Lisbon Architecture Triennale announces plans in Venice

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale launches in Venice
(Image credit: Tiago Casanova)

The previous Lisbon Architecture Triennale in 2016 was curated by André Tavares and the late Diogo Seixas Lopes. 

Biennale time means a rush of announcements, big and small, as other, smaller, events try and get into the spotlight and exploit the unmissable opportunity of having the world’s design media crammed into one place. Founded in 2007, the Triennale makes the most of Portugal’s ability to punch well above its weight on the international architecture scene. And so for many scribes, Venice kicked off in a small room up the steep, winding staircases of the Fondamenta Zattere ai Saloni in Dorsoduro.

The Triennale’s curatorial team, headed up by Éric Lapierre, announced the theme for the fifth exhibition, ‘The Poetics of Reason.’ Drawing on Aristotle’s pioneering piece of literary theory – that of all literature being assembled from a kit of elements that drive narrative forward – the Triennale examines how this might be applied to architecture. Lapierre described Lisbon as a ‘great urban operating theatre’, a ‘laboratory for the dissection of architecture’s component parts’. 

There will five central shows, including ‘The Economy of Means’, ‘Permaculture for Architects,’ ‘Inner Space’, ‘What is Ornament?’ and ‘Natural Beauty,’ and the curatorial team has all bases covered, from exploring virtual worlds to looking at ways in which architecture could re-shape the agriculture industry.

‘We’ve built more since the beginning of the 20th century than since the beginning of humanity,’ Lapierre notes. Lisbon 2019 will hopefully open up new debates about the ever-changing perception of architecture. Above all, can the historic values of architecture be diverted and directed into ever more socially and environmentally conscious ways?

Those demanding an annual architecture fix received a new date for their diaries, and the event ended with an improvised performance by Thurston Moore, smashing merry hell out of his Fender on the palazzo’s rooftop as he blended the sound of 12 distorted strings with the bells of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

See all the latest news and stories from Venice Architecture Biennale here

The curatorial team for the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2019

The curatorial team for the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2019.

(Image credit: Luísa Ferreira)

Wallpaper Lisbon Triennale New Publics Superpowers Of Ten

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale in 2013 featured a play titled the SuperPowers of Ten, the play was created by Spanish architect Andres Jaque and his team, The Office of Political Innovation.

(Image credit: Jorge Lopez Conde)


The Lisbon Architecture Triennale will run 3 October - 2 December 2019. For more information visit the website

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.