A tribute to Claudio De Albertis, President of La Triennale di Milano

Claudio De Albertis

It is with great sadness that the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has learnt of the death of Claudio De Albertis at the age of 66, following a long illness. As the President of the Triennale di Milano Foundation, his vision and energy were instrumental in the renaissance of La Triennale institution and exhibition, and in the cultural influence of Milan.

Having started his career in the family construction firm, Claudio De Albertis’ early projects led him to develop a profound belief in the importance of rethinking urban landscapes on a human scale, and embracing changes sweeping the world of architecture and design. From the 1980s, he actively took part in social and cultural projects, and was selected by his peers to occupy leading positions in construction, architectural and trade associations. In his various positions, De Albertis promoted innovation and bold projects, including the successful bid to organise a World Expo in Milan in 2015.

In 2011, De Albertis was appointed President of the Triennale di Milano, a unique cultural organisation dedicated to exhibitions and events in the field of architecture, design and crafts. During his tenure, he reinforced the institution’s role, led the renovation of the Palazzo dell’Arte, and orchestrated the return of the Triennale di Milano international exhibition after a 20-year hiatus.

XX1T, the 21st edition of the Triennale di Milano, which was successfully held between April and September this year, reflected De Albertis’ forward-looking approach. By expanding the list of participants, the exhibition allowed developing countries and new types of actors to gain access to the international stage. By moving beyond the Palazzo dell’Arte to other venues in the Milan area, the Triennale brought, in his own words, “a new approach to a fast-changing and expanding urban space, breaking down the separation between centre and suburbs, and forming a metaphor for a dialogue between countries far from each other.”

De Albertis leaves an incomparable legacy of accomplishment and honesty that has enhanced the reputation of the institution and brilliantly served its international public. The return of the Triennale was made possible due to his commitment, and enduring belief in the exhibition as a driving force behind design.

Claudio De Albertis will be deeply missed by Milan, by the world of architecture and design, and by all BIE members and staff. At this difficult time, we extend our warmest thoughts to his family and friends, and to his colleagues at the Triennale di Milano.

XX1 Triennale di Milano draws to a close

The XX1 Triennale di Milano – the first after a 20-year absence – closes its doors today, Monday 12 September, after five months of exhibitions and events dedicated to design. While participants and the public have been invited to a closing ceremony that will take place tonight in the gardens of the Triennale, organisers are already looking towards the organisation of a 22nd Triennale di Milano in 2019.

XX1 Triennale

Organised under the theme ‘21st Century. Design After Design’, this year’s Triennale was the first to be held in different venues throughout the city of Milan and its suburbs. While still centred around the Palazzo dell’Arte – the home of the Triennale - exhibitions were organised in 19 different venues, including the Pirelli Tower, the MUDEC museum and even the former site of the World Expo 2015.

For its first edition of the 21st century, the scope of the Triennale was broadened, bringing diversity to exhibitions and incorporating modern-day issues such as globalisation, urban planning, and society’s views of gender roles and multiethnicity. A change could also be noticed in the profiles and perspectives of exhibitors, which this year included non-traditional actors such as museums, universities, design centres and non-profit groups.

Palazzo dell'Arte

A total of 27 thematic exhibitions were organised as part of the XX1 Triennale, and there were over 40 exhibitions from international participants. The theme of this year’s Triennale looked to the past, the present and the future, exploring the complex interaction between art, architecture and design in the modern era.

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente G. Loscertales, has praised the successful return of the Triennale, stating that “its modernisation reflects the Triennale di Milano’s privileged role as an interpreter of society, reflecting and anticipating social, cultural and technical changes.” Mr. Loscertales added that the exhibitions of the XX1 Triennale “allow us to explore the ways in which design has evolved and offer insights into the world we live in.”

On the occasion of the closing of the XX1 Triennale, the BIE has published the 2016 edition of its Bulletin (accessible online). The BIE Bulletin is dedicated to the theme of this Triennale. Featuring accounts on the meaning of design and its interaction with art and technology in the modern era, the Bulletin compiles contributions from organisers and curators of the XX1 Triennale as well as experts in the field.

Milan unveils 21st Triennale int'l exhibition program after 20-year pause

The program of the 21st Triennale di Milano International Exhibition of design, architecture and art, which returns to Milan next April, was unveiled on Saturday.
The Triennale will take place in Milan from April 2 to Sept. 12 in 12 cultural venues across the city and its surrounding area, including the Palazzo dell'Arte but also part of the Expo site that hosted last year Expo Millano 2015 as well as the Fabbrica del Vapore; Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology; Diocesan Museum; and Palazzo della Permanente.
Forty thousand square meters will be dedicated to the XXI Triennale, among which 17,000 on the Expo Milano 2015 site, northwest of the city.
Entitled "21st Century: Design After Design", the 21st Triennale will aim at "exploring the new millennium and its great changes" said Milan Triennale President Claudio De Albertis.
This theme challenges participants – architects, artists and scientists – to explore “new cardinal points” and establish the foundations of culture in the future.
The 2016 edition will gather more than 30 official participants from countries such as Algeria, Canada, China, South Korea, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, India, Iran and Mexico.

