Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

Open Call In Conflict - Venice Biennale 2020 (Extended Deadline)

14 MAY 2020 - 28 JUN 2020
Fernanda Fragateiro, Jorge Carvalho, Anna Puigjaner, Moisés Puente, António Brito Guterres, Ana Jara

Curated by depA architects

Directorate-General for the Arts. With the support of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Forum Mira


Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 pm on 30 August 2020, mainland Portugal time2020-06-23


Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 pm on 30 August 2020, mainland Portugal time2020-06-23


In Conflict is the Portuguese Representation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The Portuguese Representation in 2020 is commissioned by the Directorate-General for the Arts and curated by depA architects, which is also responsible for the exhibition project.

With the support of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Mira Forum, In Conflict launches an open invitation to select three proposals for debate to be part of the official programme. The three selected proposals will be part of an international cycle of six debates, hosted in: Venice, at the Portugal Pavilion; Lisbon, at the headquarters of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale; and Porto, at Mira Forum. This cycle will take place from August to October 2020 with two events held in each of the three cities.

In each city, a pair of guests invited by the curators will coordinate one of the debates, and another debate will be the result of a proposal chosen via this open call, producing a cycle with six acts. A second volume of the catalogue of the official Portuguese Representation will be published on these six debates, with contributions from all participants.

The aim is to extend the reach of In Conflict by calling for proposals for debates that promise to bring together the agents of the transformation of city planning and design – including people linked to activism, politics, journalism, research, architecture and the arts, for example – both locally and internationally, and in an open and cross-disciplinary dialogue.

The proposals sought should promote a plural discussion without false consensus about some of the challenges posed by the need to live together, contributing to the response of the Portuguese Representation to the challenge launched by the curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020, Hashim Sarkis.

2. The Portuguese Representation

City and Territory, as collective constructions, are the primary arena of conflict, understood as the action of opposing forces translated as dissension. This condition, implicit to a pluralistic democratic space, shapes architectural production.

In Conflict responds directly to the question How will we live together? – posed by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Biennale Architettura 2020 – by learning from processes that question the issue of dwelling in its physical and social dimensions, and where conflict plays a crucial role. Public resilience and reflection transform these processes, which are still stirring, into valuable learning moments, to better understand architecture's transformative and political power.

Recalling the portrait drawn of Portugal in the film Non, ou a Vã Glória de Mandar by Manoel de Oliveira, In Conflict proposes a vision built upon a series of struggles that have yet to be overcome. The Portuguese Pavilion challenges the public to participate through two complementary moments: exhibition and debate.

The exhibition, at Palazzo Giustinian Lolin in Venice, provides a narrative of Portuguese architecture through democracy, based on seven processes affected by material destruction, social relocation and popular participation. All of these were the subjects of broad media coverage, their struggles amplified by the press – taken here as a barometer of action and public involvement.

These processes are testimonies of a democracy that began with an impoverished Portugal, facing deep housing failures, which were aggravated by the demographic urgency of decolonisation. Today, more than four decades of democracy later, this reality remains fragile, marked by the persistence of informal neighbourhoods, by urban growth based on speculation in urban centres and by the abandonment of the interior of the country.

These cases constitute milestones along the exhibition journey. Based on each one of them, other projects with affinities to the problematic, scale or modes of action are called up for discussion. By bringing together their clashes – which remain in the Portuguese collective memory – these processes build a broad and cross-cutting portrait of the first 45 years of Portuguese democracy viewed through its reflection in Portuguese architecture.

In Conflict seeks, through an exhibition and debates, to consider the role of architecture as an artistic, public, political, and ethically-bound discipline. Faced with the impossibility of solving all contingencies, it is urgent to consider how to create places where everyone has a seat at the table, to imagine how we will all project a common future.

3. Aim

The aim of this call is to select three different proposals for the design and development of a debate, in a free format (e.g., assembly or round table), for each of three moments: Venice, Lisbon and Porto.

