exhibition - Open call


intersection between design, art and science

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February 2022 - 9:00 AM

the exhibition

Curated by Carla Langella, Valentina Perricone, Roberta Angari 

Sponsored by the University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli“, Department (DADI), City of Science 

In collaboration with Lucia Gambardella and Antonia Minervini. 

and the contribution of Antonella Rosmino, Sara Coscione, Ciro Esposito. 



EchinoDesign is an international exhibition intended to investigate, the relationship between design, art and science in a transdisciplinary way from a biomimetic perspective. Biomimetics is a discipline that draws inspiration from principles, logics, morphologies, structures, and materials observed in nature to design innovative technologies and artifacts.  


The exhibition will be held virtually and physically including design-driven products and design, artistic and scientific installations dedicated to the biomimetic interpretation of the biological characteristics of echinoids (sea urchins) from multiple perspectivese.g.morphological, generative, structural, material, dynamic and compositional. 


Starting from April 15 to June 31 2021, the call is now openeddesigners, artists, engineers and scientists can submit their idea and concepts inspired by echinoids.  

Candidates can consult the Learning from Echinoids to study in-depth the biological characteristics of echinoids and find inspiration regarding the possible biomimetic applications in the area retained most suitable between design, art and science (furniture, medical, sports, jewellery, electronic devices, interaction design, new materials, paintings, sculptures, poems, graphics, visual arts, music, architecture and construction, visualization of scientific data and results, digital applications etc.). 

The proposals will be evaluated by a scientific committee composed by designers, engineers, and scientists of international relevance. 


The results will be published on September 15, 2021. From this date, the projects selected must be developed and produced in prototypes and submitted by November 15, 2021. 

During the developmental phase of the projects, it will be possible to request technical and scientific support to the organizers (echinoidesign@gmail.com). The products selected can be developed independently or in collaboration with an industrial partnership. 

The exhibition will open in 24 February 2022 at Città della Scienza, NaplesItaly, and virtually on an online platform designed as itinerant and accessible at national and an international level.  

Seminars and international workshops on the topic of biomimetics and sustainable innovation will be held during the exhibition. 

Through the intersection of different interpretations on the theme, the exhibition intends to offer an inclusive and emotionally intense experience allowing visitors, even less expert ones, to immerge themselves in the fascinating world of echinoids and to understand both their incredible environmental value and their inspirational potential for the development of new products and technological/ sustainable innovations.


Echinodesign: the projects

EchinoDesign originated from two main projects: 

  • Mechanical design of the echinoid endoskeleton and inspired industrial details for design engineering in the Industry 4.0 Era

An interdisciplinary Ph.D. Research of “Environmental, Design and Innovation” Program PON 2014-2020University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli and the Hybrid Design Lab. 

  • RICCIcliamo: the second life of sea urchins

 Two lines of research, involving several Italian universities (UniMi, UniPd, UniGe), aimed to reuse sea urchins’ food waste in an innovative way from a circular economy perspective.


Mechanical design of the echinoid endoskeleton and inspired industrial details for design engineering in the Industry 4.0 Era

Echinoids, known as sea urchins, are invertebrates populating the seas since the late Ordovician, about 450 million years ago. During their evolution, they underwent a relevant adaptive radiation leading to a variety of specialized forms and lifestyles. Most of the evolutionary success of echinoids is certainly due to the strategic employment of their endoskeletons adapted to resist both biotic and abiotic stresses related to marine environments. These optimized structures, which minimizes both energy and materials employed, represent ideal models for transferring functional bio-inspired solutions to building constructions and different industrial sectors.

In this framework, EchinoDesign originated based on the interdisciplinary Ph.D. Research entitled “Mechanical design of the echinoid endoskeleton and inspired industrial details for design engineering in the Industry 4.0 Era” of “Environmental, Design and Innovation” Program PON 2014-2020, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” and the Hybrid Design Lab.  The research focused on morphological and mechanical analysis of the echinoid skeletal structure aimed to acquire new biological insights and identify adaptive strategies useful for biomimetic transfer applications. As a result, echinoids became a guide and model for the development of different bio-inspired concepts. 

For more information go to the section:  Learning from Echinoids.

Research carried out by: 

Valentina Perricone, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli 


under the mentorship of: 

Carla Langella, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli 

Maria Daniela Candia Carnevali, state University of Milan 

Mario De Stefano, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli 

Flavio Ferrazzano, Weiko s.r.l 

Tobias Grun, University of Florida

Michal Kowalewski, University of Florida

with the important participation of:  

Francesco Marmo and Luciano Rosati, Federico II University of Naples 

Gabriele Pontillo, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli 

Lucas Fabian Olivero, University of Algarve and University of Aberta 



and the valuable support of: 

Paolo Russo, Department of Physics, Federico II University of Naples 

Sergio Bravi, Federico II University of Naples. 

Luigia Santella, Zoological Station of Naples 



RICCIcliamo: the second life of sea urchins

Other than playing a crucial role in the marine ecosystem and inspiring innovative biomimetic solutions, sea urchins are a culinary delicacy in many countries, including Italy. Eating them with pasta, or raw as an appetizer, is however an experience that, although gratifying from a taste point of view, is not sustainable from an ecological perspective: in fact, only the gonads of the urchin are eaten, while the rest (from 70 to 90% of the total mass) is discarded.
Thanks to the work of a multidisciplinary research team that involves several universities (UniMi, UniPd, UniGe) directed and coordinated by the UniMi Department of Environmental Science and Policy, it is now possible to reuse this food waste in an innovative way from a circular economy perspective: the applications range from regenerative medicine (with the creation of skin substitutes obtained from the collagen surrounding the sea urchins’ mouth) to farming and aquaculture (through the production from the sea urchin test of a powder rich in calcium and antioxidants used to crate feeds of laying hens, fishes and sea urchins themselves).

For more information go to: https://www.riccicliamo.it/