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PTEN
Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
Date
02 OCT 2025 - 08 DEC 2025
Location
Various venues in the city of Lisbon
Team
Curatorial Team: Ann-Sofi Rönnskog and John Palmesino

Film screening Alpi © Armin Linke

2025

How Heavy is a City?

How Heavy is a City? This question instigates a three-year research project into the complex set of transformations of both the city and its backdrop, revealing a new figure in the making with a magnitude of planetary dimensions. To make sense of these transformations and sort out the underlying agencies, a re-assembly of architecture and what it means to build a collective environment is required. 

The next edition of the Triennale aims to open a public space of learning, experience, curiosity, inquiry, debate, delight, outrage, speculation, transgression, imagination and action about the possible futures of cohabitation. How heavy is a city? explores emerging forms of cooperation and mutuality, establishing a new unit to evaluate architecture to recast its role as a driver of debate.

2 October — 8 December 2025
Opening days: 2 — 4 October

Ann-Sofi Rönnskog and John Palmesino, founders of Territorial Agency, are the Chief Curators, leading an investigation of the spatial dimensions of the transformations marking the Anthropocene by asking questions of design, governance, agency and proposition. Opening in the Autumn, the Triennale 2025 acts as a convener, engaging a broad team of experts from science to philosophy or the arts ​​who participate from the outset in a programme branched off into three lines of research – Fluxes, Spectres, and Lighter – each one resulting in an exhibition, book and talk series.

Lisbon Messy Studio

13 — 15 April 2024

This experimental colloquium brings together artists, philosophers, scientists, economists, architects and urbanists to explore the new planetary dimensions of contemporary human spaces. The messy studio confronts multiple disciplinary perspectives to find new pathways towards a high-energy and high-recycling transformation of the technosphere.  

The public screening of Alpi, featuring filmmaker Armin Linke, sets the stage for expanding the ongoing reflection. The film portrays the Alps as a key location, due to their delicacy and environmental significance, where one can observe the complex social, economic, and political relationships. In contemporary Europe, this mountain range, emblematic of a touristic imagination, is a breeding ground for the promises of modernity and its illusions.


Venice Messy Studio

15 September 2023, 15h

The Triennale 2025 kicks off with an open debate bringing together experts from the arts to architecture, science, technology, and humanities – join the discussion.

Fluxes

Made up of almost 30 trillion tons of materials, global cities are an intricate entanglement of evolving structures, geometrically complex systems and spatially diverse environments. They are devices to shape energy, information and material fluxes that accrue over time to cast a hardened exoskeleton of human societies. 

This dynamic process can be addressed by investigating the material basis of architecture, its complex constructions, foundations, reinforcements, cracks, models, joints, erosions, weathering, renovation, interconnections. Enumeration and measurement have always been at centre stage in the architecture of modernity. The energy, material and information fluxes that shape the entities on which we depend for the continuity of inhabitation need now to be reassessed. How to recalibrate our measurements to intercept the new figures shaping life on Earth at these unstable times?

Spectres

In Spectres, How heavy is a city? becomes a question that places architecture as both the object and method of an inquiry into the challenges of climate chaos: it is the object on display and investigated in its material configurations, and it is through architecture that we venture into the issue of expansion of the contemporary city onto all existing territories it cuts across.

The transformation of what we used to call the city is inextricable from both the imaginal technologies that guide extraction – remote sensing, thermal images, radar, sonar, lidar – and from the ghost acreages where energy and materials that sustain contemporary logistical capitalism emanate from: mining, illegal deforestation, rapid urbanisation, sea level rise, the destruction of rainforests and glaciers, the reshaping of human mobility and security. How to imagine different and diversified rhythms of change in the built environment and in the biosphere?

Lighter

In two years at the beginning of the last decade China used more concrete than the USA did over the entire Twentieth Century. At the same time, the patterns of production of contemporary architecture are becoming more and more insular, with little coalitions with the multiple other forms of knowledge on complex urban change. Architecture largely has reverted to individual solutions, ad-hoc interventions and a pre-eminence of the attention to enclosed spaces where change occurs.

Lighter is an exhibition and publication that unfolds the possibilities of infection, of diversion, of not following trajectories imposed on us by the rapid acceleration of the Anthropocene. How to imagine agency when the sheer magnitude of human activities have made the material structures we inhabit a self-organising system, where we are only a component, not the main driver?

Talks

The Triennale 2025 will host an intense programme of lectures and debates around the three research lines: Fluxes, Spectres, and Lighter. International experts from many fields engage and discuss with the audience their work. During each session, a shared space is assembled to disclose new audacious ideas and foster pioneer research, culminating with a drink&talk, an irreverent and informal gathering between audience and speakers.

Independent Projects

Once again the Triennale will partner with local and international initiatives, welcoming independent projects to the programme and hosting some of them in the Sinel de Cordes Palace. By supporting these events, helping co-producing and sharing their activities, the Triennale upholds its commitment to listening to emerging voices and embracing compelling new actions. An open call will be launched to select the exhibitions, workshops, talks, concerts and activities joining the Triennale 2025.

Awards

In 2025, the Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Awards trilogy returns to celebrate three important milestones in different architectural paths. The Lifetime Achievement Award distinguishes active studios or individuals whose works and ideas have a profound impact on contemporary architectural practice and thought. The Début Award boosts the creative, intellectual and professional growth of emerging talent at an early stage and is open to young people or studios with an average age under 35. Schools around the world can participate in the Universities Award Competition through an international open call designed to celebrate experimentation, innovation and knowledge production on a global scale.

Biography of the Chief Curators

Established by architects John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Territorial Agency combines contemporary architecture, science, art, advocacy and action to promote comprehensive territorial transformations in the Anthropocene epoch.

Recent projects include Sensible Zone at the Biennale di Venezia, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Barbican London, Warsaw Biennale; Oceans in Transformation commissioned by TBA21–Academy, in collaboration with ZKM Critical Zones and Taipei Biennial 20; Museum of Oil with Greenpeace, ZKM Reset Modernity and Chicago Architecture Biennial; Anthropocene Observatory with Armin Linke and Anselm Franke at HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, BAK Utrecht and in the collection of Centraal Museum Utrecht. 

Territorial Agency is the recipient of the STARTS PRIZE 2021 – Grand prize of the European Commission honouring innovation in technology, industry and society stimulated by the arts for Oceans in Transformation.

John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog are Unit Masters at the AA Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, where they have conducted sustained multi-year work on the transformations of the Coast of Europe; the emergent technosphere planetary paradigm and have inaugurated a new project on Climate Peace.