Terra is the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2022. With different meanings, depending on the scale and the observer, Terra expresses territory, city, landscape, the place where we belong or a continent seen from the sea. It may be a habitable planet or matter for cultivation. It may be in excess or lacking, an obstacle or an element in the construction of communities.
The programme consists of four exhibitions, four books, three awards, three days of conferences and a selection of Independent Projects. This edition’s design is chief-curated by the Portuguese duo Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay, founders of the architecture studio CVDB.
As an international forum that promotes questioning around research and practice, Terra incorporates a declaration of intent and a call to action. It proposes the evolution from the current fragmented and linear system model, characterised by an excessive use of resources, towards a circular and holistic system model, motivated by a greater and deeper balance between communities, resources and processes.
Terra suggests that, after a context of closure because of the pandemic, the future should be reassessed by intersecting and exchanging knowledge and practices capable of coexisting, contributing to a more sustainable future for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Portugal has always been characterised by challenging the world, used to looking outside and relating to other cultures. We take advantage of this attribute innate to our peripheral condition and our openness to others to confront different knowledge inspired by the past and the present in a projection awakened for the future. This reflection unfolds in four central exhibitions that, through their different perspectives and glances, invite a wide range of participants to present a global scenery made up of a plurality of geographies and cultures.
The Triennale 2022, 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.
Terra addresses how climate cha(lle)nges, pressure on resources, and socioeconomic and environmental inequities are profoundly intertwined. Understanding these complex situations requires a paradigm shift from a linear growth model (“cities as machines”) to a circular evolutionary model (“cities as organisms”).
The Triennale 2022 aims to create an open forum where multiple voices and perspectives can coexist beyond their apparent dualities, while celebrating daily life as well as aspirations for manifold futures in a diverse world.
Tau Tavengwa, Vyjayanthi Rao
How are design and architecture adapting to a period marked by unprecedented inequality, climate change, pandemics, and a demand to reconsider and rewrite the canon that defines them? Multiplicity examines the contemporary structures where design and architecture operate. Arranged in five parts - Agenda, Appropriations, Systems (re-)Engineering, Manufacture/Acceleration and Knowledge-building/Research - the exhibition explores how these fields are evolving, amalgamating, and mutating in an era of profound global uncertainty.
By presenting practitioners and thinkers whose work redefines the scale of operation and methods necessary to tackle global challenges, we explore how architecture is changing itself, its methods and self-perception, and its growing embrace of complexity while striving to retain relevance beyond a traditionally narrow understanding. Multiplicity, through video, models, artwork, photography, and drawings, charts that process. It explores how architecture and design are being called to respond to a world in multiple states of flux and whether these fields are rising to the challenge at both micro and macro scales.
Loreta Castro Reguera, Jose Pablo Ambrosi
The broken city, where one third of humanity dwells, desperately screams for the attention of architects. Self-reflective and retroactive infrastructures could become their best tool - they are an architectural typology to address the broken city, a suturing tool that celebrates their current existence, their distribution around the world, and their chances of becoming worthy dwelling spaces.
The present and future of humanity are mainly urban. However, most of the fabric where such life is and will happen is either deteriorated or underserved. It is broken. Through this exhibition we want to awaken the interest of design professionals on the broken city and on the possibilities of intervening in it with projects that restore spatial dignity and belonging by structuring basic needs and services through the design of public facilities. These should reconcile different needs from various scopes by building a bond between people and their context. We name them retroactive infrastructures.
Anastassia Smirnova with SVESMI
The exhibition will focus on realised and realisable visions by architects, artists, designers, and scientists who aim to systematically change the world.
Among our visionaries are those who try to impose an alternative order of things and design not just physical structures or objects, but ambitious, and, at times, controversial prescriptions for future action. We are interested in new models and prototypes that are not supposed to be simply replicated, but can be interpreted in multiple productive ways. All works are seen in the context of the current debate about planetary strategies. Each exhibit, in one way or another, responds to the challenge of design in the age of the next grand narrative.
Garagem Sul - CCB
Pamela Prado, Pedro Ignacio Alonso
Whether a building is being built or dismantled is sometimes difficult to know. Before the organising powers of architecture are activated through design, a building is no more than a formless accumulation of materials, piles of stuff that re-emerge when the given form is eventually demolished, becoming just weight in the realm of trash. These newly formed mounds of unorganised matter do, however, undergo a process of declassification and reclassification, from waste to recovered materials, when architects reluctant to throw things away design new cycles for them. In their hands, they become projects, the rebirth of something, loosening the borders between garbage and non-garbage, and between what is doomed to perish, and what will still struggle to live.
