Details about Lisbon Triennale 2019

Since 2007, Lisbon Architecture Triennale has been developing its mission as a non-profit organization fostering debate, thinking and practice in Architecture. The large number of activities initiated throughout its 10 years of existence is the best witness to this commitment.

Viollet-le-Duc, “Application of bones juncture to mechanics”, in Story Of A Drawer, Paris, 1879 © Reproduction Philippe Berthé / CMN. Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

The four editions of the international forum organized by the Triennale are between the most significant of its initiatives. The only one of its kind in the Iberian Peninsula – the Lisbon Architecture Triennale recurring appointment has grown to become an influential platform for the development and challenge of the broader international discourse on architecture: bringing together leading practitioners and thinkers to trigger exchange and advance innovative insights. Always committed to excellence and independence, the Lisbon Triennale team started preparing its 2019 fifth edition in 2016 by issuing an open call for curatorship. After careful evaluation of the 48 very high-quality applications received from 16 countries, the jury’s unanimous choice was the programme led by the French architect Éric Lapierre. With an extensive experience in several fields – built projects, teaching and research, writing of books and essays, conferences and exhibition design - the new Chief curator’s proposal was strengthened by the collaboration with a team of practitioner in the Architecture & Experience course of the architecture school of Marne-la-Vallée (Paris). Involved in outstanding theoretical and practical activities as educators and researchers, additional team members are philosopher Sébastien Marot, architects Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli, Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene, Laurent Esmilaire and Tristan Chadney.

Under the title The Poetics of Reason, the Triennale 2019 will confirm the previous editions’ commitment to an inclusive and expanded programming developed in close partnerships with some of the most relevant national and international institutions. As a variation from the usual four, the The Poetics of Reason will propose five main exhibitions taking place in the Triennale’s headquarters, Sinel de Cordes Palace, as well as Garagem Sul – CCB, MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology and in two new venues: MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art and Culturgest. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will host the Talk Talk Talk symposium (28th – 30rd Nov). The 2019 edition will also include the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Début Award as well as the Universities Competition Award.


Economy of Means

Albert Frey, Canvas Weekend House, Fort Salonga, Northport, Long Island, New York, 1933-4. Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

It is a truth universally acknowledged that resources of all types, in all parts of the world, must be managed with greater consciousness and care as the twenty- first century waxes. The principle suggests the challenge of using one means for multiple ends, and the Economy of Means investigates what makes this principle both a mark and a precondition of a rational architecture. It is a multisensory exhibition that draws on a large number of contemporary and historical examples, to explore the innovative ways in which architects and designers are guided towards more responsible, ethical, sustainable and ultimately beautiful solutions to local and global challenges.

Curator: Éric Lapierre
Venue: MAAT – Central Tejo

Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Country’s Side

McLean,+Virginia,+December+1978. Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

Taking stock of the severe environmental predicaments now confronting us around the world, this exhibition intends to ignite a reflection (retro and pro-spective) on the strong link between the twin disciplines of agriculture and architecture, and on their growing estrangement since the industrial revolution. It aims to learn from agricultural scientists, activists and designers who have consistently explored the hypothesis of a future of energy descent and its consequences, for the redesign and maintenance of living territories. 

What if we consider permaculture not only as a kind of architecture? What about redefining architecture’s rationality and economy of means today? 

Curator: Sébastien Marot
Venue: Garagem Sul – CCB

Inner Space

Dogon village, Mali. Source: Calavas, Collection Musée de l’Homme. (Figure from: B.Rudofsky, Architecture without Architects, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1965). Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

Aiming to underline the dialectical confrontation between creative imagination and rational thought, this exhibition looks behind the curtains of the design process, searching for different ways the cognitive process of imagination takes place and how it gets translated into an architectural work. In reclaiming the central role of rationality, however, the investigation does not propose abandoning the richness of multiple sources of inspiration, nor does it limit the freedom to explore material and immaterial territories beyond the boundaries of the discipline. Instead, it offers a landscape of an in-between reality, and represents under-explored links between architecture, culture and collective thought.

Curators: Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli
Venue: National Museum of Contemporary Art

What is Ornament?

Stefano Graziani, Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli, (1667) Carlo Rainaldi, Rome, 2016.. Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

Rather than calling for definitive answers, this exhibition opens up different angles by evoking artworks, objects, furniture, books, movies and photographs to enhance ornament as an historically founded element with different nuances of meaning. 

It will explain how ornament has never completely disappeared, reconnecting to its long-lost history, and demonstrating how it can still exist as an essential issue in contemporary architecture. Can ornament still be considered as integral part of architecture? Can we still talk about ornament as a quantitative and qualitative choice? Can we still imagine the precise positioning of ornament? 

