Alessandro Melis is the inaugural IDC Foundation Endowed Chair and a professor in the School of Architecture and Design. In 2021, he was the curator of the Italian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia. Alessandro has been nominated Ambassador of Italian Design (ADI - Italian Ministry of External Affairs) in 2021 (Paris) and 2022 (New York and Washington). Previously, he was director of the International Cluster for Sustainable Cities at the University of Portsmouth, director of Postgraduate Engagement at the University of Auckland, co-director at the TPAI program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, visting professor at the Anhalt University Dessau, Politecnico di Torino, University of Perugia, and honorary fellow at Edinburgh University.
The relevance of his contribution to research is evidenced by 200+ publications, by as many citations in popular publications, and by conferences at institutions such as the University of Cambridge, MoMA, China Academy of Art, and TEDx. Recent monographs on his work include "Alessandro Melis. Utopic Real World, Invention Drawings," published by D Editore, and "Heliopolis 21," published by Skira Editore.
Recent Projects and Research
Principal investigator and transnational coordinator in international research, including the interdisciplinary project CRUNCH: Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalizing the Food-Water-Energy Nexus, involving urban living labs in Gdańsk, Miami, Taiwan, Eindhoven, Uppsala, and Southend-on-Sea.
- Melis, A., & Pievani, T. (Eds.) (2021). Architectural Exaptation. Catalogo del Padiglione Italia. La XVII Biennale Venezia. Vol 1a. D Editore.
- Melis, A. & Foerster B. (2021). Notes for a transposition of the notions of exaptation into a design practice to promote diversity and resilience as an alternative to planning determinism during crisis. Forum A+P.
- Nava, C. & Melis, A. (2021). A radical Bioecological paradigm for design technology with a transdisciplinary approach. Techne' (21).
- Melis A, Ricci G. (2021). Le comunità resilienti come antidoto alla crisi ambientale. Domus.
- Melis A, Zappa G. (2021). Il Padiglione Italia 2021 preferisce il rumore di fondo. Domus.
- Melis, A. (2021). Italian Pavilion: Resilient Communities. SHIJIE JIANZHU.
- Melis, A. (2021). Periferia e Pregiudizio. Bordeaux Editore.
- Melis, A., Goldemberg, E., Lipari, F., Zalcberg, V., Gokchepinar, J., & Cereghetti, J. (2020). Borboletta. Antagonismos, 4.
- Lara-Hernandez, J. A., Coulter, C. & Melis, A., (2020). Temporary appropriation and urban informality: Exploring the subtle distinction. Cities. Elsevier.
- Melis, A. (2020). To learn a new way of designing the city, let's see at slums. Interni. A. Di Raimo, S. Lehmann, & A. Melis, (2020) Informality Now: Informal Settlements Through the Lens of Sustainability. Routledge.
- Melis, A. (2020). ZombieCity. D Editore.
- Lara Hernandez. J.A., Melis, A. & Lehmann, S. (2019). Temporary appropriation of public space as an emergence assemblage for the future urban landscape. Future Cities and Environment. 5(1), 1–22. Ubiquity Press.
- Lara-Hernandez, J. A., Melis, A., Coulter, C. (2019). Using the street in Mexico City Centre: temporary appropriation of public space vs legislation governing street use. The Journal of Public Space.
- Melis, A., & Coulter, C. (2019). The Da Vinci Flow. Topos.
- Melis, A. (2019). Stadiums aren't fated to disrepair and disuse. History shows they can change with the city. The Conversation.
- Melis, A., Lara Hernandez, A. & Thomson, J. (Ed.) (2019). Temporary Appropriation in Cities Human Spatialisation in Public Spaces and Community Resilience. Springer International Publishing.
- Melis, A. (2019). The introduction of nature in the Austrian Radicals practice. In Lemes (Ed.), F. Planning Cities with Nature: Theories, Strategies and Methods. Springer International Publishing.
- Lara Hernandez. J.A. & Melis, A. (2018). Understanding the temporary appropriation in relationship to social sustainability. Sustainable Cities and Society. 39, 366–374. Elsevier.
- Melis, A., & Stumbles, L. J. (2018). How to build cities and destroy motorways: radical perspectives on environmental design. D Editore.
- Melis, A. & Davis, M. (2018). Mai i te ngahere oranga: a restricted competition in the Pacific. In Menteth W. (Ed.) Competition Culture in Europe: Voices. Project Compass CIC.
- Melis, A. & Gatley, J. (2018). A Romantic in Tuscany: Alessandro Gherardesca and the transformation of Pisa's Piazza del Duomo. Cogent Social Sciences. Taylor and Francis.
- Melis, A., Lemes De Oliveira, F., Lara Hernandez, J. A., & Repetto, D. (2018). The return to nature in the Austrian radical thinking: the case of Gunther Domenig. Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts. Karlruher Institute Fur Technolgie Scientific Publishing.
- Balaara, A., Haaroff, E., & Melis, A. (2018). J. Max Bond Jr. and the appropriation of modernism in a library design in Ghana. Fabrications. Taylor and Francis.
- Davis, M., Mecredy, E., & Melis, A. (2018). Material Openings: Ark and the materiality of the vessel. Drawing On. 2 University of Edinburgh Press.
- Auer, T., Melis, A., & Aimar, F. (Eds.) (2017). Disruptive technologies: the integration of advanced technology in architecture teaching and radical projects for the future city. Wolters Kluwer.
- Melis, A., Davis, M., & Balaara, A. (2017). The history and invocation of the Arche in Austrian Radical architecture thinking. Cogent Social Sciences. Taylor and Francis. 3(1).
- Ijatuyi, O., Haaroff, E., & Melis, A. (2017). Housing and an aging population: implications for architectural education. The International Journal of Aging and Society, 7(3), 75–96.
- Melis, A., & Ijatuyi, O. (2015). Regeneration of the historical villages of Tuscany, through conservation and tourism development strategies. In Y. Xiujing (Ed.), 中国美术学院建筑遗产保护国际论坛论文集: Proceedings of the Architecture Forum of the China Academy of Arts (pp. 35–40). China Academy of Arts Publishing House.
- Gasperini, M., & Melis, A. (2015). Shining dark territories: 100 thoughts of architecture. Pisa: ETS – Edizioni tecnico Scientifiche.
- Melis, A. (2013). Good morning, Babylon: The cathedral is a movie. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 54(1), 82–84. doi:10.1353/frm.2013.0006
- Melis, A. (2011). The invocation of the ancient in the Radical architecture. Journal of ESALA – Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape, 3.
Professional Honors and Awards
- In 1996, Alessandro Melis founded Heliopolis 21, a multi-award-winning architecture firm based in Italy and the UK. The SR1938 building of the University of Pisa, the Stella Maris hospital, and the Auditorium of Sant'Anna, inaugurated by the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, are cited in scholarly publications and popular magazines as examples of excellence in sustainable design.
Courses Taught at New York Tech
- ARCH 301: Architecture Design Studio
- ARCH 753: History and Theory of Design for Health
- ARCH 754: Body, Mind, and Built Environments
- ARCH 702C: Health and Design Studio 2
- ARCH 703C: Health and Design Studio 3
- ARCH 501: Thesis Design Studio