rania Ghosn, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Gabriella Gómez-Mont, Jamer Hunt, Sarah Ichioka, Koyo Kouoh, Stefano Micelli, and Maholo Uchida.

The XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, highlights the concept of restorative design and studies the state of the threads that connect humans to their natural environments––some frayed, others altogether severed. In exploring architecture and design objects and concepts at all scales and in all materials, Broken Nature celebrates design’s ability to offer powerful insight into the key issues of our age, moving beyond pious deference and inconclusive anxiety. 

By turning its attention to human existence and persistence, the XXII Triennale will promote the importance of creative practices in surveying our species’ bonds with the complex systems in the world, and designing reparations when necessary, through objects, concepts, and new systems. Even to those who believe that the human species is inevitably going to become extinct at some point in the (near? far?) future, design presents the means to plan a more elegant ending. It can ensure that the next dominant species will remember us with a modicum of respect: as dignified and caring, if not intelligent, beings.


Broken Nature is composed of a thematic exhibition and a number of international participations solicited through official channels. It will run from March 1 to September 1, 2019.