The proposals must state clearly the reason behind the debate that will be organised, the group of conference-goers and the respective moderators. A specific theme is required, along with a broad set of participants and a detailed model of the event.

These debates will be promoted and included in the In Conflict programme and will have the logistical support of the curatorship and of production teams of the Official Portuguese Representation, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Mira Forum. The Directorate-General for the Arts – Ministry of Culture of Portugal and the La Biennale di Venezia Foundation also support this open call. The events in Porto and Lisbon may be in Portuguese or English. In Venice the event must be in English.


Applications may be submitted by an individual or collective applicant. No applicant, as an individual or part of a collective application, may have a family relationship with any member of the jury, under penalty that the proposal may be deemed inadmissible. The proposal will be eligible provided that it cumulatively meets the following requirements:

  • The candidate person or team is the author of the original proposal.
  • The proposal is original and unique.
  • The proposal is not, in any way, defamatory, obscene or illegal.
  • The formal requirements listed in the subsequent provisions of this regulation are met. 

Each applicant may submit one or several proposals, in which case only the proposal with the highest score among the various proposals submitted by the same applicant entity shall be considered.


Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 pm on 30 August 2020, mainland Portugal time, by email, sent to the official email of this call:

Multiple individual or collective entries are permitted and a registration fee shall not be charged under any circumstances.

Any additional clarification may be addressed to 
The results will be announced via email based on the contacts provided by each proposal and published later at an opportune time.

  • 14 May 2020 – Announcement of this open call.
  • 13 July 2020 – Deadline for submission of questions..
  • 27 July 2020 – Deadline for responding to the questions.
  • 30 August 2020 - Extended Deadline for submission of the application (instead of 28 June 2020 previously announced).

6. General Rules

The application must be entirely drafted in English. 

The application document must be in PDF format, readable on screen, in A4 portrait format, with a maximum of 10 pages and 3Mb, and created based on the registration form available in the Attachment of this Guidelines, duly completed and signed.

The document should include, within the page limit, the statement of conformity identified of the registration form.

All applications must be made exclusively digital and those that are delivered otherwise will not be considered.

7. Evaluation and Selection

The assessment of the submitted proposals will be considered based on the following weighted criteria:

a) Suitability of the debate proposal to the concept of the Portuguese Representation and the goals of this call – 40%.
b) Originality and relevance of the proposed debate, appreciation of the theme and the format – 40%.
c) Diversity of the invited conference-goers and capacity of the applicant team – 10%.
d) Feasibility of the proposal given the budget and timetable – 10%. 

The three proposals with the highest score will be selected, and consideration will be given to the preference indicated in the proposal regarding the venue, among the three available venues, and overall consistency of the whole within the official programme of the Portuguese Representation. Each applicant can only organise a single debate. The jury reserves the right not to select any proposal.

8. Jury

The jury of this call is a multidisciplinary team made up of the guests that coordinate and moderate the other three debates divided between each city. Artist Fernanda Fragateiro and architect Jorge Carvalho are responsible for the debate in Venice; architect Anna Puigjaner and architect Moisés Puente, in Lisbon; and researcher António Brito Guterres and architect Ana Jara, in Porto.

Ana Jara: architect, scenographer and urban studies researcher. She is the co-founder of Artéria – Humanizing Architecture. Since 2018 she has been a councillor-elect of the Lisbon City Hall.

Anna Puigjaner: architect, founder member of the MAIO architecture studio in Barcelona and Associate Professor at Columbia University. Her research on the Kitchenless City was awarded the Wheelwright Prize by Harvard University in 2016.

António Brito Guterres: researcher at Dinâmia'CET – Centre for Studies on Socio-economic Change and the Territory. Project Leader of the Critical Neighbourhoods Initiative – Operation Vale da Amoreira and coordinator of the Centre for Artistic Experimentation of this neighbourhood. Works with the Aga Khan Foundation Portugal.

