School of Architecture's Professor Alessandro Melis and Architecture alumnus Dzhumhur Gyokchepanar have won the Young Generation outside Argentina prize at this year's International Architecture Biennale of Buenos Aires.

As part of a team, they received the award for their installation project Borboletta, exhibited at Usina del Arte on 14 – 20 October 2019. The project is a collaboration between Professor Melis and Gyokchepanar, Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg (MONAD Studio), and Francesco Lipari (OFLarchitecture). It was crafted by Jorge Cereghetti (UADE Labs) and his students.

Borboletta integrates microbiology, biodiversity and architecture, and explores ways in which urban systems can become self-sustaining in response to extreme climate. It's a sonic installation doubling up as a display system with living organisms. It comprises 4 coordinating entities representing the essential ingredients of a future resilient ecosystem:

  1. Variable scaffolding structure for assimilation with the human body
  2. Sensorial milieu activated by sonic integration (two guitars and Arduino feedback audio systems)
  3. The Wunderberg spheres – a self-sufficient habitat for biodiversity proliferation
  4. Slim Mold – The system's climate responsiveness through expansion and contraction of an acellular mass of creeping protoplasmic cells

The front-facing guitars were designed by MONAD Studio | Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg with musician/luthier Scott F. Hall and 3D-printed at FIU Miami Beach Urban Studio.

Borboletta demonstrates the team's belief that 'nature-facts' (an axiomatic relationship between nature and artefact) can help construct new ecological paradigms for positive tropospheric development.

The installation will exhibit in Miami this month, as well as in August in the Italian Pavilion – curated by Professor Melis – at the Venice Biennale, one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions.

A side portrait of a curvy blue installation with guitar sculptures and three transparent spheres housing plants and soil

Borboletta installation, featuring front-facing guitars and the Wunderburg spheres housing germinating plants

Five men standing together, smiling at the camera, with the two far left holding a certificate displaying 'Premio Bienalba a la Joven Generación Argentina en el Exterior'

Left to right: Matias Glusberg, Eric Goldemberg, Francesco Lipari, Dzhumhur Gyokchepanar, Jorge Cereghetti