how to reach

2015 fellows

june 2016 multidisciplinary residency

Nature, Art & Habitat at Soggiorno Mazzoleni -- Taleggio Valley, Bergamo, Italy -- is a summer program that aims to unfold and display a sensitive type of culture that relates to nature as a source of inspiration and a measure of available resources.  The ultimate goal is to unveil intimate links with all living organisms and to develop a more resilient and vital coexistence - in which humans would not be conceived as separate from, but part of, nature.

By looking at Earth’s ecosystem - climate, geology, soil, water, air, sun - Nature, Art & Habitat Residency intends to investigate each year a different natural component, its presence, and its ecosystemic coexistence in the Taleggio Valley, offering to residents creative inspiration for their projects.

The Alpine location will provide NAHR residents rich resources to root their investigation and final projects on the environmental elements, such as the woods, the river, the mountains, the pastures, and the villages - in order to give form to hidden connections with the surrounding organisms inspired by a sensitive ecological approach.

habitla - vision

2016 Topic - "The Woods"

NAHR is pleased to launch the 2016 summer residency focused on THE WOODS - RESILIENCY IN NATURE. “The Woods,” as a primary natural feature, represents a renewable yet depleting resource. They help sustain life on Earth by filtering the air and providing the planet’s oxygen, they stabilize the soil and offer shelter and nutrients to animals; they are widely used as a material for human housing, for building furniture and tools, to provide energy and indoor heating. While becoming globally scarce due to deforestation and mismanagement, the woods represent a thriving habitat of the Taleggio Valley encompassing a mix of biotic and abiotic components, such as flora, fauna, minerals, microorganisms, water, light, atmosphere, and soil.

The richness of woodland ecosystems, which constitute 50% of the Valley territory, has been selected as topic of NAHR 2016. They are literally and metaphorically fertile ground for exploration and creative design to inspire and encourage residency projects and works at large. Residents may gather inspiration from the unique forms and structures of tree trunks and canopies, the phototropic properties of leaves, the life supporting properties of the underground fungal network, or the symbiotic relationships among the hosted animal species. In addition to being a vital component of Earth’s function, the woods can also represent the magic of a poetic evolution: seasonal changes, light reflections, molding shapes, historical and traditional arts & crafts legacy, and cultural identity. The current pressing climatic threats push for deep rethinking of the environment, by challenging creative minds to produce innovative interpretations intrinsically inspired by nature: those projects would be able to elicit awareness and emphasize the human contribution to the natural enhancement.

Set in the rural Taleggio Valley in Northern Italy, NAHR offers a lively space to productively think and create, collaborate and interact, taking full advantage of the strength of the surrounding nature as well as Italy’s rich cultural heritage, combining vernacular traditions, nourishing food and healing aromas..

NAHR is a one-month residency (June), with provided lodging, offered to four multidisciplinary professionals and one university level student, active in the fields of bio-inspired arts, design, architecture, as well as anthropology, botany, natural sciences, literature, technology, economy, or anywhere in between.An international jury will select this year’s residents based on their proposals’ relevance using a series of criteria including feasibility, originality, and overall quality of the proposals.

Residencies will be awarded to independent project proposals that explore ‘The Woods’ in their dynamic relationship and articulation between the Valley’s ecological, socio-cultural practices, and its built environment. Proposals are required to consider the Taleggio Valley as a case study, and see NAHR as an opportunity for applicants to deepen their individual research path. The proposals must aim to explore in-depth the power of nature, the landscape, the identity and memory of the Taleggio Valley situated in the heart of the Orobie Alps.This may include the tangible and intangible heritage of rural buildings, artifacts, works, as well as oral stories, knowledge, know-how, cheese making traditions, crafts, flavors, habits of local population and communities with their steady participation legitimizing and perpetuating, generation after generation, their in situ existence.

Selection priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate direct engagement with surrounding nature and the human habitat, through both objectives and methods, and to those that reveal the ability to leave an artifact, such as an installation, a thematic path, sculpture, painting, text, food recipe, as a landmark on the Valley's territory.

