Material interfaces. Biological meets digital


  • Sabrina Lucibello ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)
  • Lorena Trebbi ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)
  • Chiara Del Gesso ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)



digital materiality, material experience, surface design, perception, biofabrication


The introduction to the concept of ‘digital materiality’ goes beyond the custom of considering matters’ physical characteristics as the opposite of virtual, binary and digital ones. Bonsiepe, in 1995, had already integrated the material characteristics of objects and the semiotic value of the interface, acknowledging its ability to become a ‘non-verbal language’, ‘spatial system’ establishing new relationships between the human body and technology. Therefore, surfaces have the key role of ‘membranes’, creating and receiving stimuli from inside and outside, and from subject and object. From this framework, it emerges the need to experiment alternative solutions meeting circularity/sustainability and experience/enjoyment needs, for example, through material interfaces or experiments on new biofabricated materials, such as microbial nanocellulose.


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Author Biographies

Sabrina Lucibello, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)

Architect and PhD, she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture, the President of the CdL Design and the Director of the Research and Services Saperi&Co Center. She carries out research mainly in the field of product innovation and of new materials.

Lorena Trebbi, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)

Designer and PhD, she is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture. She carries out research in the field of innovative materials for design, particularly focusing on biofabrication and the possibility of implementing symbiotic processes between nature and culture, design and science.

Chiara Del Gesso, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)

PhD Candidate at the Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture. She carries out research in the field of innovative processes and products through materials for design between design and science. She is a member of the research team in Saperi&Co Centre.


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Microbial nanocellulose, printing tests realised by L. Trebbi in collaboration with Slab Letterpress in Rome (credits: L. Trebbi, 2021). AGATHÓN 10 | 2021




How to Cite

Lucibello, S., Trebbi, L. and Del Gesso, C. (2021) “Material interfaces. Biological meets digital”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 10(online), pp. 180–185. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/10162021.



Design | Essays & Viewpoint