The exhibition presents material strategies in contemporary architectural practices that turn away from linear models towards the circular within contemporary architecture. By designing new Cycles for the distribution of matter, architects reluctant to throw things away open up enquiries into the past and the present of construction, its relation to the geopolitics of extractivism, and the futures of the building industry. This art of designing Cycles acknowledges the energy, the water, the human labour, and the carbon footprint originally embedded in the materials’ production, towards sustainability, economy, and memory.
The Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Universities Award Competition invites universities worldwide in a cross-disciplinary perspective. For the first time, the prize accepts two levels of participation, through master's degrees and research centres in colleges. Moreover, further related disciplines in the areas of design, technology or the humanities are added to architecture, such as the bordering disciplines of landscape architecture, urban planning and land management, or others such as materials and construction technologies, urban sociology and environmental geography.
This way, the intent is to stimulate individual and collective participation to produce knowledge in, for and on architecture. The competition aggregates centres for the production of knowledge in various types of projects that are intended to be of practical architectural response.
With four possible topics connected to the central themes - Multiplicity, Retroactive, Cycles, and Visionaries - the jury will select the best proposals to integrate a core in each of the main exhibitions of the Triennale 2022. Registration by January 7, 2022 and first stage of proposal submission by January 17, 2022.
See the guidelines and form here.
The Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Début Award acclaims a young architect or practice to celebrate their achievements and promote their career. We aim to support new voices and practice forms. We also hope the prize will contribute to the young professionals’ creative, intellectual and professional growth at a crucial and potentially transformative stage in their career. The worldwide competition is open to young architects under the age of 35 or any architecture studio with an average age of under 35. The winning person (or studio) is selected by the jury members from a list put forward by influential Portuguese and international nominators. Check the guidelines.
The Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Lifetime Achievement Award distinguishes the active studio or individual whose work and ideas have influenced and continue to have a deep impact on current architectural practice and thought, without focusing on the end of their career, but rather in the boldness of their practice - we believe in consistent and excellent practice, in relevant work and its distinction.
The award is given after an independent selection that runs through two different stages. First, international architects are invited by the Triennale to nominate up to three names they consider worthy of the award. The resulting list is then given to a jury made up of seven personalities from around the world to select the winner, who receives an original work of art made by an invited artist.
The Independent Projects are a parallel programme with independent and self-financed national and international proposals that may enhance this Triennale in an articulated way. The proposals may be diverse - exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, publications, or others - and must reveal an interest in the liveliness of the debate about the future of ecologies in architecture. The public events will take place during the period of the Triennale 2022 in Lisbon and neighbouring areas.
The 67 applications of this call that was open until November 1, 2021 are now under evaluation. The results will be announced in January 25, 2022.
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
The central exhibitions are the starting point for a three-day series of conferences, which will be the second highlight in the Triennale programme. This series aims to create a intertwined composition of talks, gathering thinkers, researchers, scholars and architects from the international scene to discuss thematic priorities for future action.
This is the moment to exchange experiences from various fields of expertise, share thoughts, and stimulate a broadened debate on the topics explored by the main showcase, which ends with a more informal gathering opened to a confrontation of ideas between guests and audience.
Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay (Portugal) are a duo that combines research and teaching with practice, and have shown over the past few years how the diversity of the countries where they work and the different ways they practice architecture have enriched their curriculum. Cristina studied at the Faculty of Architecture in Lisbon and Harvard, having taught in countries such as Hong Kong, Argentina, Chile, the United States of America and Canada. In studio environment, she worked with Carrilho da Graça and Zaha Hadid. Diogo, who also studied in Lisbon and later at the Bartlett School of Architecture, has worked in Lisbon, London and Macau with Maria Godinho de Almeida and Duarte Cabral de Mello, and also at BDP with Manuel Vicente and OBS Arquitectos. Together, in 1999 they founded the studio CVDB in Lisbon, whose merit was internationally acknowledged with awards for projects such as Braamcamp Freire Secondary School, the Tapestry Museum in Arraiolos and the Mora Megalithic Museum.
Anastassia Smirnova (Russia/The Netherlands) is a Russian designer and researcher. Scenographer by education, she has been part of numerous multidisciplinary projects which span from design and writing to educational and cultural programming. In 2007, she joined AMO, a think tank within the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, to lead the research for the Hermitage Museum Masterplan. She was part of the team that established the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, in Moscow, where she later co-directed the educational programme. Anastassia was also the curator and academic director of the first Russian international MA programme in urbanism – Advanced Urban Design, a joint initiative of the Higher School of Economics and the Strelka Institute. As a partner at SVESMI – Dutch-Russian office for architecture, urban planning, and education, known for its conceptual projects and research - she leads cultural endeavours.
