Triennale di Milano

20/05/2022 - 20/11/2022

Unknown Unknowns.


The XXIII International Exhibition of the Triennale di Milano will take place from 20 May to 20 November 2022, under the theme "Unknown Unknowns". The International Exhibition is conceived as an important forum for reflecting on tendencies and contradictions of the present and on the urgency of the challenges currently facing our planet.

As in previous editions, the XXIII International Exhibition will both feature a thematic exhibition and solicit international participations, displaying new currents of thought and projects from different countries around the world.

The XXIII International Exhibition received formal recognition from the General Assembly of the BIE on 1 December, 2020, and is supported by the members of Fondazione La Triennale di Milano: the Italian Government, the Lombardy Region, the City of Milan, and the Milan, MonzaBrianza, and Lodi Chamber of Commerce.

Unknown Unknowns. 

From the deep sea, through an (un)built environment, to outer space — 95 per cent of our surroundings, of the finite bodies we are, and of the phenomena we experience, 95 per cent are a boundless mystery. We can only grasp that tiny 5 per cent that we have been able to analyse and artificially tame in our visible dimensions. The Unknown is the fullest dimension. A margin drawn on an edge. It is a structural feature, inherent to the very nature of the universe and the forces that shape it — starting with gravity, the greatest designer of and in the cosmos.

In line with the tradition and heritage of the International Exhibitions of Triennale di Milano, the 23rd edition, "Unknown Unknowns" wants to engage us in an exploration, both as individuals and as humanity, through tensioning question marks and going beyond uncharted mysteries.

The Earth itself is a shared unknown. The times ahead will have to endeavour to set free this planetary unknown from everything weighing on it, finding a new way to inhabit it. Even when we think we can anticipate our future, this same tomorrow surprises us with the unexpected. This makes existence a game of constant improvisation — whose purpose is to let the unknown emerge in order to live it better.

This International Exhibition will approach the Unknown Unknowns with a sense of wonder in the knowledge, trying to trigger collective awe and cross-disciplinary pollination towards prototyping better futures and crafting renewed ways to inhabit them.

All the exhibitions will be installed within the spaces of Triennale Milano and the surrounding areas. The thematic exhibition will occupy the ground floor of the Palazzo dell’Arte (around 2,400m2), and two spaces (around 500m2) on the first floor; the International Participations will be located on the space of the Curva (around 1,200m2) on the first floor and in the Garden (around 6,000m2).

Conceived as a project that extends well beyond the walls of Triennale site, Unknown Unknowns will also consist of different communication projects, that will expand its themes creating opportunities for reflection and discussion; a public program and symposia; and a catalogue with essays from scientists, scholars, designers, and critics.