Curators: Ambra Fabi, Giovanni Piovene
Venue: Culturgest

Natural Beauty

Polyfunicular model of the future church of la Colonia Güell — interior view, Nueva vision de Gaudi, E. Casanelles, Barcelona, La Poligrafa, 1965. Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

How can the rational nature of construction embody a form of natural beauty, as an internal coherence of the architectural artefact? This exhibition explores an intelligible beauty by looking at constructive rationality as a system for the creation of an organic architecture, allowing architecture to be understandable and shareable by all. This reflection leads to questions beyond the strictly technical and scientific limits of structure and construction, highlighting an exemplary genealogy of major works from around the world, combined with a selection of student projects, from the Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Universities Competition Award.

Curators: Laurent Esmilaire, Tristan Chadney Venue: Sinel de Cordes Palace


Lifetime Achievement Award

Based on criteria of excellence in the contribution to architecture, the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award will give a conference during the opening week of this 5th edition. A work of art of Portuguese authorship was be commissioned, Leonor Antunes.

Jury: Amale Andraos, Cláudia Taborda, Enrique Walker, Éric Lapierre, Kunlé Adeyemi, Momoyo Kaijima, Sharon Johnston.

Début Award

Open to young people till the age of 35, or to any studio with an age average that does not exceed 35, the Début Award wants to boost the recognition of recently established studios. During the opening week, whoever wins this prize will also be invited to present their work in a conference, with the Lifetime Achievement Winner.

Jury: Ana Dana Beroš, Anna Ramos Sanz, Fosco Lucarelli, Go Hasegawa, Joaquim Moreno, Mariabruna Fabrizi, Sofia von Ellrichshausen.

The Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Universities Award

Competition entailed the participation of architecture schools that will be invited to study a territory. In 2019, that territory is Marvila, in Lisbon. Some of the selected proposals will be part of the exhibition Natural Beauty.

Jury: Anna Rosellini, Eugeni Bach, Laurent Esmilaire, Patrícia Barbas, Sophie Deramond, Tristan Chadney, Véronique Patteeuw.


During the closing week, three days of conferences and debates will bring prominent architects, researchers and players from the international architectural scene, in a programme that is born of the several themes of the exhibitions.

Venue: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation


These projects expand the reflections upon the theme of The Poetics of Reason and, more specifically, the questions posed by each of the five main exhibitions.

A Certain Kind of Life (US) explores the architectural typology of a Carthusian Monastery, and the asceticism it embodies, as a way to critically meditate upon the present living and working conditions, by creating a cell for a deeper understanding of reality, its daily rituals and gestures.
Organization: Abigail Chang, Agata Siemionow, Francesco Marullo, Jimmy Carter

Alvalade Revisited (CH PT)  questions  how  to  renovate  our  cities without compromising their identity, and how to engage the local inhabitants in this process in an active manner, using the Alvalade neighborhood as a case study.
Organization: Francisco Moura Veiga, Dominik Arni, Manuel Palha, Paulo Tormenta Pinto

Artificial Realities (PT) confronts the  rationality  and  efficiency  of virtual technologies as they are applied to the architectural design process, in an era when the technological side of virtual reality has evolved rapidly but its aesthetic side has remained in a nascent stage.
Organization: Sara Eloy, Nancy Diniz

Art on Display (PT) recreates some of the period’s classic solutions to the display of art,contrasting the stasis and fix ity of 1950’s design with some of the more playful and immersive designs, by Aldo van Eyck and the Smithsons.
Organization: Dirk van den Heuvel, Penelope Curtis

Boxing boxes (MX) summarizes a year of architectural research to address the practice of boxing as part of the civilizing process, and the sociological notions that define it as a tool for self-discipline and control of violence.
Organization: Carlos Ortega Arámburo, Daniel De León Languré

Building 101 (PT) reflects upon the  contemporaneity  of  the  principles and methods of the Bauhaus, on the year of its centenary, using its opening curricular plan as a starting point.
Organization: Ariana Marques da Silva, Joana Varajão, Sara Neves, Artéria Atelier

Fogo Island (CA) is a proposal for understanding the historic role of Portugal in the expansion of European sovereignty over the seas and coastal colonies, following near-collapse of economies throughout Southern Europe and asymmetrical models of exchange imposed by European powers on the coasts around the Atlantic Ocean.
Organization: Fabrizio Gallanti, Monika Szewczyk

Hidden Dimensions (BE) explores the multiple facets of tiles as a material, an aesthetic, a political statement or an economy, with various temporary interventions around Lisbon.
Organization: Francelle Cane, Galaad Van Daele, Guillem Pons Ros

