Ana Neiva e Diogo Aguiar
Fertile Futures expresses the understanding of "The Laboratory of the Future", the general theme proposed by Lesley Lokko for the 18th International Exhibition of Architecture – La Biennale di Venezia 2023, which calls for, in addition to a set of urgent issues, a set of how-to guidelines. “The Laboratory of the future" urges us to create, from a methodological perspective, an exploratory programme, simultaneously clear and complex, based on laboratory and collaborative dynamics.
The title of the proposal underlines the speculative character of the Representation of Portuguese Architecture, aiming to contribute to the design of fairer, more inclusive, more equitable and more diverse Futures, but also more Fertile ones, heralding a greener, more imaginative, generous, abundant, positive, productive, responsible, feminine, and plural future.
The programme proposed by Fertile Futures defends the laboratory dimension of architectural design in dialogue with other disciplinary areas, and the ability to move forward, seeking to imagine the future, requiring the contribution of multidisciplinary discourse in the design of solutions to emerging issues that tend to go beyond the singular domain of the work of architects. While discussing and proposing strategies for the management, protection and transformation of freshwater and contributing to a debate that is common and global, Fertile Futures focuses on the scarcity and management of this resource, in the Portuguese territory.
Investing in the strategic complementarity between practice, theory and teaching in architecture, a tripartite approach to experimentation and common reflection is defined: seven Design Teams, whose work is the body of the propositional exhibition in Venice; five Assemblies of Thought, moments of reciprocal (re)learning based on the coexistence of knowledge; and an International Summer Seminar where students collectively rehearse speculative installations.
Expanding the ephemeral existence of a national representation in Venice, Fertile Futures will involve new generations in the development of solutions for the reservoirs of the future, based on close contact with seven hydrogeographies, exemplifying the anthropocentric action on water, natural and finite resources.
Young architectural ateliers are encouraged to work with specialists from other disciplinary areas, starting from design laboratories. Based on innovation and mediation strategies which seek to understand different scales of reality, the common imagination of more positive scenarios is encouraged and other ways of performing architecture are also fostered.
Based on local involvement with the specificities of territorially dispersed hydrogeographies, the propositional solutions under development in the Design Teams aim to promote forms of global action, as well as the discussion of new ways of operating at the territorial scale, as well as at the small scale.
The work developed by the seven teams of architects and specialists occupies the seven exhibition halls in the Palazzo Franchetti. In the central hall, a water line organises the space and its flow emanating from a gesture that evokes symbolic and metaphorical dimensions, in a sensory and emotional experience.
Assemblies of Thought
Supporting and expanding the work developed by the Design Teams, Fertile Futures has a group of consultants, from different disciplinary areas and a wide territorial scope. It constitutes an independent thought laboratory that informs and supports the construction of speculative architectural visions of social, environmental and climate justice, in an active and participatory way, fostering the development of multidisciplinary practices.
The Assemblies of Thought, in multiple locations between Portugal and Venice, allow for the monitoring, support and expansion of all these experiences, deepening and enriching the thematic approach, as well as contributing to “tracing a path for the public”, involving the local, Portuguese and international community in the discussion of the proposed central theme. The consultants are: Álvaro Domingues, Ana Tostões, Andres Lepik, Francisco Ferreira, Luca Astorri, Margarida Waco, Marina Otero, Patti Anahory, Pedro Gadanho and Pedro Ignacio Alonso.
International Summer Seminar
Thematic awareness, collaborative experience, and an understanding of an expanded field of action are shared at the International Summer Seminar. The " temporary displacement” of architecture students from diverse contexts, to Fundão, aims at the horizontal sharing of knowledge, through "direct experience" and the opportunity to establish new dialogues.
Fundão is part of the list of eight Portuguese cities included in the European Union Mission for Adaptation to Climate Change. The municipality is a territory that is deeply affected by water scarcity and highly intensive agriculture, fires and desertification, and simultaneously, is representative of investments in social inclusion and expanding technological developments in the inland region.
With tutoring from the Design Teams and the participation of national and international students, selected by open call and reinforced by institutional partnerships, the intervention materialises in the self-construction of installations scattered throughout the territory, developing strategies for the capture, fixation, use and/or redistribution of water in the municipality of Fundão.
The International Summer Seminar aims to raise awareness in future generations of alternative ways of doing architecture, favouring the cornerstones and the hopeful future of the project Fertile Futures, beyond the period of the exhibition.
Addressing common and intersecting issues, Fertile Futures defends that a laboratory cannot present known results at the outset and, therefore, collaborating with other disciplinary areas, it promotes the production of speculative investigations, presented in word and drawing form, for an exhibition that thinks about a fertile, sustainable and equitable future, to be presented at the 18th International Exhibition of Architecture – La Biennale di Venezia 2023. In summary, Fertile Futures reiterates the transformative capacity of an architectural exhibition, as a knowledge production platform.
Andreia Garcia is an architect, curator, editor, researcher, and university professor. Her research field is defined by an architectural practice that expands the disciplinary intersection with complementary areas. Her interests focus on contemporary architectural practice in an era marked by intense technological advances and a growing ecological crisis. She is founder of the Architectural Affairs studio, founder, and director of the Art(e)facts Knowledge Biennial and co-founder of Galeria de Arquitetura, an independent space for the reflection and debate on architecture, city and territory. She was Visiting Assistant Professor at the Architecture School of the University of Minho and studio tutor at the Architectural Association, in London. She is Assistant Professor and Vice-President of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Beira Interior.
Ana Neiva is an architect, teacher, and researcher, with a PhD from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. She has been Visiting Assistant Professor at FAUP since 2013 and is Assistant Professor at FCAATI-ULP and Vice-director of the Centre for Studies in Architecture ARQ.ID at Lusófona University. She is a founding member of the research group Narrativas do Projeto Educativo em Arquitetura at CEAU-FAUP. She regularly participates as an author in international conferences and congresses, and in the organisation of scientific events. Her research focuses on the curatorship of architecture and on the expansion of the discipline to include the dimensions of art, society, health and well-being.
Diogo Aguiar is an architect, who graduated from FAUP (2008). He co-founded LIKEarchitects (2010-2015), selected for the Portuguese Official Representation of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014. In 2016 he established the Diogo Aguiar Studio, a multidisciplinary studio working between the boundaries of art and architecture, selected for the Portuguese Official Representation of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. He is co-founder and co-curator of Galeria de Arquitetura, an independent space for the reflection and debate on architecture, city and territory. He was co-curator of the Architecture Programme of Maia Contemporary Art Biennale (2019), Visiting Professor in the master’s in architecture at ISCTE-IUL (2020-2021) and Visiting Professor in the master’s in architecture at FAUP (2021-2022).
Space Transcribers is an organisation coordinated by the architects Daniel Duarte Pereira and Fernando P. Ferreira which explores ways to investigate, represent and imagine the built environment collaboratively. Their methodology is based on immersive investigations of the places and communities in which they operate, which through site-specific mediation and transcription actions, blur the boundaries between art and architecture. This non-profit organisation, based in Braga since 2015, develops research projects in collaboration with public entities related to different themes and contexts of Portuguese territory, such as transformation processes of the agricultural landscape, in its relationship between technological development and the management of hydrographic and soil resources, or in situations of socio-spatial conflict in urban regeneration processes.
Álvaro Domingues is a geographer with a PhD in Human Geography from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto in 1994. Since 1999, he has been a professor of the Integrated Master and PhD course and member of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto and a corresponding member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences. As a researcher at the Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism (CEAU-FAUP), he has developed a regular programme of research and publication on projects with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Foundation for Science and Technology, the Serralves Foundation, and the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, among others. At CEAU-FAUP his activity focuses on Human Geography, Landscape, Urbanism and Urban Policies.
Dulcineia Santos Studio
Dulcineia Santos Studio is an architecture studio, founded in 2018 by Dulcineia Santos. She is an architect who graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (2007). She was a trainee architect in Paris with Lacaton & Vassal (2005-2006) and worked with Herzog & De Meuron in Basel (2009-2017). She is a Guest Assistant at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, and co-author and co-editor of several independent projects and publications within Architectural and Photographic culture, mostly under the Pierrot le Fou seal, an entity she co-founded in 2012, after being awarded the SIM Award–Samsung.
