by Jerry ElengicalNov 18, 2022
Terra is the main theme of the sixth edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale taking place till December 5, 2022. As the earth evolves to harder circumstances for humans, the Triennale's chief curators—Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay—have selected projects with a diversity of possible solutions for each contextual problem through architecture. With two opening days and four main exhibitions in four distinguished Portuguese cultural and artistic institutions in the capital, the event will see three awards, three days of conferences, a collection of books and a multidisciplinary program of guided tours and activities for children.
As a new aspect of this year's triennale, every exhibition has been curated and planned in collaboration and is being organised by more than one curator. The Lisbon Architecture Triennale will primarily feature four exhibitions— Multiplicity, Retroactive, Cycles and Visionaries by renowned curators from across the globe along with 16 Independent Projects, all of which enrich Terra through installations, conferences, performances, workshops and exhibitions set throughout the city of Lisbon.
Multiplicity features a group of architectural practices and projects curated by Tau Tavengwa and Vyjayanthi Rao; Retroactive, curated by Loreta Castro Reguera and José Pablo Ambrosi, shows design projects which respond directly to community problems and lack of resources; Cycles focuses on the materials and how architectural projects can be sustainable when recycling and reusing waste; Visionaries, curated by Anastassia Smirnova in collaboration with SVESMI, gathers projects that look towards the future, sharing their practices and ideas for a greener and viable planet.
It is a celebration of architecture "with diversity and inclusivity in the mode we understand as the relevance of the practice of architecture in this planet," says Diogo Burnay for local art platform Coffeepaste. In the same interview, Veríssimo commenting on the ecological concerns and instability of the conditions of the earth added, “If each one of us commits to this transformation, in this future, I think this can change." The architectural duo of Veríssimo and Burnay combine research and teaching with practice, and Terra has shown how the diversity of the countries in participation, each with different ways of practising architecture can be enriching.
At the awards ceremony at the Science Academy of Lisbon on September 30, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to researcher, lecturer and architect Marina Tabassum, whose work focuses on new challenges and materials for greater sustainability; the Début Award was awarded to the Brazilian atelier vão; and the Universities Awards were given to four proposals from masters degrees and one from investigation.
Talk, Talk, Talk is the cycle of conferences that will happen in Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, starting October 26; it brings together architects and activists from different parts of the globe to share and debate ideas on themes surrounding the main exhibition's concerns of sustainability and community.
The four main exhibitions connect with each other through the "potential to transform the currently fragmented linear system of cities-as-machines into a circular, holistic model of cities-as-organisms” as the curators write. It is a collective exploration in an exchange of knowledge and practices that imagine a sustainable future. They showcase how architecture can investigate, reveal, impact and shape our view of each landscape while always thinking broadly of our planet.
Curators: Tau Tavengwa (Zimbabwe), Vyjayanthi Rao (India)
Location: National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) - Galeria Millennium bcp
Multiplicity showcases an archive of models, writings, installations, voice and video recordings of architects and projects that show techniques and constructive processes that benefit the communities and local economies, improving the quality of housing and collective spaces. Designer, curator and editor Tau Tavengwa focuses on urban issues across the Global South as part of the African Centre for Cities project exhibited in Multiplicity. Vyjayanthi Rao is an anthropologist, writer, curator and ethnographer of urban life in India and abroad, studying architecture, infrastructure and social life in large cities. Together, both curators have planned the exhibition with architectural projects from the "Global South, that adapt and subvert modes of action with ad-hoc methods to face these global challenges" with straight connections to the community, answering environmental, social and political issues while fighting for equity and justice, “mirroring and learning from the uncertainties,” wrote the curators.
Curators: Loreta Castro Reguera and José Pablo Ambrosi (México)
Location: MAAT – Edifício Central Tejo
Focusing on the living challenges that one-third of the global population have, Retroactive exhibition shows how architecture and urban design can give solutions to land tenure, water, sanitation, waste, facing overcrowding and managing mobility for a better quality of life to the inhabitants. Architect, design critic, researcher, lecturer and speaker Loreta Castro Reguera, along with Mexican architect José Pablo Ambrosi, has founded Taller Capital, a design and construction firm. Their work focuses on city design through densification and infrastructural public spaces. As the curators wrote, "this exhibition is a call to look at the potential for intervention in these broken and marginalised territories,” through a more thoughtful city design process.
Curators: Pamela Prado and Pedro Ignacio Alonso (Chile)
Location: CCB – Garagem Sul
To demonstrate the end cycle of materials, and reinforce the need of recycling for the benefit of the planet, the exhibition Cycles focuses on materiality and ways of transforming and re-using residues of demolitions and construction waste. Pamela Prado is a curator and art writer, who has undertaken a number of studies and work experiences integrating art and philosophy and Pedro Ignacio Alonso is an architect, educator, curator and teacher at Chile Catholic University and Architectural Association. Showcasing how to give a new life to materials, the exhibition has an installation of Lara Almarcegui, Falca, a part of her projects on natural resources. This particular installation uses a pile of 140 cubic metres of waste cork. All the projects answer the premise written by the curators, "the architects who never threw anything away," in reference to a text by Ilya Kabakov.
Curators: Anastassia Smirnova (Russia) with SVESMI
Location: Culturgest – Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Visionaries is an exhibition that puts together a diversity of projects that envision a distant future, where architects, designers and engineers focus on ambitious and sustainable projects. Anastassia Smirnova is a designer, author, researcher and scenographer who has worked with international multidisciplinary programmes such as Future Architecture Rooms, and in collaboration with SVESMI, an office for architecture, urbanism and education, of which she is a founder partner. As the curator wrote, Visionaries is an exhibition on 'futurology' from intimate spaces to city designs, bedrooms to spaceships, and stages to churches.