Marco Borsotti

Marco Borsotti Photo


associate professor - Politecnico di Milano (IT)

Interior / Exhibit Design


Exhibition design as a ‘relational trigger’ Phygital environmental systems to inhabit cultural narratives

Despite an idea of exhibition design that is still legitimately based on the principle of absence, that is, a declared neutral design act, the contemporary finds in the concept of narration the load-bearing paradigm with which to realise events dedicated to the enhancement of cultural heritage. The idea of narration is indeed inherent in every collection and in the cultural values it symbolizes, and proposes a symbiotic and meaningful co-presence between materiality and immateriality. The layout, then, takes on the value of a conceptual principle of ‘habitability’, coordinated and relational between space, content and visitor: a principle that it implements by enabling spatial and performative scenarios that also find resonance in implementing digitally-enabled experiential modes. The latter takes place in narrative intersections, privileging experiential interaction according to a ‘holistic vision’, human-centred and engaging. Thus, a real environmental system is generated where the visitor becomes a ‘relational trigger’, while the narrative offered is dilated or concentrated, according to an ‘osmotic progression’ and the exhibition design acts as a ‘sense amplifier’, in a multimodal narrative complex. The exhibition design no longer pursues a simple interface condition, but is structured as an integrated, analogue and digital environmental system - the ‘phygital space’ - that works in symbiosis with the curatorial content, amplifying it and making it available and engaging. It intercepts visitors by engaging them in an ongoing dialogue that can go as far as to reveal the conflict latent in them, in terms of stereotypical ideas and clichés.


Architect, PhD in Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture Urban Planning Building Engineering/ Department of Architecture, Building Engineering and the Built Environment of Politecnico di Milano, where he is a member of the Board of Professors of the PhD in Architectural, Urban and Interior Design. He is a Faculty member of the Master IDEA Exhibition Design - Exhibit Architecture (PoliDesign). He mainly deals with contemporary exhibition design in terms of museography and new narrative models for the valorisation of material and immaterial cultural heritage. On these topics he has published numerous essays and books including: La continuità dell'esporre. Allestimenti ai Musei Civici di Verona 2004-2023 (2023), Digital practices for generating interaction: exhibits and museums as phygital environments (2022), A Brief Journey through Definitions of Contemporary Exhibition Design. From Display to Narrative and Back (2020), Everything Can Be Narrated. Critical Reflections on Exhibition Design (2017), The Exhibition Design and its Workshop. Luogo, memoria ed evento: mostre alle Fruttiere di Palazzo Te, Mantova (2009).