Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

International call for the Conference Programme 2020-2022

06 MAY 2019 - 01 JUL 2019
José Mateus;

Manuel Henriques;
 Madalena Reis;
André Tavares;
Irina Davidovici.


Clarification Deadline: 15 June 2019.2019-05-21


Clarification Deadline: 15 June 2019.2019-05-21

1. About

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Garagem Sul – Centro Cultural de Belém intend to organize a cycle of conferences that focuses on themes that are highly relevant to society, which allows for the sharing of contemporary practices and seeks to anticipate answers to major current issues, gathering in Lisbon the globally most significant reflections, with a special emphasis on the European panorama.

Based on the experience of the cycles of conferences that both institutions have been jointly organising (Critical Distance conferences, since 2011, and Lectures from the Garage, since 2017), it became apparent that the merger of both programmes into a new tender open to external commissioners was appropriate. We intend to present several perspectives within the sphere of architectural thinking, continuing to privilege the objective of bringing audiences closer to the most relevant ongoing debates. We are looking for an original idea on how to approach a conference on architecture within the present context. 

2. Presentation of previous cycles

2.1. Critical Distance conferences

In architecture, a conference is one of the primordial ways of sharing knowledge. Critical Distance allows for precisely that space, establishing a close proximity and dialogue between public and guest speakers. The guests are acclaimed architecture thinkers, with a consistent and singular career, recognised by critics. These cycles of conferences, since 2015 made in partnership with Centro Cultural de Belém, aim to widen the field of reflection in generational and typological terms, including emerging authors and ways of designing beyond conventional programmes. 

2011–2013 Critical Distance Cycle: Kazuyo Sejima – SANAA; Workshop Critical Lisbon – Lev Bratishenko, Frederico Duarte and Becky Quintal; Antologia NU – Tony Fretton, Didier Faustino and Álvaro Domingues; Alberto Campo Baeza; Pezo Von Ellrichshausen.

2014–2016 Critical Distance Cycle: Smiljan Radić; Ellen van Loon – OMA; Bijoy Jain – Studio Mumbai; Jacob van Rijs – MVRDV; Christian Kerez.

2017–2019 Critical Distance Cycle: Atelier Barozzi/Veiga; Paul Ghirardani – Game of Thrones; Future Architecture Platform – Ethel Baraona Pohl talks with Lucia Tahan, Fakt Office, Bika Rebek and Léopold Lambert; Tham & Videgård; Sergison Bates; Yoshiharu Tsukamoto – Atelier Bow-Wow; Arno Brandlhuber; Michael Morris. More info here

2.2. Lectures from the Garage

Architecture has always been closely entangled with the major challenges faced by each society. Being an architect requires unique skills which make it possible to combine a critical practice with a pragmatic response. Such a combination provides powerful insights into the quandaries of contemporary life. A new generation of architects has been developing their practice while simultaneously acknowledging the cultural relevance of their profession: their work goes far beyond the mere replication of twentieth-century models. This series of lectures seeks to present the wide range of different positions through which architects are currently redefining their role in society, having the courage to research and explore less obvious areas of architecture in order to find appropriate ways for building our world.

2017–2019 Lectures from the Garage: Anna Puigjaner, Maarten Gielen, Bêka & Lemoine, Sam Jacob, Marina Tabassum, Jean-Louis Violeau, Laurent Stalder, Maria Moita, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Oliver Wainwright, Samia Henni, Catherine Mosbach. More info here

3. Programme

3.1. Objective

The objective of this call is to select a proposal and a moderator that undertakes the conception and development of a series of conferences designed for different auditoriums and audience configurations, while maintaining the continuity of the discourse over the three years of the cycle or, alternatively, choosing a cycle based on the concept of triptych. The programme must be presented annually, in September.

We are looking for a programme that is relevant to the international cultural agenda, encompassing a diversity of generations and engaging authorships with a body of work developed in different geographic contexts.

3.2. Commissioner's responsibilities

3.2.1. To define the concept, including the selection and preliminary contacts made to ensure availability of the guest speakers.

3.2.2. To edit the texts related to the cycle (theme, approach, summary of each conference, guest speakers’ biographies ).

3.2.3. To arrange for, present and moderate each of the conferences of the cycle.

3.2.4. To coordinate the availability and adequacy between guest speakers and the different auditoriums hosting the programme.

To be available to publicly announce the programme, as well as to have contact with the media, namely for interviews.

3.3. Periodicity schedule

Four sessions per year with the following approximate chronological distribution: Mars + May + September/October + November/December

This series of conferences on architecture runs from March 2020 to November or December 2022.

The dates already determined for the first year of the cycle, 2020, are as follows: 18 March, at the Main Auditorium; 6 May, at the Luís de Freitas Branco Room; 28 October, at the Small Auditorium; 25 November, at the Luís de Freitas Branco Room.

3.4. Location

The programme will take place at CCB – Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon. It should be taken as reference that, in each year of the programme, the four sessions are distributed across the available spaces in the following manner: one session at the Main Auditorium, one session at the Small Auditorium and two other sessions at the Luís de Freitas Branco Room, in the Conference Centre.

  • Main Auditorium: maximum capacity of 1450 seats
  • Small Auditorium: maximum capacity of 350 seats
  • Luís de Freitas Branco Room: maximum capacity of 200 seats

(Technical specifications of each room available at download area)

The occupation of each space throughout the year should be defined by the commissioner taking into account the suitability of the capacity of each room in regard to each conference's ability to attract audiences, coordinated with the schedules of the guest speakers and the rooms, in close articulation with the Organizing Entities (the co-producing institutions: CCB and the Lisbon Triennale). 

3.5. Timetable

Business days, after 7 pm.

3.6. Commissioner's fees

EUR 7 500 (seven thousand and five hundred euro), excluding VAT at the legal rate in force, if applicable.
All travel expenses from and to the commissioner's place of residence, when the latter does not reside in Lisbon, but within the European territory, will be supported by the Organizing Entities.

3.7. Programme budget

Speakers fees: We provide a global annual amount, to the detriment of a fixed amount per guest speaker, in order to allow for a more flexible management of the available budget, adapting to each proposal: total annual amount of EUR 3 000 (three thousand euro).

Travel expenses per year: It will be important to consider each guest speaker's place of residence so that the annual sum of travel expenses related to the four conferences does not exceed a total amount of EUR 3 000 (three thousand euro).

The amounts presented are guide reference values for the definition and adequacy of the proposal to the budgetary availability of the co-producing institutions. The final budget of each conference and the programme as a whole will be the target of joint work by the selected commissioner and the Organizing Entities during programme development.

The management of expenses with meals, accommodation, administrative costs, teams, facilities, infrastructures and communication is carried out by the Organizing Entities.

3.8. Additional information

The different conferences of the cycle will be integrally video recorded and available on the websites of both co-producing institutions as a way to disseminate knowledge.

4. Elegibility

This international call is open to individual persons or duos only. Formal or informal groups are not eligible.

4.2. Participation is forbidden to applicants to which the following circumstances apply:

Applicants with a close family connection or having a ongoing direct professional relationship with any of the members of the jury;

Employees of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale Association, its executive team, management structure, partners and current sponsors;

Employees of the Centro Cultural de Belém Foundation, its executive team, management structure, partners and current sponsors.

The selection will be made by a jury composed of five (5) elements, including two (2) representatives of the Lisbon Triennale, two (2) representatives of CCB and one (1) external consultancy:

  • José Mateus – Chairman of the Lisbon Triennale
  • Manuel Henriques – Deputy Director of the Lisbon Triennale
  • Madalena Reis – Director of Marketing and Development at Centro Cultural de Belém
  • André Tavares – Architecture Programmer at Garagem Sul – Centro Cultural de Belém
  • Irina Davidovici – External Consultancy

6. Dates

6.1. Call and first year of the cycle

Clarification Deadline: 15 June 2019 (5pm, Lisbon Local Time)

