Curated by the French architect Éric Lapierre, appointed after an open call for curatorship in 2016, The Poetics of Reason proposes five main exhibitions taking place in different venues across the city: Economy of Means; Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Country’s Side; Inner Space; What is Ornament?; and Natural Beauty. Below is the curatorial statements of each of the exhibitions.
Economy of Means
Curated by Éric Lapierre
It is a truth universally acknowledged that resources of all types, in all parts of the world, must be managed with greater consciousness and care–like 21st-century waxes. The principle suggests the challenge of using one means for multiple ends, and the Economy of Means investigates what makes this principle both a mark and a precondition of a rational architecture. It is a multisensory exhibition that draws on a large number of contemporary and historical examples, to explore the innovative ways in which architects and designers are guided towards more responsible, ethical, sustainable and, ultimately, beautiful solutions to local and global challenges.
Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Country’s Side
Curated by Sébastien Marot
Taking stock of the severe environmental predicaments now confronting us around the world, this exhibition intends to ignite a reflection (retro and pro-spective) on the strong link between the twin disciplines of agriculture and architecture, and on their growing estrangement since the industrial revolution. It aims to learn from agricultural scientists, activists, and designers who have consistently explored the hypothesis of a future of energy descent and its consequences, for the redesign and maintenance of living territories. What if we consider permaculture not only as a kind of architecture? What about redefining architecture’s rationality and economy of means today?
Agriculture and Architecture: McLean, Virginia. December 1978. Courtesy Lisbon Architecture Triennale
Curated by Mariabruna Fabrizi and Fosco Lucarelli
Aiming to underline the dialectical confrontation between creative imagination and rational thought, this exhibition looks behind the curtains of the design process, searching for different ways the cognitive process of imagination takes place and how it gets translated into an architectural work. In reclaiming the central role of rationality, however, the investigation does not propose abandoning the richness of multiple sources of inspiration, nor does it limit the freedom to explore material and immaterial territories beyond the boundaries of the discipline. Instead, it offers a landscape of an in-between reality and represents under-explored links between architecture, culture, and collective thought.
Inner Space. Ph. Fabio Cunha
What is Ornament?
Curated by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene
Rather than calling for definitive answers, this exhibition opens up different angles by evoking artworks, objects, furniture, books, movies, and photographs to enhance ornament as a historically founded element with different nuances of meaning. This exhibition will explain how ornament has never wholly disappeared, reconnecting to its long-lost history, and demonstrating how it can still exist as an essential issue in contemporary architecture. Can ornament still be considered an integral part of architecture? Can we still talk about ornament as a quantitative and qualitative choice? Can we still imagine the precise positioning of ornament?
Curated by Laurent Esmilaire and Tristan Chadney
How can the rational nature of construction embody a form of natural beauty, as an internal coherence of the architectural artifact? This exhibition explores an intelligible beauty by looking at constructive rationality as a system for the creation of an organic architecture, allowing architecture to be understandable and shareable by all. This reflection leads to questions beyond the strictly technical and scientific limits of structure and construction, highlighting an exemplary genealogy of major works from around the world, combined with a selection of student projects, from the Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Universities Competition Award.
Natural Beauty: Universidades Marvila. Ph. Claudio Balas
DATE October 3 – December 2, 2019 / HEAD CURATOR Éric Lapierre / CURATORIAL TEAM Sébastien Marot, Mariabruna Fabrizi, Fosco Lucarelli, Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene, Laurent Esmilaire, and Tristan Chadney / VENUES Sinel de Cordes Palace, Garagem Sul (CCB, MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology and in two new venues: MNAC), National Museum of Contemporary Art and Culturgest, and The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation / TEXT Press Kit Lisbon Architecture Triennale