Portsmouth academic named Ambassador of Design
A University of Portsmouth academic has been nominated as an ambassador of Italian Design 2020.
Professor Alessandro Melis from the School of Architecture was chosen by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is well-known in Italy for his research in the field of architecture and has already been selected as the Curator of the Italian Pavilion at the prestigious Venice Biennale this year.
I am very proud to represent Italy, a country where product design and industrial design are major areas in which we are world-leading.
Professor Melis will be expected to join high-profile embassy meetings to share his experience and knowledge of Italian design.
He said: “I am very proud to represent Italy, a country where product design and industrial design are major areas in which we are world-leading.
“It is flattering to be chosen to represent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Cultural Heritage. I feel honoured to be able to share and highlight our expertise in open planning, product design and architecture.”
Professor Melis had been invited to attend ‘Days of Design’ at the Italian Embassy in Paris and at the European Headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, but they have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities at the University of Portsmouth, his research topics concern innovation in the field of environmental sustainability, resilience and regeneration. He has been the curator and keynote speaker at numerous conferences, such as the MoMA in New York and the China Academy of Art. He currently coordinates international research projects on resilience in architecture.
In 1996, Professor Melis founded Heliopolis 21, an architecture and urban design company based in Italy and Germany. Heliopolis 21 has recently designed building SR1938 at the University of Pisa, which is considered a model for sustainable architecture.