Answers to the questions: Until 24 June 2019

Deadline for the submission of applications: 1 July 2019 (5pm, Lisbon Local Time)
Winner Announcement : Until 15 July 2019
Delivery, on behalf of the commissioner, of the layout of the 2020–2022 programme and names confirmed for 2020: 15 August 2019
Public announcement of the selected proposal: September 2019

6.2. Cycle – Years 2021 and 2022

In the following years, the calendar will be keeping the same dynamics, with the assessment/update of the layout of the programme (if necessary) being delivered until 15 July of the year preceding the one it concerns. For the subsequent conferences, there will be a close collaboration between the commissioner and the Organizing Entities in order to adjust the names of the guest speakers to the availability of each auditorium and the adequacy of each conference to a given period of the year.

7. Copyrights and property rights

It is the applicant's sole responsibility to ensure that the work submitted does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark and design rights.

8. Entry fee

There is no entry fee.

9. Language

All written elements must be submitted in English.

10. Guidelines for submission of proposals

10.1. Form
The proposal must be submitted in digital format only, using this form.
Applications sent via email, post or any other way will not be accepted.

The documents submitted through the form cannot exceed 6Mb. 

10.2. ID data

  • Full name of the applicant
  • Nationality
  • Short biography (limit of 1500 characters) 
  • Address
  • Contact email
  • Contact telephone number
  • Website (optional)

10.3. Proposal

The applicant must submit a PDF document, A4 format, containing a maximum of 8 pages, indicating:

Title/theme, including a short explanation;

Presentation of the concept/layout of the cycle of conferences for the three year period; 

Plan of the programme structure for the three year period, including the names of the guest speakers.

It should be noted that the jury will access the applications in their digital version, namely through computer screens.

10.4. Attachments:
The following must be attached to the form:

  • CV (PDF, limit of 5 pages in A4 format, vertical) 
  • Photo (JPG, 300 dpi, crediting the photographer)

10.5. Omission of documents

The absence of any of the listed documents constitutes grounds for exclusion from this open call procedure.

11. Confidentiality

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Garagem Sul – Centro Cultural de Belém will handle the submitted information, references and identification documents as confidential and will not share them with third parties without the applicant's consent.

12. Questions

Any questions related to this call should be sent to, in accordance to the calendar mentioned in paragraph 6.

13. Final statement

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Garagem Sul – Centro Cultural de Belém reserve the right to amend these guidelines, hereby committing to communicating those changes through the same means used in the promotion of the original guidelines.


Which is the clarifications deadline? 

The clarification period is until June 15, 2019 (5pm, Lisbon time). The queries must be sent exclusively by email 

Is there a limit to the number of guest speakers of each session?

No. Nevertheless, paragraph 3.7. of the call guidelines should be taken into account.

Do guest speakers necessarily have to be architects?

No, though the adequacy of the guest speakers must be consistent with the commissioner’s proposal and conform to the objectives determined by the guidelines.

Is it possible to invite speakers who have already participated in the Critical Distance and Lectures from the Garage cycles?

Yes. The adequacy of the guest speakers must simply be consistent with the commissioner’s proposal and conform to the objectives determined by the guidelines.

Is the commissioner’s fee (EUR 7 500) the total amount available for the three years of the cycle’s programme?

Yes. The value mentioned in 3.6. of the call guidelines is the three-year programme fee, excluding VAT at the legal rate in force, if applicable.

Do the guest speakers need to be fully confirmed or contacted in advance by the time the proposal is submitted?

No, though we would like to direct your attention to the narrow time frame between the deadlines listed in 6.1. (specifically, Winner Announcement and the commissioners’ delivery of the 2020 confirmed names), while also highlighting the contents of 3.2.4 and the third paragraph of 3.3. of the call guidelines.

Are non-European commissioners eligible?

Yes, though only travel expenses within the EU will be supported, as per 3.6 of the call’s guidelines.

Can the commissioner invite someone else to moderate a conference?

No. The commissioner is responsible for, among other things, presenting and moderating every conference of the cycle, and cannot invite third parties to moderate.