fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | Achim Menges / ICD University of Stuttgart and Jan Knippers / ITKE University of Stuttgart
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Achim Menges / ICD University of Stuttgart and Jan Knippers / ITKE University of Stuttgart

Material Culture: Rethinking The Physical Substrate For Living Together

  • TUE - SUN
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Achim Menges (German,b.1975) with Niccolò Dambrosio (Italian, b.1988), Rebeca Duque Estrada (Brazilian, b.1989), Fabian Kannenberg (German, b.1991), Katja Rinderspacher (German, b.1978), Christoph Schlopschnat (German, b.1988) and Christoph Zechmeister (Austrian, b.1985) of ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Germany, est.2008), Cluster of Excellence IntCDC at the University of Stuttgart, and Jan Knippers (German, b.1962) with Nikolas Früh (German, b.1987), Marta Gil Pérez (Spanish, b.1986), Riccardo La Magna (Italian, b.1982) at ITKE Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (Germany, est.1950), Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, University of Stuttgart


The material substance of architecture provides the physical substrate on which we live together. Yet the materiality and materialization of buildings face severe challenges. Construction ranks among the human activities that consume materials the most and is significantly detrimental to the environment. At the same time, the United Nations predicts an increasing need for new buildings in the foreseeable future. Explorations into a new material culture in architecture are, therefore, necessary. Nature provides just such a paradigmatic alternative: almost all biological, load-bearing structures are made from fiber composites. Fibrous construction offers a profoundly different material approach for building human habitats in the future. Maison Fiber—the central component of this installation— is a radical model of a material future for architecture. Developed for this Biennale Architettura 2021, it is the first inhabitable, multistory, fibrous structure of its kind, made entirely from glass and carbon fiber composites. Each building element is individually tailored using a robotic fabrication process, resulting in a distinctive expression while using a minimal amount of material.

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
Material Culture. Our project will imagine a new material culture. We aim to rethink the physical substrate for living together on the level of the household and habitat.


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
Material Installation. We will explore radically new ways of fibrous construction through a full-scale, inhabitable material installation.


University of Stuttgart
Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, EXC 2120
Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Wuerttemberg
Teijin Carbon Europe GmbH
Bipaled s.r.l. with Elisabetta Cane
Trimble Solutions Germany Gmb

Production credits

Robotically fabricated lightweight composite structure: Material Culture – Maison Fibre ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction, IntCDC - University of Stuttgart, Achim Menges

Niccolo Dambrosio, Rebeca Duque, Fabian Kannenberg, Katja Rinderspacher, Christoph Schlopschnat, Christoph Zechmeister

ITKE Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design, IntCDC - University of Stuttgart, Jan Knippers

Nikolas Früh, Marta Gil Pérez, Riccardo La Magna

Student Assistance: Vanessa Costalonga Martins, Sacha Cutajar, Christo van der Hoven

FibR, Stuttgart: Moritz Dörstelmann, Ondrej Kyjanek, Philipp Essers, Philipp Gülke
with support of: Erik Zanetti, Elpiza Kolo, Prateek Bajpai, Jamiel Abubaker, Konstantinos Doumanis, Julian Fial, Sergio Maggiulli

Project Support: University of Stuttgart; Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, EXC 2120/1 – 390831618; Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg; GETTYLAB; Teijin Carbon Europe; Bipaled with Elisabetta Cane; Trimble Solutions Germany

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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura