The 6th edition of the Biennale discusses "useless"

After the success of EXD’09, which registered nearly 150 thousand visitors, the coming edition of the Lisbon Biennale will kick the cultural life of the Portuguese capital into high gear starting September 28. The Opening Week of EXD’11 unfolds until October 2 and will be packed with events, including programme highlights as the lectures, debates and openings.

Useless is the proposed theme for EXD’11. The programme seeks to provide insight and incentive, challenging the audience to discuss and reflect on concepts and preconceptions connected to use and its absence. The theme is provocative and stirring and leads to concrete issues: questioning creative production and consumption from the point of view of usefulness, function and use of resources to answer problems; putting the production process within a framework of contemporary ethical and aesthetical concepts, in an increasingly global world. Likewise, Useless can inspire a more conceptual and symbolic reflection on the importance of things like beauty, dream and invention.

The 6th edition of the Biennale brings to Lisbon some of the most thought-provoking leading figures in graphic design, product design, social design and architecture, among others. The Portuguese capital will once again become the setting for an international multidisciplinary platform where curators propose new, bespoke content in the sphere of design culture and contemporary creativity. Mixing academic theorists and specialist practitioners, EXD addresses not only the creative community but also the audience at large.

The Biennale disseminates knowledge, triggering critical thinking through lectures, debates, exhibitions and urban interventions, film, workshops and parallel events. Publishing will also be a strong bet of EXD, with the launch of two publications: “Useless Reader”, a collection of critical essays focused on the theme of the current Biennale edition and “It’s about Time”, a new critical perspective on the contents of EXD’09.

Running for 61 days, the programme of EXD’11 is hosted in prime spaces across the city until November 27. Connecting events and spaces, Biennale itineraries give the visitor a chance to rediscover striking architectural heritage and urban dynamics: the core exhibitions are located within walking distance of each other, while the Parallel Events are scattered throughout the city. At centre of it all, the Lounging Space is the beating heart of the Biennale, featuring its own calendar of events and laid-back atmosphere. An absolute must-see with something new and exciting to experience every day!

28 September - 27 November

Opening Week:



+351 210 993 045 T
+351 210 963 866 F

Rua Nova da Trindade 20
1200-303 Lisboa

view map
head quarters

Rua Cidade do Lobito, Atelier 3
1800-088 Lisboa

view map