Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Universities Competition Award

29 SEP 2022 - 05 DEC 2022
Various venues in Lisbon
Curatorship: Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay, Anastassia Smirnova, Jose Pablo Ambrosi & Loreta Castro Reguera, Pamela Prado & Pedro Ignacio Alonso, Tau Tavengwa & Vyjayanthi Rao.
CCB/Garagem Sul, Culturgest, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, EDP/MAAT Foundation, Millennium bcp Foundation/MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art.


Amendments to the guidelines have been published including extension of deadlines.2022-01-14


Amendments to the guidelines have been published including extension of deadlines.2022-01-14

1 . About

Universities are critical centres for the production of knowledge and innovation. Since the inception of the Triennale we have involved these institutions in the programme of each edition of its most emblematic event. As such, we invite schools from all over the world to participate in a transverse perspective of possible cooperation. The Millennium bcp Lisbon Triennale Universities Competition Award is part of the central programme for the 6th edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale to take place in the Autumn of 2022.

The competition is open directly to the field of architecture and also to its related disciplines, whether these are project oriented - such as urbanism or landscape architecture - technical - such as construction or material technologies - or multidisciplinary - such as urban sociology or environmental studies. We seek proposals of various project typologies, intended to be of an architectural response or with the potential for practical development.

For the first time, the award assumes two levels of participation through Master’s Degree programmes and also Research programmes. The aim is to stimulate individual and collective participation in the production of knowledge in, for and on architecture.

2. Theme

This edition, entitled Terra, explores how new paradigms are changing our ways of place-making in a globalised Planet. In this predicament, architecture can ground us as much as it can elevate us.

This concurrent background and foreground condition of architecture explores relationships and systems to enable change within a diverse set of socioeconomic conditions across the world.

In the Universities Competition Award three forms of production of knowledge responding to the theme Terra are considered:

  • in architecture: speculative project exercise;
  • for architecture: research and development of theory, technology and/or tools for the exercise of architecture;
  • on architecture: studies on the built environment, practice, technologies or theory.

The Competition is open to proposals encompassed by the project subject, research projects with a strong visual component, or intervention projects. The context where they develop and their programme are defined by the applicants in their course subjects or research programme.

Each proposal is intended to focus on at least one of the sub themes that make up the Triennale programme in its four core exhibitions. These are:

Theme 1 - Multiplicity
To address global uncertainty at both micro and macro scale, architecture, and its related fields, are being called to adapt to multiple states of flux and technological divide. How can some of the biggest global challenges including climate change, pandemics, socio-economic inequality and cultural conflict be interpreted at an architectural scale? How can current canons be expanded to address contexts of extreme uncertainty? What does a more inclusive architecture that responds to these challenges look like?

The exhibition will be held at MNAC - Nacional Museum of Contemporary Art

Theme 2 - Communal by design
Cities are ever-changing organisms; formal and informal settlements grow and mature in between states of vulnerability. How can architecture, and its related fields, be relevant vehicles for change in the process of mending imbalances? What kind of self-reflective, retroactive infrastructures - facilities and systems - are capable of restituting basic needs, services, spatial dignity and sense of belonging? What mechanisms can enable collective existence within urban density?

The exhibition will be held at MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

Theme 3 - Cycles
The enquiry into the past and present of construction may lead to virtuous encounters between sustainability, economy and memory. How can re-appropriation methods embrace redistribution of matter and challenge the commonplace of extractivism? What strategies can be used to design new cycles for construction that is doomed to perish or struggling to live? How is architecture acknowledging the use of energy, water, human labour, and the carbon footprint originally embedded in materials’ production, in new processes of making?

The exhibition will be held at Garagem Sul - CCB

Theme 4 - Visionaries
Visions are a bare necessity. The unusual and seemingly impossible can be realised and even accepted by many as a new value. How can multidisciplinary teams create long-term thinking briefs for systemic transformation? What architectural prototypes can be produced in the future, and how will they be replicated? How can new and emerging materials affect the form and the process of architectural production to radically change our approach to design in the long run?

The exhibition will be held at Culturgest

A more detailed description of the core programme here.

3. Awards

In this competition, two academic levels or participation tiers are considered:

  • Master's Degree
  • Research

A selection of twelve (12) proposals will be an integral part of the four (4) central exhibitions of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale’s 6th edition. Each exhibition is expected to include three (3) proposals in which both tiers will be represented. However, the Jury reserves the right to select a greater or lesser number of proposals depending on their quality and relevance.

The application for the award takes place in two stages. In the first stage, the proposals to integrate the four exhibitions will be selected. In the second stage, the awarded proposals will be selected.