José Pablo Ambrosi (Mexico) studied Architecture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), with an exchange programme at the UPC Barcelona where he was part of Carlos Ferrater’s Cátedra Blanca. He also pursued an Executive MBA at the Instituto Panamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresas. José Pablo became the CEO of a construction and real estate family business, transforming it into Taller Capital, a design and construction firm that has taken advantage of the former experience, founded with Loreta Castro Reguera. Focused on city design through densification and infrastructural public spaces, the studio’s work has earned them national and international recognition and prizes, such as the 2021 Architectural League Emerging Voices Award. Taller Capital has designed and built private housing projects, public buildings, and public spaces in Mexico.
Loreta Castro Reguera (Mexico) studied Architecture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, and has a Harvard GSD Master’s in Urban Design. She got several scholarships and won the Mexico City Biennale Prize for Social Architecture. Her research on water and design gave her the Druker Traveling Fellowship Award and the LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Construction Gold Prize, with Manuel Perló. She founded Taller Capital with José Pablo Ambrosi, focusing on city design through densification and infrastructural public spaces, which has earned them national and international recognition and prizes, such as the 2021 Architectural League Emerging Voices Award. Taller Capital has designed and built private housing projects, public buildings, and public spaces in Mexico. Loreta is a professor at the UNAM and has been invited as a design critic, professor, and speaker worldwide, besides writing for magazines and books.
Pamela Prado (Santiago de Chile) studied philosophy at the University of Chile and holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London. Her academic and curatorial work has developed between the United Kingdom, Brazil and Chile. She organised the seminar The New Archive: Documenting Latin American Art at the Royal College of Art, and co-founded Curating Contexts, a platform for researching and discussing visual arts in South America. She was the curator-in-residence at the Fórum Permanente and Ateliê Fidalga, in São Paulo, Brazil. She has curated and co-curated several exhibitions at the Royal College of Art, Centro Cultural São Paulo, and Groupe Intervention Vidéo, Montreal, among others. She has collaborated with the Exit Express magazine, in Spain, and she is also the editor of the book Alfredo Jaar: Los Ojos de Gutete Emerita and the author of an interview with Walter Zanini, published by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo.
Pedro Ignacio Alonso (Santiago de Chile) is an architect with an MSc in Architecture from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC), and a PhD in Architecture from the Architectural Association. He is Associate Professor at the PUC and Visiting Professor at the Architectural Association. He was a Princeton-Mellon Fellow at Princeton University and resident architect at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. Pedro has a history of producing exhibitions with Hugo Palmarola, and they received the Silver Lion for the Chilean Pavilion Monolith Controversies at the 2014 Venice Biennale. The edited volume they produced to accompany the exhibition received the 2014 Deutsches Architekturmuseum Book Award. He also curated the exhibition Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World, at the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, and is the author of the books Deserta: Ecology and Industry in the Atacama Desert, Panel, Space Race Archaeologies, and Flying Panels.
Tau Tavengwa (Zimbabwe/ United Kingdom) is the co-founder, curator, and editor of Cityscapes, an annual publication about cities and urban life across Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Each issue of Cityscapes presents stories and analyses on the current and future state of cities and urbanisation from a Global South perspective. The project has grown to include live events, exhibitions, and consulting. In addition to holding a position as Curator-at-Large of the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, Tau is a 2018 Harvard University Loeb Fellow. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics’ LSE Cities and a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Diversity Studies. With a background in architecture and museum design, art and architecture publishing, Tau’s work in the last twelve years has focused on urban issues and included multiple exhibitions, periodicals, books, and films.
Vyjayanthi Rao (India/USA) is an anthropologist, writer, curator, and ethnographer of urban life in India and elsewhere. Her work explores speculation, design and architecture and her practice combines ethnographic fieldwork with mapping, filmmaking, among other forms of visual research. She also writes about art and the role of creativity in urban life. She is the author of many articles and the co-editor of two books, Speculation Now: Essays and Artworks and Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures in Rio de Janeiro. Vyjayanthi is a senior contributing editor of the Public Culture journal and a member of the artist collective Samooha. She has taught at Yale University, The New School for Social Research and the Spitzer School of Architecture, New York City College. She was the co-director of the New York-based Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research and a founding former co-director of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research), in Mumbai.