In these concept-focused panel debates, the Talk Host chooses the topic, invites the guests and moderates the discussion with the agents provocateurs, a mix of creative practitioners, journalists and academics. The floor is then opened to comments from the audience.

The Open Talks are a favourite among students, specialists, professionals and opinion-makers, giving them an opportunity to engage in a lively exchange with well-known international agents on vital issues of contemporary culture and creative production.
29, 30 Sept and 1, 2 Oct

Antigo Tribunal da Boa-Hora
Largo da Boa-Hora, 13
1200-062 Lisboa

Subway: Linha Azul, Linha Verde – Baixa-Chiado
Bus: Terreiro do Paço – 36/ 44/ 709/ 711/ 714/ 732/ 740/ 745/ 759/ 760/ 781/ 782/ 790/ 794/
Tram: 28E

Free admission,
according to room capacity


Talk host: Zoë Ryan (GB)
Participants: Aaron Cope (CA), Joost Grootens (NL), Mischer’Traxler (AT)

Any discussion today of private and public spaces must include not only the design of buildings, objects and the physical landscape, but also the increased influence of data flows that run through them. Digital technologies are changing the nature and intent of our built environment, blurring distinctions between the real and virtual, and challenging architects and designers to rethink how information is represented and displayed. Inspired by contemporary innovations, designers are intent on generating dynamic methods of collecting, analyzing, and representing information for various uses both online and off. Rather than static formats, the most inventive projects encourage animated conditions, in which time and space are no longer fixed states but continuously transform and adapt in relation to new and updated information, as well as individual and collective needs in an effort to more accurately reflect the endlessly changing state of daily life.

Zoë Ryan


Talk host: Pedro Gadanho (PT)
Participants: Alexandra Lange (US), Folke Köbberling, Koeberling Kaltwasser (DE), Gretchen Mokry, Architecture for Humanity (US)

The name of this talk evokes the title of a recent conference by Peter Eisenman. In “Wither Architecture?” the gentle and mature starchitect situated his recent practice within a double condition of lateness: a late work in the career of the author, and also an inevitable expression of the often called late capitalism. A charming weakness emerged from the almost anxious, if self-ironic, attempt to inscribe his work in the annals of architectural history. Eisenman’s obsessive use of fictional, historical or topographical grids to intellectualize and justify the form of his buildings emerged as a means to achieve architectural legitimization. However, this was also a Piranesian prison that kept the creator from the pure creative act. Uttering a kind of last will, the architect aspired to one of the most useless and unreachable aspects of architecture: everlasting recognition.
So as to produce relevant architecture, do we really need the various legitimations of visibility? Is architectural culture utterly useless or is its thinking strictly necessary to reiterate again and again the ultimate, unobvious usefulness of buildings?

Pedro Gadanho


Talk host: Hans Ulrich Obrist (CH)
Participants: Enzo Mari (IT), Thomas Lommée (BE)

This Talk departs from Hans Ulrich Obrist’s work do it.
do it stems from an open exhibition model where individual instructions can open empty spaces for occupation and invoke possibilities for the free interpretation and rephrasing of artworks.
The designers’ instructions specify the participation of community members, bridging the gap with performance sites.
Everyday actions and materials serve as the starting point for the designs to be recreated at each “performance site” according to the designers’ written instructions. Each realisation of do it occurs as an activity in time and space. Meaning is multiplied as the various interpretations of the texts accumulate in venue after venue.
To create work according to do it each museum must select and create at least fifteen of the thirty potential actions, thus ensuring that not only will the individual designs diverge as a result of interpretation, but that a new group constellation will emerge each time the exhibition is presented. At the end of each do it exhibition the hosting institution is obliged to destroy the artworks and respective instructions. The discrete components from which the work was made are to be returned to their original context, making do it almost completely reversible.

Hans Ulrich Obrist


Talk host: Hans Maier-Aichen (DE), Ed Annink (NL)
Participants: Hilde Teerlinck (BE), Karen Ryan (GB), Martí Guixé (ES), Walter Amerika (NL), Zeger Reyers (NL)

During the last decade, designers have become editors and producers of their own lines or editions. Though hard or impossible to produce for the mass market, these concepts nevertheless represent a rethinking of design's role between culture and industry.
Designers are becoming probing artists, explorative scientists, and conscious team workers, taking part in fundamental research that often circumvents industry’s standard codes and procedures.
This talk centers on designers’ current focus on social values, (bio)technological innovation and historical content. The activity of 'solo players', companies, museums and universities will be discussed, as these domains interact and influence each other, prompting basic questions about design's future playing field.
This talk will look at collaboration-driven design thinking that crosses the boundaries of natural sciences, art and anthropology to reach a new breed of objects.

Hans Maier-Aichen & Ed Annink
your photos
at the EXD'11 pool
on Flickr

Simultaneous translation