UNIDEE – University of Ideas is the higher educational programme for art and social change of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, an artistic project conceived by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 1998 and located in Biella, Italy.
UNIDEE - University of Ideas
Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto
13900 Biella, via Serralunga 27 - Italy
Cittadellarte is located within the grade listed premises of the former Trombetta Wool Mill, a testimony of Biella’s past as one of the first European hubs within the textile industry.
Biella is a city of almost 50,000 inhabitants, located at 30 km from Ivrea, 75 Km from Turin, 85 km from Aosta, 100 km from Milan and 160 Km from Genoa. Biella is known for its textile industry, the beauty of its nature (it is located at the foot of the Alps), its rice fields, for its flora and fauna, for its water springs and as a pilgrimage destination.
Cittadellarte’s aim is to inspire and produce a responsible change in society through ideas and creative projects. Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto was instituted in 1998 as a concrete action of the Progetto Arte Manifesto, where Michelangelo Pistoletto proposed a new role for the artist: that of placing art in direct interaction with all the areas of human activity which form society.
Cittadellarte is dedicated to the study, experimentation and development of practices translating the symbol of the Third Paradise into realty, implying it into every sector of society. It is a great laboratory, hosting many young artists, which generates unedited processes of development in diverse fields of culture, production, economics and politics.
Cittadellarte is a vibrant international network of cultural and social innovators, individuals actively interlaced with their social contexts where they often act as catalyst of change. The interrelationship between people and projects is based on a common vision whose roots lie in an accumulative thought&practice process, developed by a wide range of thinkers, managers, innovators of all field. Pistoletto’s work, from the 60s to today, acts as a pumping brain for Cittadellarte’s communities.
Cittadellarte has developed an extensive networks of collaborations with Institutions (various United Nations Agencies, Ministries, Universities and Educational Organizations) global enterprises and local businesses, civil society collectives, organizations and individuals from all fields.
All UNIDEE - University of Ideas' participants have free access to
- a seminar module / meeting room
- Cittadellarte library
- saladivani (a space to share with the residents to cook and spend time together)
Participants will be accommodated in single rooms with the use of a shared bathroom. Cittadellarte for each room provides bed linen and 2 towels. Each bathroom has a hair dryer and hand soap.
It is also possible to request an iron at the Cittadellarte Store during opening hours.
For residents staying in Cittadellarte for several weeks there are two shared houses with single rooms and a shared bathroom, a kitchen and a living room.
The closest train station to Cittadellarte is Biella San Paolo. Cittadellarte is a twenty minutes walk from the station, or a five minute taxi ride. As transport schedules vary and trains can be infrequent, please check beforehand on www.trenitalia.com, according to your date and time of arrival.
By plain (+ bus/train)
Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP)
From Malpensa airport, Terminal A or B, board a stn bus to Novara train station (timaetable here - tickets should be bought on board, paid in cash). Journey time: 50 min. From Novara train station, board the direct train to Biella San Paolo (tickets to be bought and validated before boarding the trains). www.trenitalia.com
Take the train to Milano Centrale or the Malpensa shuttle (www.malpensashuttle.it) and then from Milano Stazione Centrale board the direct train to Torino Porta Nuova and then change in either Novara or Santhià for the direct connection to Biella San Paolo (tickets to be bought and validated before boarding the trains). www.trenitalia.com
Torino Caselle Airport (TRN)
Outside Arrivals board a Sadem Bus to Torino Porta Nuova (timetable here - Cost: € 6.50; tickets should be bought at the ticket machine). Journey time: 40 min. From Torino Porta Nuova station, get on the direct train to Milano Centrale and get off at Santhià, where you can change train and board the direct connection to Biella San Paolo. (tickets to be bought and validated before boarding the trains). www.trenitalia.com
Milano Linate Airport (LIN)
From the Arrivals area, board the direct bus to Milano Centrale (timetable here). From Milano Stazione Centrale board the direct train to Torino Porta Nuova and then change in either Novara or Santhià for the direct connection to Biella San Paolo (tickets to be bought and validated before boarding the trains). www.trenitalia.com
Orio al Serio, Bergamo Airport (BGY)
From the Arrivals area, board the Orioshuttle to Milano Stazione Centrale (schedules can be found here). From Milano Stazione Centrale board the direct train to Torino Porta Nuova and then change in either Novara or Santhià for the direct connection to Biella San Paolo (tickets to be bought and validated before boarding the trains). www.trenitalia.com
I’m not that familiar with geography: where is Cittadellarte located?
