A sustainable design project

by Davide Balda/Fabrica


United Colors of Benetton

Treviso (IT), 4 April 2024 – From 15 to 21 April 2024 Fabrica, Benetton Group’s communication research center, presents Telare la Materia by the young designer Davide Balda as part of the seventh edition of Alcova, a curatorial project born in 2018 which, during the Milan Fuorisalone, brings together independent brands, galleries and emerging designers investigating the future of living and making.

Supported by the Benetton Group Sustainability Department, Telare la Materia is a project born and developed at Fabrica during Davide Balda's artistic residency dedicated to Co-ecologies. The goal is to propose a series of applications to address the impact of the textile industry on the environment and encourage the disposal of discarded clothing items in the place where they are produced.

The garments come from Green B, a line within United Colors of Benetton collections characterized by sustainability features. Through a manual grinding process, these products are reduced into both synthetic and organic textile fibers and become raw materials to be reused in other applications.

Presented at the prestigious Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, Telare la Materia offers two different uses: technosoil and building material. In the former, textile fiber is used as a plant substrate and fertilizer for plant growth. In the latter, technosoil is combined with clay scraps from the Sile river (in the Treviso area) to create vernacular architectural modules and elements, following a circular approach.

The research

Inspired by the concept of the Symbiocene, a new era in which humans find more sustainable ways to interact with other living beings and the environment, Telare la Materia suggests applications to encourage the disposal of discarded garments which today are instead packed and shipped, for example, to Africa and South America. These packages, in Swahili, are called Mitumba, and at 50 percent are composed of garments in poor condition or made from low-quality fabrics. Therefore, they are waste collected in illegal open-air dumps and often burned, releasing chemicals into the soil and air.

Davide Balda

Currently an artist-in-residence at Fabrica, Davide Balda (1998) is a multidisciplinary designer interested in researching new materials and sustainable production processes. Originally from Genoa (Italy), he graduated in Product Design from IED in Turin and holds a master’s degree in Design, Creativity and Social Practices from the Unidee Academy of Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella. Davide identifies himself as an “archeodesigner” who researches and studies techno-fossils, or fossils of the future. These are natural and artificial residues produced by human activities, useful for investigating the past, reinterpreting history and creating materials or artifacts.


Fabrica is a renaissance-inspired and learning-by-doing research center that in 2024 celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Every semester, around 20 creative talents — 25 year-old or younger — are selected from all over the world to experiment on a specific theme, through a constant contamination between disciplines such as photography, design, film, writing, music/sound, fine arts, and digital media.

Fostering social change through a cross-cultural approach, Fabrica provides an intensive program that includes lectures, workshops, seminars, concerts, and the development of a personal research project leading to a final live exhibition at the end of the semester.

Fabrica is located just outside Treviso (Italy), in a 17th century villa renovated and expanded by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.



Telare la Materia

Press preview

14 April


Open to the public

15-21 April


Free entrance

Villa Bagatti

Casa dei Forestieri Valsecchi

Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 48
Varedo (MB) - Italy

From Milan

Lines S2 and S4


For more information:

Angela Quintavalle

Tel: +39 0422 516209