3.1 -  Master's Degree Award

  • First prize: cash prize worth €2,000.00 (two thousand euro).
  • Up to four (4) Honourable Mentions worth €500.00 (five hundred euro) each.

3.2 - Research award

  • First prize: public presentation at the awards ceremony.
  • The proposals selected in the first stage also comprise a chapter each in a physical or digital publication.

4 . Elegibility

4.1 - The competition is aimed at all teaching institutions and centres for the production of knowledge within the aforementioned areas, either included in the traditional academy or new independent institutes and research centers, that is, non-formal ones.

4.2 - The proposals must be developed during the semester covered by the period between August 2021 and March 2022, of the academic year corresponding to the world area where the institution belongs.

4.3 - Applicants

  • Applicants are people in the following situations: Teachers of course subjects, in the Master's Degree tier; PhD thesis supervisors or Group coordinators, in the Research tier. Each applicant may apply for up to three (3) proposals per subject, research group, or number of PhD theses.
  • The applicants are responsible for the orientation, evaluation and prior selection of the applicant proposals, as well as for the process of registration, proposal submission and monitoring of the development and delivery of selected proposals.

4.4 - Author(s) of the proposals

  • Master's Degree tier: Students enrolled in Master's Degree programmes, that is, in the second cycle degree programme (which corresponds to the 4th and 5th years of the integrated masters programme) in the signatory countries of the Bologna Process, or its equivalent.
  • Research tier: Researchers affiliated with a research center, postgraduate students and PhD candidates.
  • People interested in applying outside the scope of a course subject or research group can do so, provided they are under the guidance of an applicant.
  • Applicant proposals can be developed individually or in group.

4.5 - The following are not eligible:

  • Enrolled students with no registration on the date of the first stage delivery.
  • Researchers without affiliation with a research center.
  • Students, or researchers, under the guidance or academic coordination of jury members or the curatorial team.
  • Jury members or curatorial team.
  • Members of the organising institutions or co-producers of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale’s 6th edition.
  • Spouses or people who are up to second-degree relatives, in direct or collateral line, of the jury members and the curatorial team.
  • Proposals previously presented to the public or published, whose anonymity is compromised.

We suggest that ongoing or completed research projects, whose anonymity has been withdrawn, may consider applying as Independent Projects to participate in the Triennale 2022 Programme. The Open Call for these projects is available for consultation on the Lisbon Triennale website.

5. Jury

5.1 - The members of the jury

  • Cristina Veríssimo (Chief Curator of the Triennale 2022)
  • Diogo Burnay (Chief Curator of the Triennale 2022)
  • Tau Tavengwa (Curator of the exhibition Multiplicity)
  • Vyjayanthi Rao (Curator of the exhibition Multiplicity)
  • José Pablo Ambrosi (Curator of the exhibition Communal by Design)
  • Loreta Castro Reguera (Curator of the exhibition Communal by Design)
  • Pamela Prado (Curator of the exhibition Cycles)
  • Pedro Ignacio Alonso (Curator of the exhibition Cycles)
  • Anastassia Smirnova (Curator of the exhibition Visionaries)

In the first selection stage - for the participation in the exhibitions - the proposals will be evaluated in subgroups divided by theme, and the jury for each subgroup is made up of the two chief curators and one member of the exhibition’s curatorship with the corresponding theme.

In the second selection stage - for the award - the proposals will be evaluated in a single group by the names cited above, and a guest member, Ilka Ruby, architect and author, co-founder of Ruby Press.

5.2 - Evaluation

The proposals will be evaluated according to the relevance of their response to the themes presented above. The main criteria are consistency, intelligibility, innovative dimension and relevance within the scope of the reflection proposed by each exhibition’s theme.

5.3 - The first stage of the jury's evaluation will be carried out in total anonymity.

6. Registration

6.1 - Registration is only made electronically through an online form (deactivated on January 7, 2022).

6.2 -  It consists of the identification of the institution and applicant, an introductory text to the course or research programme (100 words), four (4) keywords, one (1) reference image, square, in JPEG format (600x600px/up to 400KB), with credits, and a declaration of the applicant's affiliation with the academic institution in PDF format (up to 200KB).

6.3 - To promote synergies and cooperation among institutions, a platform is available with information on the applications which may be receptive to creating partnerships within the scope of this competition. However, the establishing of contacts among applicants is their own responsibility.

6.4 - Each applicant can make up to one (1) registration entry in the Master’s Degree tier and/or in the Research tier. If you make more than one each entry for each category, only the last registration form entry will be considered.

6.5 - Each registration entry corresponds to a maximum of three (3) proposals to be submitted at a later date, per the competition calendar.

