Genoma - Italian Pavilion at 17th Venice Architecture Biennale

Genoma is a big collective installation located at Padiglione Italia during the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Biennale. Curated by Alessandro Melis, Pnat, Arte Sella e Liam Donovan-Stumbles the installation investigates the interdependencies between different life forms. Genoma is composed by little dynamic ecosystems able to change with the passage of time and conditions. Four spheres contain plants, which are exposed as in one geometric section in order to show every part of the organisms: from the roots, to the stem, to the leaves. Inside the hemispheres a small mist floats containing water and nutrients in order to feed the plants. A similar system is used in agriculture with the aeroponics technique. In the spheres, the process of absorption of nutrients by the plants becomes visible. The last sphere contains slime mold which is eukaryotic organisms that can live freely as single cell, but can aggregate together to form multicellular reproductive structures. The installation promote also the extension to architecture of the term “exaptation”, introduced by paleontologists Stephen Jay Gould and Elizabeth Vrba in 1982 to refer, in nature, to the redundant relationship between organs and functions thanks to which an organism makes use of structures already at its disposal to adapt to new functions or changed conditions.

Credits: Cristiana Favretto, Antonio Girardi, Stefano Mancuso – PNAT, Alessandro Melis – Heliopolis 21, Liam Donovan-Stumbles, Dzhumhur Gyokchepanar.

Construction and preparartion: Alberto Favretto, Lucio Serpani.

Technical advisor: Gyokay Ahmed, Antonino Di Raimo, Peh Ker Neng, Lee Chaer Shean

Photo credits: Giulio Boem

Project Info

Italian Pavilion at 17th Venice Architecture Biennale