The candidates need to demonstrate via their portfolio a strong commitment to research, investigation and production of previous work relating to the scope of NAHR and include a proposal of how the Taleggio Valley can be the appropriate case study for their ongoing work.

(more images)


  • Art
  • Architecture / Design
  • Anthropology
  • Biology/Natural Sciences
  • Ethno-botany
  • Biomimicry
  • Technology and Computational Sciences
  • Economy
  • Gastronomy
  • Sustainability
  • Visual Arts/Film/Liberal Studies

Calendar of the Residency

The residency will last 4 weeks: June 1 - 27, 2016

week 1: orientation workshopwith field trips and studio visits. Meeting Scientific Committee Chair Architect Alessandro Mendini.

week 2-3: development and production - individual work with 1 meeting/week for work advancements. Interaction with Scientific Committee Members during studio visits.

week 4: production and final presentation (June 25-26) During the final presentation event Scientific Committee members and others from the region scientific and artistic community will join the conversations.

Artist Accommodation: Accommodation is provided by Soggiorno Mazzoleni: one studio or one bedroom apartment will be offered to each artist. Shared studio areas and open-air studio space will be provided upon request. Artists are expected to consider the studio as the base of their research on site and to spend most of their time outdoor. There is no available indoor large space and/or tools studio for painting, working , choreography, etc...

Conditions: Residents are expected to be at the Residency for the majority of the time to fulfill one relevant objective of NAHR residency: bringing the participants into active engagement with each other in addition to the natural environment. Daily collegial interaction with other residents is an essential dimension of the NAHR experience, and residents are expected to discuss their projects, receive, and provide feedback. Artists are expected to take advantage of the residency by spending their time in the Valley, experiencing the woods, visiting sites, contacting local people, working with traditional and innovative materials, experimenting old and new technologies, sharing reflections and contents in workshops sessions, promoting their works in public happenings, as well as producing the final documentation for NAHR archive.

Copyrights of the work, including images, belong to the artist, however, it is expected that all the images (photos + film) shot during the residency will be made available to NAHR free of charge for PR. Please see Expectations for details regarding work produced at the Residency..

Number of artists resident at one time: Between 3 and 5.

Companions are allowed, considered on a case by case basis, with contained additional expenses to be covered individually by the applicant or the companions.

Expenses paid by artist

  • Travel
  • Supplies
  • Food
  • Extra

No funding are available at this time. Upon request, NAHR is pleased to provide individuals with letter of support for independent funding purposes.


Artists in residency are supposed to live in an immersive environment:

  • Immersion in the nature of the place: the woods, the rivers, the mountains
  • Engaging with the other residents, local people and institutions (language constraints must be taken into consideration)
  • Participating to introductory workshops and field trips
  • Presentation of final work on June 25th and 26th
  • Submittal of the project documentation for NAHR archive and donation of one piece for NAHR future exhibitions and/or auctions.


Resources: Facilities may vary depending on the project needs. Local artisans might support the production needs while local mountaineers may guide the residents during their excursions in nature. Public Library and Ecomuseum Support available upon appointment.

Wi-Fi zone: There is no wifi in the individual units. NAHR vision is to have people spending most of their time outdoors. wifi zone is provided as mean of minimum necessary communication outside the community. Please note: There is no capacity for long skype connections or movie streaming.

Fellows sought qualities: self motivation, self-reliance, sharing of ideas and concepts, making, desire to be in direct contact with nature via long immersive walks.

Working languages: English, Italian

The village community speaks Italian -- any project that seeks to engage with the community has to consider the language. Basic knowledge of Italian is a requirement for these type of projects.

Available activities in the Valley: Workshops, Presentation, Exhibitions, Excursions in nature (free trail and guided tours, overnight in huts), Bike tours, Fishing, Open air local festivals and activities.



Nature, Art & Habitat Facebook

For more news and updates, Like us on Facebook