Deputy Curator: Miguel Santos
Organisation: Ministry of Culture of Portugal; Graça Fonseca, Minister of Culture
Commissioner: Directorate-General for the Arts; Américo Rodrigues, General Director
Exhibition Design: depA architects
Collection and Selection of Content: depA architects
Audiovisual Installation: Sofia Augusto
Graphic Design: Inês Nepomuceno + Mariana Marques
Based on the exhibition held at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2021, In Conflict proposes to revisit a selection of processes of Portuguese architecture in Democracy shaped by a wide-ranging public debate between political powers, the press and civil society.
For the first time in Portugal, the content now displayed at the Palácio Sinel de Cordes highlights seven processes in the public eye marked by material destruction, social displacement, or popular participation simultaneously questioning the issue of dwelling and the architect as mediator.
Throughout the palace’s rooms, each original three-dimensional piece reflects the invited architects' critical view about a project, while each press news mosaic summarises public involvement in the processes. Based on these seven cases, other projects are presented with affinities in issue, scale, or modes of action. Together, the processes bear witness to the history of a democracy that in 1974 faced a deep housing crisis and which is now dealing with the persistence of some informal neighbourhoods, urban growth based on speculation in large urban centres and the country’s territorial disarray.
In these rooms, and still related to each process, several televisions sets audio-visual installations, edited from Public Portuguese broadcaster RTP archive material and a selection of documentaries and short films focusing on the seven processes. At the entrance to the palace, current news from Portugal has been compiled and posted, closing a 47-year circle up to the present.
In contrast to the exhibition, and to reinforce the idea of democratic space, in conflict promoted a programme of debates held in 2021 in Venice, Porto, Lisbon and online. These nine events are available to the public on the inconflict.pt web page.
The city and territory are arenas of conflict, collective constructions where dissent – an implicit condition to the plurality of the democratic space – shapes the production of architecture. Through the exhibition and debates, In Conflict seeks to consider the role of architecture as a public, political and ethical discipline, with the aim of fulfilling a common future.
The Portuguese Representation at the Venice Biennale is now presenting their reflection on the space for public debate around housing in Lisbon, in a two-volume catalogue. Published by Circo de Ideias, volume I focuses on the processes materialised in the exhibition whereas volume II follows the cycle of nine debates and includes critical essays by the debate moderators. Prospectively, the event is then expanded with a series of architectural project presentations related to the most recent public investments in housing, bringing together four first prizes in tenders promoted by municipalities and public bodies.
Project Authors: Embaixada studio + Axioma
A large public space is the aggregating element of the whole project, which includes a linear housing block, designed in a delicate dialogue with the surrounding space and topography, and significantly contributes to the renewal of the Marvila area.
Tender Promoter: SRU – Lisbon City Council
Alcaniça tender, Almada
Project Authors: Branco del Río Arquitectos
The two buildings complete and organise an urban void, stressing the importance of public space with the design of a pedestrian crossing. The bioclimatic dimension of the buildings, revealed in the design options and constructive solution, shapes another important vector of the project.
Tender Promoter: IHRU
Lordelo do Ouro tender (buildings A, B, and C)
Project Authors: Francisco Amoedo Pinto, Francisco Pina, Maria Souto de Moura and Luís Caleiro
The dialogue between the three buildings creates a collective momentum among the volumes, and a morphological and physical approach to the surroundings, gradually, ensuring the public space fluidity.
Tender Promoter: Porto City Council
Lordelo do Ouro tender (buildings D and E)
Project Authorship: FMVS studio
The exceptional character of the buildings in the park was an important basis in the proposal definition from the outset, where the volumetric definition relieves the tension of a Cartesian volume with adjustments to the rectangular shape proposed in the plan, so that it integrates the organic character of the surrounding topography and flora.
Tender Promoter: Porto City Council
Free entry, no booking needed.
To present the exhibition on the opening day, the curatorial team of depA architects will carry out a guided tour to the seven housing cases chosen for discussion, projects with affinities in terms of issues, scale or modes of action, illustrating the national panorama through architecture.
Now, later and tomorrow - what's it like?
Primary and lower secondary
If you have to move house, what do you take with you, and what do you leave behind? How do we build our neighbourhood together? And the city of the future, what’s it like?
From these three dimensions - my house, my neighbourhood, my city - we propose the staging and confrontation of challenging situations, potential creators of disagreement or conflict. How should we approach them, listening, arguing and planning?
With drawings and modelling, we will identify how to better build each person’s environment as well as everyone’s.
Hail to agree or fail to agree
The experience of a space is the stage for discussion. Shall we build, destroy? Transform?
After a careful observation and analysis of the space where we find ourselves, we propose a reflection on the problems it presents and the possibilities of transforming it that can lead us to find comfort solutions that are dignified, and also fairer and more comprehensive. The debate will find room for tailored requests, denunciation of situations, claims and proposals for improvements, which will become headlines on the pages of an improvised newspaper to be posted on the walls of the space in question.
Secondary and universities
We propose a critical reflection, through dialogue, on themes in the public eye that accompany our memory and the present, based on the 7 architectural and urban situations portrayed in the exhibition.
The Portuguese Representation for the 17th edition of Venice Biennale is organised and commissioned by the Directorate-General for the Arts. Its participants are: Alexandre Alves Costa, Alexandre Dias, Álvaro Siza, Ana Luísa Rodrigues, Artéria, Atelier Conceição Silva, ateliermob, Barbas Lopes Arquitectos, Bruno Silvestre, Carlos Castanheira, Cerejeira Fontes architects, Charles Cossement, Colectivo Wharehouse, Eduardo Coimbra de Brito, Egas José Vieira, Fernando Seabra-Santos, Francisco Pereira, Frederico Eça, Gil Cardoso, Habitar Porto, Inês Beleza de Azevedo, João Archer de Carvalho, João Figueira, João Pernão, João Siopa Alves, José Barra, José Gigante, José Lobo Almeida, José Miguel Rodrigues, José Neves, José Veloso, Laboratório de Habitação Básica (LAHB), Luís Mendes, Luís Miguel Fareleira, Luís Spranger, Manuel Graça Dias + Egas Vieira Arquitectos, Manuel Nunes de Almeida, Manuel Teles, Margarida Carvalho, Maria Vale, merooficina, Nuno Valentim, Paulo Moreira, Pedro Bandeira, Pedro Brígida, Rita Dourado, Rogério Ramos, Sérgio Fernandez, Tiago Baptista, Vítor Figueiredo.