6.6 - All information entered, as well as the documents to be submitted in the form and naming of documents, must be written in English.

6.7 - There is no registration fee.

7. Submission of Proposals

7.1 - The form for submission of proposals opens on January 14, 2022, one week after the registration deadline.

7.2 - The submission of applicant proposals must only be made electronically through the online form. Applications sent by email, regular post or any other means will not be considered nor returned.

7.3 - The entry of a maximum of three (3) proposals per applicant is made in the same form.

7.4 - The entry of each proposal consists of the identification of the author(s), title of the proposal, synopsis (100 words) and description of the proposal (500 words), chosen format for the participation in the exhibition (drawing, photography, mockup, video or other), the proposal posters as described below, proof of the author’s enrolment in the master's degree, PhD, or affiliation with an academic institution, in PDF format (up to 200KB each) and an evocative image (JPEG, up to 400KB)..

7.5 -  Each submitted proposal will generate a unique identification number, to be used in the first stage of the competition, in order to make it anonymous during the evaluation. The form is the only place where the author(s), applicant and institution will be identified, and only the organisation of the competition - the Lisbon Architecture Triennale - will have access to this information during the first stage.

7.6 - All information entered, as well as the documents to be submitted in the form and naming of documents must be written in English.

8. Proposal Format

8.1 - For the first evaluation stage, the proposal must consist of three (3) A2 posters (594x420mm) with landscape orientation, combined in a single document in PDF format optimised for display on a computer screen. The document name must be the submission Unique ID, the proposal # and title (T2022UNIV - XXXX - # - Proposal Title). The PDF file size must be 30MB maximum.

  • They must contain all the elements that the author(s) and applicants find necessary to characterise and convey the proposal - drawings, diagrams, three-dimensional simulations, photographs or mockup photographs.
  • We recommend that the inclusion of text in the posters be kept to a minimum and focused on the synopsis and description inserted in the form's own fields.
  • They must not contain hyperlinks.
  • The first poster must include the title of the proposal.
  • The posters must be numbered, and must not contain any element that identifies the author(s) of the proposal, applicant, or academic institution.

8.2 - For the second stage of evaluation, the proposal must consist of the updating of the same posters, synopsis and description submitted in the form, plus a video introducing the proposal and the author(s).

8.3 - For the participation in the exhibition, the format of the piece (or pieces) to be represented will be confirmed and developed with the curator(s) of each exhibition, based on the format proposed in the first stage. In the case of physical formats, it is up to the institution to ensure any transport needed.

8.4 - For the publishing of the proposals selected in the research category, the elements still to be defined by the publisher will be requested during the second phase of development.

8.5 - All information entered, as well as the documents to be submitted in the form and naming of documents, must be written in English.

9. Rights and Authorship

9.1 - The intellectual property rights of third parties, individual or collective, public or private, including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark or design rights are the sole responsibility of the authors of the projects and applicants.

9.2 - Without prejudice to the provisions of the previous numbers, the selected projects and their respective texts, images, sound or related rights may be used by the Lisbon Triennale within the scope of the event, with no time limit and free of charge. The Lisbon Triennale will credit the authorship of any materials used (text or image), considering the information provided by the authors of the selected projects.

9.3 - When submitting the proposal, the proposing authors agree that their work is used in promotional materials related to the Lisbon Triennale, except when indicated, without prejudice to the respective copyright and intellectual property rights.

10. Clarifications

10.1 - This competition is part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale’s 6th edition. All documentation is available in a bilingual format [PT/EN] through the website of the Lisbon Triennale, in the Open Calls area, the official place for consultation of the process:

10.2 - Any clarification and questions about the interpretation of the present guidelines, as well as other inquiries, must be submitted to the organisation by sending an e-mail to, within the period defined in the calendar of this call.

10.3 - The Lisbon Triennale will publish a list of FAQ's through its website, in the Open Calls area, within the period defined in the calendar of this call.

11 . Calendar

Clarification requests;
2021, by Oct 18 *

2021, by Oct 31

Registration (New deadline)
2022, by Jan 7 *

Submission of proposals, 1st stage (New deadline)
2022, by Feb 7 *

Results, 1st stage (New deadline)
2022, by early March

Submission of proposals, 2nd stage
2022, by Jun 20 *

Results, 2nd stage
2022, by Jul 31

Announcement of Prizes
2022, last week of Sep

* Until 23h59 (Lisbon time).

12. Final Provisions

The Lisbon Triennale reserves the right to amend these guidelines, committing itself to announcing such changes in the same way used for the original guidelines.


