Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:

Earth, Water, Air, and Fire: the four Elements of Fashion


International Fashion Conference

organised by Universitą Iuav di Venezia


March 16-17, 2023

Venice, Italy



Sun, air, water and soil are in most of the clothes we wear. In the era of ecological crisis, this international conference aims to investigate the new paradigms of fashion cultures through the four archetypal elements of matter. By doing so, it shifts the attention towards the material and sensory aspects of fashion, features that have been largely neglected by fashion studies over the past forty years. This approach fits in the current debate on the ‘material turn’ inspired by de-centering the human and re-centering matter and the materiality of things, objects, technologies, and bodies. The conference proposes to analyse this ontological shift through the redefinition of the substance of fashion and its history. In Western and non-Western cultures matter is conceived as a coexistence of multiple elements following a tradition that includes, among others, the cosmological treatise of Aristotle, the Hinduist and Buddhist meditations on the ‘primary material elements’ (mahabhutas), and Jābir ibn Hayyān’s alchemy. The conference takes place in Venice, a city that emerged from water through a process of significant anthropisation, and in which life’s rhythms and movements historically coexist and are dependent on a critically changing environment.


download the programme >>


live streaming >>



Palazzo Badoer, San Polo 2468, 30125 Venezia


some sessions are available online: to join the conference online, sign up with the links that can be found in the programme.



call for paper >>


press release (Italian) >>


poster >>



scientific coordinators and convenors

Anneke Smelik, Radboud University of Nijmegen

Alessandra Vaccari, Universitą Iuav di Venezia


scientific committee

Maude Bass-Krueger, Ghent University

Maria Claudia Bonadio, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora

Danielle Bruggeman ArtEZ, University of the Arts

Patrizia Calefato, Universitą degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro

Serkan Delice, London College of Fashion UAL

Jeannine Diego, Virginia Commonwealth University

Kyoko Koma, Meiji University

Llewellyn Negrin, University of Tasmania

Kirsi Niinimäki, Aalto University

Agnčs Rocamora, London College of Fashion UAL


organising and technical committee

Greta Bosello, Universitą Iuav di Venezia

Sandra Coppola, Universitą Iuav di Venezia, Universitą degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli

Paolo Franzo, Universitą Iuav di Venezia, Universitą degli studi di Firenze

Clizia Moradei, Universitą Iuav di Venezia


book of abstracts editor

Mariįh Majolo


in collaboration with

Iuav School of Doctoral Studies - Bembo Officina Editorial

Iuav Master in Fashion and Visual Arts

Fashion Futuring Research Group

Research cluster Ecological Art Practices at NICHE (Universitą Ca’ Foscari Venezia)



© Tabinotabi, 2021. ph: Camilla Glorioso, Filippo Soffiati


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