João Pedro Matos Fernandes
João Pedro Matos Fernandes graduated in Civil Engineering from FEUP and holds a master's degree in Transportation from IST. He was a technician of CCRN (1990-1995), Assistant to the Secretary of State for Natural Resources and Head of Office of the Assistant Secretary of State of the Minister of the Environment (1996-1999), Administrator of Quaternaire Portugal (1999-2005), Manager at Nacala Port (Mozambique 2012-2013), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the municipal company Águas do Porto (2014-2015). He was the Minister of Environment, Minister of Environment and Energy Transition and Minister of Environment and Climate Action (2015-2022). Currently, he is Visiting Full Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and consultant at Instituto do Conhecimento.
Guida Marques graduated from DARQ-UC with the master’s dissertation Por uma arquitetura dos sentidos. While studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, she gave performances in peripheral places that made her reconsider how places with memory were built. Today she is a neo-rural, mixed media artist, politician and architect of the hinterlands who perceives architecture as a tangle of things and above all, treats it as a healing process, the healing of memory and the healing of the future. She makes performance art about these processes of architecture, about the reconstruction of a place, imbued with love for the ruins, and is an activist in defence of the rural environment, the forest, the springs, the rivers, animals, organic agriculture, and other traditions.
Érica Castanheira graduated in Environmental Engineering from the Agriculture School of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, with a master’s in Energy and Environmental Management from the University of Aveiro, and a PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Coimbra. She is the Vice-President of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra and a Guest Assistant Professor at the University of Coimbra. She develops research into the assessment of sustainability of the life cycle of products, of the carbon and water footprint of agri-food products and bioenergy. Of note is her co-creation work with the Department of Landscape Architecture – Harvard Graduate School of Design, which develops solutions to increase the resilience of the areas affected by the fires of 2017 in Arganil, adding value and promoting architecture as an artistic act but also as a vector of innovation and environmental sustainability.
Oficina Pedrêz was founded in 2020 in Porto by Matilde Cabral and Francisco Fonseca from the merger of the fashion development studio Fashion Office and the experimental architecture workshop Skrei, with works presented in institutions such as Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Columbia University, Royal Academy of Arts, Venice Architecture Biennale (2018) and Istanbul Design Triennale (2020), among others. Pedrêz emerges as a workshop for applied research in the areas of systemic ecology and housing subsistence, with ongoing projects: Cápsulas, designation for nomadic peri-urban off-grid units; Studere Sativa, a multidisciplinary studio for the study and development of constructions using cultivable materials; and Air-Water-Land Unit applied research on water self-sufficiency and territorial geoengineering.
Aurora Carapinha is a landscape architect, with a PhD in Landscape Arts and Techniques from the University of Evora, where she is assistant professor in the Department of Landscape, Environment and Planning. She is Director of the PhD course in Landscape Architecture at the University of Évora and researcher at the Centre for Art History and Artistic Research. Since 1996 she has been a guest lecturer of the Specialization Course in Conservation and Rehabilitation of Monuments and Historic Cities at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil and was a member of the Advisory Board of IPPAR. She demonstrates a great concern for and dedication to environmental issues, which she often deals with in collaboration with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Corpo is an architecture and art studio in the Algarve, founded in 2014 by Filipe Paixão. The studio bases its practice on the exploration and expansion of the elements of architectural anatomy through the practice of drawing and redesigning. The territorial condition of the Algarve geography strongly informs the studio’s project response, both in its built aspect and in the geographical aspect and the realities it provides, making use of invention and irony to subvert vernacular logics into contemporary attitudes. In 2020, it was awarded by Archdaily as one of the 20 best young practices and published Anatomias Possíveis [Possible Anatomies], a book containing thoughts, images of drawings and models produced since the beginning of the studio.
Eglantina Monteiro lives and works in Castro Marim and is an anthropologist and activist for environmental issues. She was Visiting Professor of Art Anthropology (FBAUP) and of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Algarve. In 2008 she co-founded Companhia das Culturas, a project developed around a hill in Barrocal Algarvio. She was co-curator of Memória da Amazónia – Expressões de Identidade e afirmação Étnica (Manaus, 2017), an exhibition that generated a major debate about the returning of Amerindian objects previously held in museums, to the descendants of those who produced them. She curated O Retorno do Mundo – Memória e Vertigem (Porto, 2017) an exhibition about the dryland orchard in Barrocal and Beira-Serra in the Algarve region, establishing connections among artists, scientists, or poets, reiterating the implications of different knowledge structures in the global transformations of the planet.