1. What differentiates the two categories of the competition?

The categories are differentiated by the academic level of participation and the prizes awarded. Yet, categorising is tricky. Particularly when one of the aims for this edition of the award is to encompass multiple academic practices and diverse institutions, at a time when the production of knowledge in architecture is reflecting on itself. Therefore, we leave it to the discretion of the applicants to determine the category under which the proposals should fall, when registering master-research hybrid projects, labs, and other different out-of-the-norm programmes. [see item 3. of the Guidelines].

2. Can students of integrated undergraduate and graduate programmes, who are enrolled at undergraduate level, also participate?

No. Students enrolled in integrated master’s programmes at undergraduate level are not eligible since that stage of the programme does not confer a master’s degree. [see item 4.4. of the Guidelines]

3. Can eligible students and researchers register on their own?

No. The registration and submission are done by the applicant. in the Research category it can be the doctoral thesis supervisor or the research group coordinator. [4.3. of the Guidelines]

4. Can more than one applicant be considered for registration?

Only one applicant - contact person - should appear in the registration and submission of proposals. In the case of selection of proposals that are supervised by more than one person, due credit will be acknowledged. [see item 6.2. of the Guidelines]

5. Can proposals be considered if they are developed outside the scope of curricular units?

Yes, as long as it is supervised by a professor/lecturer - the applicant - a proposal that responds to the challenge of the call may be submitted. [see item 4.4. of the Guidelines]

6. Can professors/lecturers not teaching master level curricular units be applicants of project proposals authored by eligible students enrolled in the same institution?

Yes. As long as there is an academic teaching link to the institution, any professor/lecturer may be an applicant. [clarifies item 4.3. of the Guidelines]

7. What are the different stages of the competition and how are they differentiated?

The competition will take place in two phases. [see items 3. and 7. of the Guidelines]. The first stage corresponds to the development and submission of proposals. At this point the proposals may still be in a development stage, and it is crucial that they present an adequate articulation of the response to the theme(s). At this stage the jury selects the proposals that integrate the exhibitions and go through to the next stage of the competition. The second stage corresponds to the development of these proposals in work with the curators, to adapt to the narrative and design of the respective exhibitions, and the delivery of revised materials submitted in the previous stage. In this stage the jury selects the proposals for awards. The first step to enter the competition is to register by the deadline that precedes the submission to the first stage. [see point 6. of the Guidelines]. The registration deadline was postponed. Now, it can be done by January 7, 2022.

8. What is meant by saying proposals must be developed during a semester that falls within the period between August 2021 and March 2022, while the submission of the first stage takes place in January 2022?

To accommodate diverse semester periods, within various academic year calendars around the globe, this period was set as a marker for eligibility. Since the first stage does not call for a final or fully developed project, it is valid to submit a proposal during an ongoing period of classes. [see FAQ No. 7]. Courses or curricular units whose semester starts after the registration date are not eligible.

9. Are proposals eligible if they have been initiated and developed in previous semesters?

Yes, as long as they are under development and guidance during a semester between August 2021 and March 2022. [see items 4.2. and 4.4. of the Guidelines]

10. Are proposals eligible if they result from

Yes, as long as students are registered and continue to develop their thesis during the referred period, safeguarding anonymity and under guidance, they are eligible.

11. Are proposals eligible if they have been developed in previous semesters by students that have meanwhile graduated?


12. Can proposals apply for different themes or must they focus on only one? Should that option be mentioned in the synopsys or posters?

Each proposal can apply in response to more than one theme. [see item 2. of the Guidelines]. The proposal submission form includes a field to select the theme or themes which a proposal is applying for, thus it is not necessary to mention it in the proposal itself.

13. Can the proposal include video, virtual reality or printed publication materials? Can it consist of a physical model, installation or prototype? Are there size limitations?

Yes, all options mentioned are admissible. The proposal may take numerous formats, physical or digital. The preferred format must be stated in the proposal. After the selection, the curators will work with the authors and applicants on its characteristics - format and dimensions - so that they may integrate the exhibitions that are already at an advanced stage of definition. [see item 8.3. of the Guidelines]

14. Can virtual images be included in the posters as representation of the proposal?

Yes. The posters should contain all the elements deemed necessary to better communicate the proposal - drawings, diagrams, three-dimensional simulations, photographs or photographs of models. However, they may not include hyperlinks. [see point 8.1. of the Guidelines].

15. Can there be industry partners as collaborators in the project?


16. When can anonymity be lifted?

Anonymity may be lifted after the announcement of the first stage of selection. In the second stage anonymity does not apply; the authors of the proposals competing for the awards will be in a working relationship with the curators who are also on the jury.