Aldo Cibic Microrealities project collection
Part of:
  • Aldo Cibic (archive creator)

Aldo Cibic Microrealities project collection



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 186 drawings
    97 photographic materials
    3 DVDs, containing 160 digital files (2.5 GB)
    0.01 linear meter of textual records
Scope and content:
The Aldo Cibic Microrealities project collection, 2003-2008, was assembled by Aldo Cibic for the CCA following a request from the CCA Director, who saw Microrealities exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia.

The collection documents four proposals for urban development that focus on redefining the relationship between citizens and cities. For Cibic, citizens have the ability to give a space its identity. Their actions, visions, exchanges and potential stimulate creativity and allow them to develop small situations that once combined can have a significant impact on a larger scale.

Cibic and his firm propose four “microrealities”: 1. The Gates of the city takes place in Milan and exploits relations and exchanges between residents, workers, and visitors. This microreality focuses on giving access to all areas of the city through transportation and as a result maximize exchange and communication between people; 2. Shopping Center, Public Spaces + … looks at how to create a space that emulates the traditional concept of the shopping center while integrating key social activities, such as recreational and educational activities, into the space; 3. The Vegetable garden city searches for ways to leave the city and experience the ‘rhythms of nature’ in order to introduce balance in peoples’ lives; and 4. Shanghai: 100 new subways examines urban sprawl and the destruction of older spaces within the city in the context of Shanghai, creating a fracture within peoples’ living environments. A proposed solution is to develop infrastructure to integrate these spaces, specifically through a subway network where each station would serve as a center for a new community.

The project “Microrealities” was presented at:
- 9th International Architectural Exhibition, exhibition “Metamorph”, at the Biennale di Venezia (12 September-17 November 2004)
- Graz Museum of Modern Art, Austria: exhibition “M City. European Cityscapes” (1 October 2005-8 January 2006)
- CISA - Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio: exhibition “Microrealities” (9 June-30 July 2006)
- Leopolda Station, Florence, Italy: exhibition The Storytellers” (1-11 December 2005)
- Galleria Yellow Fish Art, Montréal, Québec, Canada: installation “Microrealities” (3-28 May 2006)

The collection contains presentation booklets which feature drawings and design work, publications, and three DVDs from the Microrealities project. Two of the DVDs contain videos likely created for and displayed at exhibitions including the Biennale di Venezia. These videos contain footage of large and elaborate presentation models created by Cibic to illustrate each of the four Microrealities. The third DVD contains still images of each Microrealities model as well as Microsoft Word files with Italian- and English-language project texts for the “Metamorph” exhibit at the 2004 Biennale di Venezia and the “M City. European Cityscapes” exhibit at the Graz Museum of Modern Art.

The collection also includes a presentation booklet on “Citizen City”, a preliminary design research project which preceded “Microrealities”. This project was exhibited in Milan in 2003.
Reference number:


There was no prior arrangement of the material. Arrangement of the collection by document type was undertaken by CCA staff.
Biographical notes:
The architect and designer Aldo Cibic was born in Schio, Italy, in 1955. In 1979, he went to work with Ettore Sottsass and became a partner the next year. Together with other designers, they founded the Memphis group in 1980. In 1989 in Milan, Aldo Cibic founded Cibic&Partners with Luigi Marchetti, Chuck Felton and Antonella Spiezio. The firm’s main interests are in architecture, graphic art, interior and industrial design.

Aldo Cibic’s professional activities include teaching at the Domus Academy, in the Faculty of Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic University as part of the Industrial Design degree, and in the Faculty of Design at the Architectural School of the University of Venice.

With other authors and collaborators, Cibic has published, among other titles, Aldo Cibic : designer (1999), Microrealities : a project about places and people (2006), Rethinking happiness (2010), and Verso Milano Expo 2015 (2011).

References: Microrealities website, accessed July 19, 2016, http://www.microrealities.org
Doveil, Frida. ‘Aldo Cibic’ (Milano: Editrice Abitare Segesta, [2005]), 156.
Conditions governing access:
  • Open for use by qualified researchers. Access by appointment only.
Conditions governing reproduction:
  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the collection, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer:
  • Gift of Aldo Cibic on 26 March 2008.
Custodial history:
  • The Microrealities project material was held at the Cibic&Partners office before its donation by Aldo Cibic to the CCA in 2008.
Archivist's note:
  • The Aldo Cibic Microrealities project collection was processed by Jennifer Préfontaine in July 2016.
Credit line:
Pour citer la collection en entier | Use this credit line when citing the entire collection:

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
Don de Aldo Cibic/
Gift of Aldo Cibic

Pour citer des objets spécifiques, veuillez vérifier la ligne de crédit de l’objet avec Référence à la collection.
When citing specific collection objects, please verify the object’s credit line with CCA Reference.
Language of material:
  • English
  • Italian
Related units of description:
  • The publication “Microrealities” (2006) is available in the CCA library collection.

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