triennale 3


It will count 20 exhibits, two summer schools, three international workshops, a theatre program, an award, a festival and dozens of concerts, conferences and meetings.
BIE Secretary-General Vicente G. Loscertales, who attended the presentation, indicated "twenty years after the latest edition, we are very happy to welcome this new international exhibition", which constitutes "an inventory and a vision of the future, a very large vision of what happened during the last 20 years and of future prospective."
BIE Secretary General depicted the Triennale “as a voice that reflects and interprets the transformation of the society ", retrieving the link between creativity, history, philosophy and architecture. “This edition, by spreading the event in the most beautiful places in and around Milan and therefore transforming the city in an unique festival, will encourage new developments and will constitute an opportunity of education to the quality of life" he indicated.

More information:  21triennale.org

Mr. Andrea Cancellato, Director General of the Triennale di Milano

Triennale Takes Milan

La Triennale di Milano has, for the first time since its official opening on 2 April 2016, presented its Progress Report to Member States of the Bureau International Expositions (BIE), during their 159th General Assembly on 15 June.

Back after a 20-year-hiatus, the XX1 Triennale is different from past editions, and is based on the theme ‘21st Century. Design After Design’. While past Triennale exhibitions were always held in a single location and focused on the future, the current edition has a presence in 19 sites and simultaneously addresses the past, present and future.

Mr. Andrea Cancellato, Director General of the Triennale di Milano

The different exhibition sites include museums (the MUDEC Museum of Cultures , the Triennale Design Museum), Universities (the University of Milan and Milan Politecnico) and symbolic locations including La Fabbrica del Vapore, the Hangar Bicocca, and the Pirelli Tower. Furthermore, since last month, the ‘City after the City’ exhibition has been hosted at the heart of the former site of Expo 2015 on a surface covering 17,000m2.

Twenty-seven thematic exhibitions exploring the theme of design are spread throughout the city of Milan and its surroundings. These exhibitions look at the tradition and history of design, its definition today, and its future applications and implications, accompanied by a rich and diversified cultural programme.

Following Expo 2015, Milan changed its colours into those of the XX1 Triennale and welcomed a new “mascot”, a symbolic object that resembles a sort of a yellow totem, reminiscent of the East-Berlin Fernsehturm. The object, presented in different situations of daily life, is a reminder of the importance, in the 21st century, of the presence of Design in our lives.


As with the World Expo in 2015, Milan is once again opening the doors to the world with the Triennale. This 21st edition of the exhibition reflects the growing role of new countries in the world of design; 33 countries are participating in the Triennale with 39 exhibitions. Alongside known and renowned countries in the field of design, such as Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany and Japan, the XX1 Triennale also lets visitors discover design from Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Lebanon, Myanmar, Liberia and South Sudan, all participating around the theme ‘Design after Design’.

Between the beginning of April and end of May, the XX1 Triennale welcomed over 258,700 visitors. The XX1 Triennale Delegation reminded the BIE General Assembly that workshops, conferences, shows, events and meetings will continue taking place in and around the city until 12 September, when the XX1 Triennale will close.

The XXI Triennale 2016 with Clarice Pecori Giraldi

La Triennale di Milano - Vice President Clarice Pecori Giraldi

Last week, the XXI Triennale 2016 was granted recognition by the BIE. This means the Expo organisers can officially prepare for the event and start inviting participants. This recognition has special historic significance since XX1 Triennale will mark the rebirth of this iconic Milanese design event after a gap of 20 years.

In a flash interview, Ms Clarice Pecori-Giraldi, Vice President of the Triennale di Milano (the organizer of the event), tells us about the content of the Expo and how it will interact with Expo Milano 2015.


How is the Triennale preparing the content of the 2016 Expo?

The Triennale has hosted several weeks ago the first of several meetings between the Scientific committee of the XXI Triennale, the general public and institutions. It was very interesting. What has come back is that the theme of the Triennale, Design after Design has implications that go beyond the object designed and question what is behind the object. And that is labour. So XXI Triennale 2016 will not only be addressing "Design after Design" but maybe also "Labour after Labour".

The Triennale will be hosting Expo Milano 2015's Art and food area. Could you tell us about this participation in the Expo?

The art and food area is going to be set in the building of the Triennale. It will be the Expo's only location inside Milan. We expect a lot of traffic to this exhibition. It will be very interesting to see Expo 2015 finding its own voice in our building.

Will you use Expo 2015 to communicate on XXI Triennale 2016?

Definitely we will. We will be presenting the history of Triennale in the art and food area, and we will also be inviting visitors to come back in 2016.