MOB Projects (CL / PT) aims to establish interdisciplinary intersections around the collective, domestic and rational condition of an intrinsic practice of architects and artists, such as furniture design, not only to reach a contemporary interpretation of the world but also to build a theory of society.
Organization: Eduardo Corales

Realsonable (FR) is a special issue of the editorial project Journal, an annual immaterial publication, that takes the form of a performance during the Triennale 2019. This special edition focuses on architectural typologies that result from the expansion of real estate practices and architects, as well as the inhabitants, who become unintentional actors in these market speculations.
Organization: Matthieu Blond, Thaïs de Roquemaurel

The Unfinished Project (PT) explores the paradigmatic  case  of Malagueira, in Évora – a rural area with a social housing project that remains unfinished after forty years – as a provocative statement about time and lack of investment.
Organization: Pedro Guilherme, Sofia Salema

The protagonist of our  proposition  is  the  elevator  (CH) experiments with the relationship between space and technique,using the elevator as the element chosen from the wide range of technical fragments that make up contemporary architecture.
Organization: Dafni Retzepi, Javier Fernández Contreras, Roberto Zancan, Thierry Buache


Luisa Ferreira. Image Cortesia de Trienal de Lisboa

Éric Lapierre (FR) teaches design and theory of architecture at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée Paris Est, and in École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and has been guest teacher at Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, Université de Montréal (UdM), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and KU Leuven in Ghent. Among other books, he has edited Identification d’une ville – Architectures de Paris, 2002; Guide d’architecture de Paris 1900-2008, 2008; Le Point du Jour A Concrete Architecture, 2011; Architecture Of The Real, 2004, and Se la forma scompare, la sua radice è eterna,2017.

Sébastien Marot (FR) holds a Master’s in Philosophy and a PhD in History. He has written extensively on the genealogy of contemporary theories in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. He is currently a professor at the École d’Architecture de Paris-Est, and guest professor at the EPFL (Enac) and GSD Harvard (as part of a programme on the Countryside led by Rem Koolhaas and AMO). Editor-in-chief of Le Visiteur (from 1995 to 2002) and Marnes (since 2010), he has authored several books, such as Sub- Urbanism and the Art of Memory (AA Publications 2003) and the critical re-edition of Ungers and Koolhaas’s The City in the City: Berlin, A Green Archipelago (Lars Müller 2013).

Fosco Lucarelli (IT) and Mariabruna Fabrizi (IT) Graduated with distinction from the University of Roma Tre, having previously studied in Munich and Madrid. They founded the studio Microcities in Paris, where they currently live. In 2006 the duo launched the online magazine Socks, whose format has been evolving throughout the years, gradually becoming a base for speculation on and discussion of the Microcities design projects. 

The site is organized into several main categories but seeks to continuously call those boundaries into question. Launched in 2006 as an immaterial repository, Socks has expanded its content and is currently configured as a visual atlas in expansion.They have written extensively in different publications and magazines about architecture and cities. They teach at the Éav&t, in Marne-La-Vallée, Paris and at EPFL, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Ambra Fabi (IT) graduated in Architecture in Mendrisio.  She  has worked as art director and project leader at the Architeckturbüro Peter Zumthor und Partner and as a freelance architect in Milan. In 2012, together with Giovanni Piovene, she founded PIOVENEFABI. She assisted at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio and she is currently teaching at the KU Leuven in Brussels and at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée Paris Est.

Giovanni Piovene (IT) graduated in Architecture in Venice. In 2007 he co- founded the office Salottobuono, of which he has been partner until 2012. He co-founded San Rocco Magazine (2010) and curated the ‘Book of Copies’ book and exhibition (2014). He assisted at the Accademia diArchitettura di Mendrisio and he is actually part of the FORM teaching unit in École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He is currently teaching at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée Paris Est.

Laurent Esmilaire (FR) Born in 1986, State Architect Graduated in 2009, Laurent Esmilaire worked at the offices Bernard Tschumi and Fres, at Paris. Since 2011, he works at the office Éric Lapierre Experience and as assistant teacher at the École d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoires de Marne-la- Vallée since 2014. Project manager on several projects, from the conception   to the construction.

Tristan Chadney (UK) Born in 1988  in  Cambridge,  State  Architect graduated in 2013, Tristan Chadney works at the office Éric Lapierre Experience since 2013, and as assistant teacher at the École d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoires de Marne-la-Vallée since February 2016. Project manager of several projects, from the conception to the detailed studies and construction.

About this author
Cite: Vada, Pedro. "Details about Lisbon Triennale 2019" [Conheça a programação completa da Trienal de Lisboa 2019] 24 Jul 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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