LAGOA DAS SETE CIDADES
lhéu is a young architecture studio, based on the island of São Miguel, founded by Rita Sampaio and Afonso Botelho Santos. The practice is based on a reflection of the place and overseas references, and translates into an architecture that celebrates colour, materials, and the narratives of its context. The ideas are explored and expressed with curiosity and enthusiasm, through a process of drawings, collages and models of different scales, that give rise to the investigation of the materials and spatial and formal possibilities of a contemporary architecture that intends to be the bearer of the memory and identity of the place.
João Mora Porteiro
João Mora Porteiro graduated in Geography and Regional Planning at the NOVA University of Lisbon and holds a PhD in Geography from the University of the Azores, where he has been a professor and researcher since 1990. His main areas of interest are territorial management in island areas, water resources management, climate change, nature conservation and regional geography, from an interdisciplinary perspective, with an emphasis on the transformative dynamics of Azorean landscapes. In addition to scientific research and university teaching activity, he has participated in several R&D projects and services, including more than 40 completed studies, supported by European, regional, and municipal funding. He is a member of the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO InBio – Azores).
Founded in 2016 by Ana Pedro Ferreira and Pedro Maria Ribeiro, Ponto Atelier's work consists of a dynamic field of experimentation with projects and ideas based on the memory of the past and contemporary design. After winning the 1st prize in the Duas casas nas Ilhas Selvagens [Two Houses on the Savage Islands] competition, they moved to Funchal and joined the City Office team. In 2021 they won the FAD award in the category of ephemeral installations with the INBETWEEN pavilion, Azores. Between 2014 and 2021 they were guest professors at the University of Évora, DAue and ISCTE, and tutors in the workshops W.A.V.E, IUAV Venice and Summer School Moytirra (Azores). In 2022 they integrated the exhibition The Young New curated by André Tavares, in Garagem Sul. Recently, in collaboration with CLAB Architettura and Angelo Renna, they won the international public competition Corso Libertà - Freiheitsstrasse (Merano, Italy).
Ana Salgueiro is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal, she has a master’s degree in African Lusophone Literature and graduated in LLM-Portuguese Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon. She is an integrated researcher at the CECC-UCP (Lisbon) and collaborator at the CEHA-AV and UMa-CIERL (Funchal). She is co-author and coordinator of the Journal TRANSLOCAL–Local and Urban Contemporary Cultures, and her work has been mainly concerned with the cultural systems of Lusophone Macaronesia, addressing issues such as: exile and human, cultural and textual mobility; the connections between culture and power; the relationships between cultural, imaginary and natural phenomena; and the role of artistic and academic discourse in contemporary societies.
Ministério da Cultura de Portugal
Pedro Adão e Silva, Ministro da Cultura
Direção-Geral das Artes
Américo Rodrigues, Diretor-Geral
Executive Production and Communication (DGARTES)
Maria João Ferreira
– TÂMEGA BASIN
– INTERNATIONAL DOURO
Dulcineia Santos Studio
João Pedro Matos Fernandes
– MIDDLE TAGUS
– ALQUEVA DAM
– MIRA RIVER
– LAGOA DAS SETE CIDADES
João Mora Porteiro
– MADEIRAN RIVERS
Pedro Ignacio Alonso
Communication and Editing
Visual identity and Graphic Design
Fran Seftel, Russell Shackleford, Anabel Goulart
Kennis Translations, S.A
Diogo Aguiar Studio
João L. Moreira
Exhibition display manufacturer
Publishing and Printing Production
Câmara Municipal do Fundão
Casa da Arquitectura
Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
Câmara Municipal de Faro
Câmara Municipal do Porto
Governo Regional da Região Autónoma
Fundação Marques da Silva
Fundação Serra Henriques
Jornal de Letras
RTP — Rádio e Televisão de Portugal