The new MAE Museum in Piacenza, Italy, developed for carbon fiber specialist MAE, is an exhibition space dedicated to carbon fiber. Designed by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and architect Italo Rota, a considerable portion of the museum will also be built of carbon fiber.  

Using both new and recycled carbon fiber in the design of the building allows the team to highlight the sustainability of the material. The structure of the building is a renovated warehouse and most internal design components include carbon fiber and acrylics, such as the entry doors that open like curtains. 

The exhibit will showcase the many uses of carbon fiber, from bicycles to aerospace applications, and will allow visitors to learn about the history of scientific developments in carbon fiber production as well as information about other fibers such as synthetic fibers used in postwar Europe.  

Photos and other documents are presented by robotic arms as visitors move through the museum. At the next turn, visitors will observe the processing of carbon fiber. Another exhibit features the uses of carbon fiber in modern industry, using interactive artifacts and displaying prototypes of innovative parts made with carbon fiber for the automotive and aerospace industry.  

“From high-performance bikes to the Lamborghini Aventador car, carbon fiber is driving innovation in multiple sectors. The MAE Museum celebrates a defining material of modernity, by focusing on its new circular frontier and envisioning new applications for its use,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “We are delighted to work with MAE, a company whose history and know-how pioneered the transition from the original use of acrylic fiber in clothing to today’s use of carbon fiber in industries as varied as aerospace and automotive.” 

Additionally, MAE recently announced a collaboration with Leonardo to build a pilot plant at the same location as the museum to produce innovative materials for use in aerospace and defense.