Lisbon Triennale 2019: The Poetics of Reason

#Lecture Series, Conference, Workshops
3 Oct - 2 Dec 2019
Opening event: 3 - 5 Oct 2019
Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon, PT
Lisbon, PT

The Poetics of  Reason states that, for all its subjective and non-scientific dimension, architecture does rest on reason, and its aim is to shed light onto the specificity of this reason. Indeed, the fact that architecture is grounded into reason and rationality is key to its being understandable, i.e. shareable, by everyone, and not just by architects. More than ever before, it stands as a condition to define architecture for our contemporary ordinary condition. As a result of a massification of construction, such a condition implies that everybody is entitled to understand architecture without a specific background in the field.

Each of the five exhibitions and the Talk, Talk, Talk will take up one particular aspect or dimension of this theme, in an attempt to circumscribe the stakes of architectural rationality.

Taking place in Lisbon from 3 October to 2 December 2019, the main exhibitions are showcased in different cultural venues.

Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Coutry’s Side @Garagem Sul – CCB

Economy of Means @MAAT – Central Tejo

What is Ornament @Culturgest

Inner Space @MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art

Natural Beauty @Sinel de Cordes Palace

Calling for participation, Lisbon Architecture Triennale proposes experiences that allow for a civic and humanistic understanding of learning and architecture through events of various formats.


Workshops, Performances, Talks

1. Taking the Kitchen's Side

This workshop divided into two independent sessions consists of the preparation of a meal that culminates in a performative dinner that celebrates the act of eating together as a fundamental ritual of sharing. Designed and mediated by Klodiana Millona.

Venue: Garagem Sul – CCB

Friday and Saturday, 11– 12 October

Workshop: 14:00 (4h), Dinner: 19:30 (1h30)

By Trienal de Lisboa and Klodiana Millona

2. Automata: Reason as economy of means

Bringing to the forefront of the parallels between systematic classification and self-generative form, this workshop addresses the themes of type and strategy in the main exhibition “Economy of Means”. In three days of debate, the Swiss collective F.A.T. moderates conversations with students, professors and practitioners to deconstruct fundamental concepts in architecture, from their original classical meanings to our contemporary interpretations, under the premise that theory is a tool of the economy in architecture. The programme concludes in a session on “The Poetics of Reason”.

Venue: MAAT – Central Tejo, Sala dos Geradores

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 24, 25 and 26 October

10:30 and 15:00 (3h/session)

By Trienal de Lisboa and F.A.T. – Forum for Architecture Theory

3. Geologic subjectivities: an Archaeology of the  (un)thought

Lisbon's history merges with that of the conquest of the ocean. In its architectural landmarks, the city evokes water and rationality as infrastructures of expansion and manifests its role in the European colonial project. In this operatic performance, Lodovica Guarnieri proposes to re-enact the city's built heritage as the material coalescence of a collective imaginary. The plot explores hidden narratives, political conflicts and oceanic present and past memories to unearth the colonial and affective infrastructures intrinsic to the city’s unconscious.

Venue: National Museum of Contemporary Art

Friday and Saturday, 25 October, 21:30 and 26 October, 18:00 (1h/session)

By Trienal de Lisboa and Lodovica Guarnieri

4. Logic Quest for Beauty

A collection of objects, fragments, pieces, form a library of possibilities, an atlas. We work with these elements as tools to face a series of challenges. Julio Gotor Valcárcel proposes solving three-dimensional puzzles in which the important thing is not the accumulation of these elements but their order, their structure, their logic. Challenges that arouse curiosity, reveal rational systems and give rise to forms based on formulas.

By manipulating strings, linking elements, building geometries, we generate rational, logic and beautiful systems. The result: dissolving domes, elements in unstable equilibrium, levitating objects, etc.

Venue: Sinel de Cordes Palace

Saturday and Sunday, 19– 20 October

14:00–19:00 (5h/sessions)

By Trienal de Lisboa and Julio Gotor Valcárcel

5. Ornaments of Power

Throughout time, architecture has been used as a tool to express power. There are manifestations of dominance and political significance behind spatial configurations, buildings and artefacts. Traumnovelle propose the analysis of Caixa Geral de Depósitos’ headquarters as a case study of the use of ornament in an institutional context. Through architectural depictions, the workshop explores political meanings in constructed elements. The outcome is a grammar of ornaments of power and domination.

Venue: Culturgest, Galeria 1

Wednesday to Friday, 16–18 October

11:00–19:00 (3-day session, 8h/day)

By Trienal de Lisboa and Traumnovelle

More info about the 2019 Lisbon Triennale here.