Open Call for 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale: Close Closer

“The craft and beauty of most built architecture is well known celebrated, praised and awarded. To situate it in contemporary language, it belongs to the 1%. For three months in Lisbon, in autumn 2013, we are interested in the 99%.”

Close, Closer, the third Lisbon Architecture Triennale, is initiating a discussion on the plurality of contemporary spatial practice. Led by chief curator Beatrice Galilee, a young curatorial team invites the audience at large to critically examine the potential of architectural output through experimental exhibitions, debates, performances and events across the Portuguese capital.

From September 12 to December 15, 2013, four curatorial projects will look at architecture as an agency for the transformation and design of space; as a living, social, cultural and political force whose role is changing in the current global scenario. The exhibition Future Perfect, curated by Liam Young, brings together an ensemble of scientists, technologists and visionaries to build tomorrow’s city. The Real and Other Fictions, curated by Mariana Pestana, works as a group of fully functioning, interdisciplinary interventions on the scale of 1:1 that explore the uncanny space between reality and fiction. Taking place in a public square in Lisbon, New Publics, curated by José Esparza, is a three-month-long program seeking to create a political stage to materialize arguments, controversies, proposals and strategies, geared towards reshaping a collective social reality. And Institute Effect invites 12 influential magazines, galleries, libraries and museums to exhibit themselves in Lisbon through a rotating curatorship, as a way of reflecting on their influential role in the outlining, commissioning and articulating of contemporary architectural discourse. In tandem, an expanded, multidisciplinary series of events will add resonance and introduce insight and input from other creative spheres.

Close, Closer aims to establish a platform to actively explore and propose alternative outputs for architectural skills, new ways in which it can further advance and, ultimately, transform our cities and the way we inhabit them. The Triennale has put in place four fast tracks to participation, four challenges seeking to inspire and generate critical mass. The goal is to engage as many people as possible, affording them the opportunity to make themselves heard and seen but also, and more importantly, to put at their disposal the means of realizing their ideas and pursuing their vision for a meaningful spatial practice.

This is a chance to work on a specific brief, formulating a project-based response that can be materialized and presented in Lisbon or to showcase independent projects with disciplinary or thematic affiliations with Close, Closer. For 3 months, the Triennale can be the stage to present your original ideas to an international audience of practitioners, opinion-leaders, policy-makers and citizens.

Architects, thinkers, students, artists, designers, strategists – and everybody in-between – are invited to join Close, Closer in a new, meaningful conversation about a more expansive, collaborative and connected architecture and spatial practice in our cities.

The Crisis-Buster Grant Program

In a direct response to the social fallout of recession and the cultural and civic deficit raging in crisis-ridden Europe, the Triennale is launching a program of small grants. In the amount of €500 to €2,500, the grants will be awarded to teams proposing crisis-busting, civic-minded ideas for Lisbon, and reflect the existing entrepreneurial and social spirit that has emerged in the city. We see this as an opportunity for architectural thinking and ideas to be applied to the city on a small scale while giving support and exposure to existing local projects. It is hoped that the resulting projects will not only attempt to solve problems and produce exciting, beautiful or profound contributions to the city, but also inspire others to read, understand and replicate them. The deadline for applications is February 18, 2013.

Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Universities Award Competition

The site of the competition for university students is the new headquarters of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the Sinel de Cordes Palace in Campo de Santa Clara, Lisbon. Students are invited to put forward a programmatic intervention for this Palace that addresses the theme of Close, Closer. It can be an installation of great beauty, drama or simplicity, an idea or a text, a publishing program or a radio station, a long-term element of infrastructure, or a site-specific piece for the opening. Students will be given a budget to make their intervention and proposals from interdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. The deadline for applications is February 18, 2013.

Call for Associated Projects

Proposals for independently funded projects that directly respond to the theme of Close, Closer are welcome. These ideas – from exhibitions to talks and one-off events – will form the fringe events of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. The overall theme can be interpreted and appropriated in many ways and we look forward to seeing reactions and ideas for collateral projects and events from all over the world. Applications will be reviewed every six weeks until May 6, 2013.

Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Début Award

For the first time, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale is presenting a Début award to a young architect or practice to celebrate their achievements and to encourage their career. Any office with an average age under 35 is eligible for this award and international entrants are welcome. In addition to applications, a shortlist of candidates will nominated by over 50 influential Portuguese and international figures. All candidates, either nominated or applying, will have to submit the same materials based on which they will be evaluated. The winner will be selected by the curatorial team and an expert nominated by the Triennale Board, from a shortlist created by over 50 influential Portuguese and international nominators. The prize is €5,000 and a shortlist of 10 will be given commendations. The deadline for applications is June 21, 2013.

Crowd Funding

In addition to inviting participation, the Triennale is also canvassing support by crowd-sourcing its funding. We are asking individuals – practitioners, students, institutions, small businesses or just interested citizens – to pledge their support to our mission and help us reach as many people as possible, through our event in Lisbon next year but also through our communication and content dissemination.

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