Concept curator: Anastassia Smirnova (SVESMI)
Designer: Anna Kulachek
Executive curator: Milan Dinevski (MAO)
With the participation of James Taylor-Foster (ArkDes) and Bika Rebek (Some Place)
Lisbon Architecture Triennale
Palácio Sinel de Cordes / Lisbon Triennale Headquarters
José Mateus / Chairman
Manuel Henriques / Executive Director
Helena Soares / Management Assistant
Tiago Pombal / Producer
Isabel Antunes / Head of Production
Beatriz Bento / Producer
Filipa Tomaz / Head of Education
Sara Battesti / Head of Communication
Joana Salvado / Fundraising and Partnerships
Carolina Vicente / Head of Open House Lisbon
Future Architecture Rooms is an online project that invited the 27 cultural institutions that operate in the field of architecture and are part of the Future Architecture network to create a plurality of video content. A digital stage that consists of an attempt to build an environment resulting from the intersection of the real and the immaterial and was born from the period of isolation and confinement that threw us into our homes and rooms.
Curated by Anastassia Smirnova, the unconventional project consists of occupying a room as a residence, in which each member presents a short video about their interests, modus operandi and future projects. From the testimonies of their multidisciplinary teams, they present the spaces of work and the contexts in which 27 rooms act, opening 27 doors to these spaces of exchange that lead to an amazing diversity of content, a platform for sharing knowledge, ideas, research, projects, etc. Until 30 September 2020, Future Architecture Rooms invites the public to take a peek behind the scenes of different European cultural projects; to get to know the people and working habitats behind these institutions. A meeting place that gathers testimonies of curators, producers, architects and other agents involved in each of the 27 members of Future Architecture Platform. A gateway to studies, laboratories, rooms, archives, exhibition spaces and libraries.
With an interactive format, these rooms aim at dynamic presentations that explore the future and the question of How are they adapting to the consequences of Covid-19? How will they work in the upcoming months? Premiered on 25 August 2020, the results combine permanent content and one-off events that can be viewed by the public until September 30. Among the first premieres are the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the Tbilisi Architecture Biennale, the Biotop Design Festival, the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the DAI-SAI Association of Istria Architects and the Architektūros fondas. During the month of September, new rooms of the remaining members open, resulting in a dynamic sharing space in regular updates.
According to Anastassia Smirnova, the premise of this project is based on the fact that We all, with rare exceptions, dwell in rooms, explained through her manifesto on the subject:
“The room is the base unit of a building. It is enclosed and defined by walls, floor and ceiling and usually features windows and doors. A room is not a corridor. Nor is it a hall or a closet. One can define a room almost intuitively. It is a sizable space where something – a lot – can happen. It can be occupied or, in other words, lived in. Our most simple dwelling structures are single or rudimentary rooms: tents, igloos, boxes. The room is a spatial construct that has changed very little in the course of human history. It is a constant that has survived many variables. When designing a place for life and work, an architect usually creates rooms: the living cells of most projects. Their proportions, sizes, types of “membranes”, levels of insulation, acoustics and so on, determine how we act and how we feel in a space. In this pandemic era, we have become hyper-aware of the materiality and dimensions of our rooms. Rooms have somehow become more important. During periods of self-isolation, it is likely a room where you will while the time away. You cannot leave your room so easily anymore; it holds on to you with an unusual centripetal force – and you hold onto it. The era of video conferencing has exposed our private rooms online. These days, we glimpse each other’s decorated walls or books on shelves in call after call. The fragments of these rooms become part of our own spaces, blurring the boundaries of public and private spheres, of what is tangible inside and what is immaterial elsewhere. The opportunity to peek into these unfamiliar spaces of the others —and have our own projected outwards—is at once entertaining and unsettling.”
For its Future Architecture Room, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale features its home, the building and spaces where the ground work is done and where shows, events and friends are hosted and welcome: the Sinel de Cordes Palace. Viewers are invited to hear testimonies, starting with the team members, of various episodes that happened in the many rooms of this Palace. Present and past experiences - epic, dramatic, happy, uncanny -, will dissolve in a series of short films with multiple dimensions of the character, history and make of this building.