Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
12 SEP 2013 - 15 DEC 2013
Beatrice Galilee, Liam Young, Mariana Pestana, José Esparza Chong Cuy, Dani Admiss
Additional info

Locations: Museu da Eletricidade, Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa, MUDE Museu do Design e da Moda - Colecção Francisco Capelo, amongst others. 

Future Perfect © Luke Hayes


Close, Closer

The premise of the third Lisbon Architecture Triennale is not to give answers, but to position questions that through their sphere and context contain both a statement of intent and a call to action.

Close, Closeris an investigation into the expanding field of contemporary architectural practice. Over the course of three months, through diverse platforms of exhibitions, events, speeches, conversations, plays, stories, campaigns, competitions, dinners, debates, parliaments, publications, interfaces, atmospheres, experiments, inventions and civic actions, the Triennale is considering the condition in which architecture is practiced and the way it is framed, expressed and understood. Four central programmes Future Perfect, The Real and Other Fictions, The Institute Effect and New Publics, as well as a multitude of Associated Projects, present architecture not just as an object and idea to be mediated, but as the act of mediation itself.

Future Perfect

Future Perfect is a fictional, future city. A think tank of scientists, technologists, designers, artists and science fiction authors have collectively developed this imaginary place, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains. The exhibition is a stage set for a collection of fictions, emerging infrastructures and design experiments that can be inhabited as large-scale districts of the future city.

It is a speculative urbanism, an exaggerated present, where we can explore the wonders and possibilities of emerging biological and technological research and envision the possible worlds we may want to build for ourselves. For the future is not something that washes over us like water, it is a place we must actively shape and define. Through fictions we share ideas and we chronicle our hopes and fears, our deepest anxieties and our wildest fantasies. Some of us will be swept up in what the city could be, others will be reserved and look on with caution. We have not walked these streets before, what things may come, in a Future Perfect.

The Real and Other fictions

The Real and Other Fictions takes place in Palácio Pombal, a building that has had diverse uses and programmes through the course of its history. From residence to embassy, it hosted numerous events and situations. The exhibition brings back the past uses of the building through spatial interventions that foster encounters between the palace and the visitor. Departing from historical facts, the interventions present there construct ideological fictions materialized in real spaces and programmes to be used by the public. For the first time agglomerated in synchrony, the past uses, now re-enacted, re-imagined, are juxtaposed.

The preoccupation underlying this exhibition has to do with the ambiguity and the paradoxes beneath the practice of hospitality, with the laws and norms that define and influence the ways in which architecture is used. The subjects and situations generated by the works presented destabilize the rules and compromises inherent to the occupation and use of space. They raise questions about the places in which we move everyday, the ways in which we relate to them and how they make us relate to the other. In the intimacy that they establish between place and occupant, each work practices a form of hospitality. Either to note the conflicts embedded in its exercise or to remind us of the urgency of its application, to prompt unexpected encounters, or to promote oppositions, convergences, battles or consensus.

The Institute Effect

Cultural institutions are today’s creative powerhouses. They programme and commission practitioners, publish writing and research, host competitions, initiate education and outreach projects and experiment with new formats and technologies.

The museums, project spaces, libraries, journals and magazines all around the world which frame the practice of contemporary architecture, commission and write its future history, are arguably as influential on today’s landscape as the credited authors, the architects.

The Institute Effect becomes a living, changing homage to the contemporary institution. Intended as a constantly changing stream of activity, 12 pioneering institutions engaged in innovative and groundbreaking practice have been invited to takeover the exhibition space, hosting a public programme of their choosing taking consecutive turns in bringing an ever-changing international residency programme to Lisbon.

Set in a fictitious establishment Institutare designed by the first institute, Fabrica, the exhibition space features everything each institute needs to host their event ­ from a workshop area, archive, blog and library to tools and stationary with five institutional rules that each institution has been asked to follow.

Over the course of three months visitors can participate in activities as diverse as exploring new forms of pedagogy in an action workshop; visit a re­imagined 1:1 construction of a Mexican architecture gallery; or experience Lisbon through a series of city­wide interventions.

Public Programme: New Publics

In real life as in theatre, acting is a prerequisite. And yet, somehow, the creative freedom provided by performing on stage is somehow tamed down when acted out in real life. It is this condition of fiction — the reading of a theatrical performance as a moment detached from reality —, which allows for theatrical experiments to be so radically groundbreaking. But understanding that theatre is as real as life, and acknowledging that the language it uses to communicate — visually, audibly, emotionally — with an audience, is the same language we use to understand each other in reality, why isn’t real life the stage where we can act out our desires?

What happens if a real-life public stage, a civic stage, is suddenly unveiled in our cities? What would happen if we reframe the tamed reality of public space into a theatrical site of exchange were can collectively perform our aspirations? Would fiction become real life and vice versa?

New Publics invites all audiences to get together in this civic platform and perform the city they imagine. This experimental public program will present a series of Acts that will take place on the Civic Stage designed by Frida Escobedo from September 12 – November 10, 2013.