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Milan Expo 2015: Rice Cluster

Politecnico di Milano

Project Name

Milan Expo 2015: Rice Cluster

Project Status


Year Completed



3,546 sq. meters


  • Tongji University of Shanghai
  • National University of Civil Engineering of Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Development of Content: Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
  • Scientific Adviser and Project Coordinator: Marialuisa Lavitrano
  • Concept and Exhibition Layout: Agnese Rebaglio, Davide Crippa, Barbara Di Prete, Francesco Tosi


Milan Expo 2015

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Reflective cladding creates the visual of water amid patches of rice in this cluster, which is devoted to the global production of the grain. The site is peppered with mobile equipment, the designers say, that can serve as seating, displays, and other surfaces while also referencing the rice sheaves that populate the fields during a harvest.

Project Description


The Cluster will appear like a rice field out of scale in which it will be possible to recognize the textures of the fields but also the colours, the aromas and shades that accompany the growth of rice and the passing of time. The Cluster will hide a further "informative passage" composed of data and curiosities ready to be unveiled and discovered by visitors step after step. Water, the recurring theme of rice fields and symbolic conjunction between sky and earth, here will become a filter creating uniformity while hiding the lack of homogeneity, a weak “cover” of an informative landscape disseminated among the streets of the Cluster. Behind the Pavilions, the landscape will become artificial: the coloured cement ground will keep the agricultural texture, while “cristalizing” the chromatic scansion. Also the mobile equipment scattered in the Cluster will formally call to mind the typical sheaves that populate rice fields; at the same time, they will determine a hybrid use of the space becoming tables, kitchens, exhibition modules, but also creative laboratories never seen before involving visitors.

The Universities that collaborated with the Politecnico di Milano in designing the concept are the Tongji University of Shanghai (China) and the National University of Civil Engineering of Hanoi (Vietnam).

Countries belonging to this cluster:
- Bangladesh
- Cambodia
- Laos
- Myanmar
- Sierra Leone

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