Cittadellarte is located in Biella, a city in the Italian region of Piedmont (North-West). Biella is just under one hour train ride from Turin and two from Milan.
What’s the closest railway station to get to Cittadellarte?
The train station for Biella is called Biella San Paolo.
Which airports are close to Cittadellarte?
Cittadellarte is located 70 Km away from Milan Malpensa, 90 Km away from Torino Caselle, 120 Km away from Milan Linate. For detailed information on available airport connections and advice on routes, please refer to the Practical information section.
When is the programme running?
The programme is divided in weekly modules, each running between May and December (Summer Break: 1st-30th August).
What’s the typical UNIDEE module schedule like?
Arrival at Cittadellarte is expected the day before the beginning of the module by 5:30pm to allow the check-in. The first day of the module there is the guided tour to the Pistoletto and Arte Povera collections and to temporary shows at Cittadellarte. Then the actiivity of the module curated by the mentor open in the afternoon and close on the afternoon of the last day. The departure is scheduled on the morning of the following day.
I would like to join a module: how do I apply?
To apply for a module, download the application form on each module’s page and follow the procedure by filling and send it to email@example.com
What information and materials are required in the application form?
You will be asked to provide your personal details, a short bio (150 words), to write the motivational letter (max 300 words), explaining why you wish to partake in the module. In addition to filling in the application form, it is necessary to attach a portfolio of up to 3 of your projects in a single pdf and a portrait of you.
What should I write in my motivational letter?
Your motivational letter is the key element of your application, and what the team at UNIDEE and the mentors will focus on during the selection process. It is very important! We advise you to mention your aims, needs and expectations in relation to the module. Mind that you only have 300 words: be concise!
What about the smallprint?
You will be asked to accept the “Terms and Conditions” before completing the application. You can download the .pdf file here. Please note that the acceptance of such “Terms and Conditions” is legally binding.
How much does it cost to attend a module?
The participation fee is specified on each module description.
What’s included in the module fee?
Attendance to all classes (seminars, workshops, events, etc.) included in your module of choice + Access to a comprehensive reader compiled by your module’s mentor + Access to Cittadellarte’s own library (part of the OPAC circuit) + Participation to art and cultural events at Cittadellarte + Single Room accomodation (shared bathroom) at Cittadellarte and Half-board.
The standard rate for each module is for half-board accomodation. What about dinners?
You might want to explore different options while in Biella, so we decided to leave this open or you can do some food shopping and then cook in the shared space/kitchen (sala divani).
Which costs aren’t included in the module fee?
Yourself or your sponsor will have to cover your travel costs to and from Cittadellarte, costs in connection to insurance (travel, personal, public liability etc.) as well as visas. Dinners, extras and all personal expenses are also the responsibility of the participant.
I would love to apply for one or more modules, but I am worried about my financial situation: are there any scholarships available I could apply for?
The team here at UNIDEE - University of Ideas is currently working really hard on securing a number of scholarships. Please refer to the specific page on our website for up-to-date information on our opportunities. We strongly advise you to seek funding from your province/country/region. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We will be happy to advise you and provide you with official documentation to support your funding application.
Is Cittadellarte accessible to disabled participants – especially people with impaired mobility, wheelchair users and the blind?
The Cittadellarte complex is partially accessible to wheelchairs. The exhibition spaces are fully accessible while we are working to give access to the guest rooms.
I am very happy I have just received your email telling me I’ve been selected for my module of choice: how long do I have to pay for the module?
You have one week to pay for the module since the notification email was sent to you. If you don’t, we will interpret it as a withdrawal and, when applicable, offer your place to someone else in our reserve list.
Which modes of payment does UNIDEE - University of Ideas accept?
We accept payment through the Paypal circuit. We also accept bank transfers for national and international payments. Please note that for international bank transfers the bank charges are your responsibility. To do this, please get in touch with us at email@example.com to enquire first.
How many people will be in my class group?
Class sizes will vary between modules, with a minimum set at 6 participants and a maximum set at 12. Certain modules will see larger participation. Please refer to each module description for details.
What’s the tuition language?
Modules are normally taught in English, with some exceptions. Some modules are in fact taught in Italian. Please refer to the module outline for details.