Fernanda Fragateiro: artist, with an interest in relations of tension between architecture and sculpture, and in the relations of her work with place and the spectator. Some of her projects have been the result of collaborations with other artists, architects, landscape architects and performers.

Jorge Carvalho: architect and co-founder of the aNC office. He was on the team of the Chiado project (Siza Vieira) and Casa da Música (OMA). He was part of the team that curated the Poder Arquitectura exhibition.

Moisés Puente: architect and editor. He was on the editorial committee of the Quaderns d'Architecture de Urbanisme magazine, worked with publisher Gustavo Gili as editor and a director of 2G magazine. He runs the Puente Editores publisher.

The jury is responsible for selecting the three debate proposals and reserves the right to reject any application that might be considered unacceptable or inappropriate for the scope of the present proposal.

9. Responsibilities of the Selected Team

It is up to each applicant or applicants of the selected proposals:

a) To ensure all necessary steps with entities outside the organisation and guarantee the presence of the panel of participants, as stated in the proposed debate.

b) To ensure the moderation of the proposed debate. For teams, moderation should be the responsibility of up to two of the members.

c) To produce a critical essay with a maximum of 13,500 characters including spaces, based on the content and of ideas of each debate, which will be included in the second volume of the catalogue of the Portuguese Representation, to be published at the end of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. This written contribution should be delivered up to one month after the completion of the respective event and may be written in Portuguese or English.

10. Budget

The organisation of In Conflict, with the support of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Mira Forum, shall provide the space and necessary furniture, sound system and projection for each of the debates, as well as promotion of the event ahead of time. The overall budget available for each proposal will need to be costed for fees, travel, meals, accommodation – of the participants and the winning team – and any other essential expenses for the event that are not explicitly outlined at this point.

  • The event in Lisbon has a total available budget of €2,000 (two thousand euros).
  • The event in Porto has a total available budget of €2,000 (two thousand euros).
  • The event in Venice, has a total available budget of €3,500 (three thousand five hundred euros).

The amounts will be plus VAT at the legal rate where applicable. Payments shall be made by bank transfer, after issuing an invoice or the equivalent.

11. Calendar

The official programming of In Conflict includes an international cycle of eight debates that includes those chosen through this call. The proposals for debate should therefore be based on the following dates and locations:

A. 1st on-line videoconference debate: Via the digital platform provided by the In Conflict team.
25 October 2020, at 6 pm. 

B. 2nd on-line videoconference debate: Via the digital platform provided by the In Conflict team.
22 November 2020, at 6 pm.

C. Debate in Venice: Outdoor covered corridor accessing the Grand Canal of the Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, Headquarters of the Portugal Pavilion – maximum capacity of 100 people.
23 May 2021, at 5 pm.

D. Debate in Porto: Outdoor area of Mira Forum – maximum capacity of 100 people. June or July, 2021 (date and time to be confirmed).

E. Debate in Lisbon: Outdoor area of Palácio Sinel de Cordes, headquarters of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale – maximum capacity of 100 people. June or July, 2021 (date and time to be confirmed).

12. Intellectual Property 

It is the responsibility of those who apply to ensure that the work submitted does not infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties.

All intellectual property rights relating to the content of the proposal belong to each applicant, and by submitting it, each applicant accepts to allow the In Conflict curatorship team to use it for publication, transmission and distribution free of charge, for the purpose of revising it and to promote any events that are organised as part of the In Conflict project.

13. Confidentiality

The In Conflict curatorship and production team, the call jury and all the institutions associated or partnered with the project will treat the information, references and identification documents submitted as confidential and never reveal them to third parties without the consent of each applicant on a case by case basis.

14. Final Conditions

The organisers reserve the right to amend this regulation, committing to disclosing these changes by the same means used for the disclosure of the original regulation. The location, date and format of the events may be subject to change, which will be communicated via the same means used for disclosing the regulation.

By submitting their application, each applicant (and/or their respective members, when it is a team), declares they are aware of all the provisions of this Regulation, including this one, which they accept without reservation, as well as the entire content of the proposal.