( e )   INFO 22.JUL.2011

Launching an exploratory analysis
on the idea of “Useless”

Bringing its international and experimental nature to the heart of downtown Lisbon, EXD’11/LISBOA will take the Portuguese capital by storm from September 28—November 27. The design biennale, now in its sixth edition, will revolve around the theme Useless, questioning the idea of use and the absence thereof, paving the way for new insights and interpretations on what we are producing and consuming, why and how.

Starting on the Opening Week of September 28—October 2 and throughout the course of EXD’11/LISBOA, the Useless motif will be surveyed from different angles. Five exhibitions set the program in motion: Sidelines, curated by design historian Emily King, explores the relativity of material culture and the way in which the spirit of collections tends to change over time. Utilitas Interrupta, curated by architect Joseph Grima, sets out to closely examine infrastructural works once important and now forgotten, magically erased from collective consciousness despite their often gargantuan proportions. Useless? presents two polarized curatorial approaches—one by product designer Jonathan Olivares, the other by design writer Max Bruinsma and design consultant Hans Maier-Aichen—introducing an alternative value system by which to establish uselessness.
The biennale will also see the birth of Platform, a research project that unveils boundary-pushing work reshaping the design discipline, as well as the premiere of Don’t Look Back: Fernando Brízio, the first in a series of contemporary designer retrospectives.

Other EXD’11/LISBOA program highlights feature Portuguese studio R2 Design curating five site-specific urban interventions by international graphic designers in one of Lisbon’s main squares; the incisive Open Talks, which foster debate on vital issues of contemporary culture and creative production, hosted by Serpentine gallery director Hans Ulrich Obrist, architect Pedro Gadanho and design curator Zoë Ryan; the gripping Lisbon Lectures, which shed light on the leading concerns of contemporary creative thinking; and the release of two publications: a critical reader for Useless, and a volume that captures and propagates the 2009 It’s About Time biennale. The complete programme also includes a Film Cycle and other Special Projects, in a total of 22 events.

Departing from previous editions of the biennale and their citywide scope, all EXD’11/LISBOA core events take place within walking distance in and around the heart of downtown Lisbon. Thus the biennale advocates a lower carbon footprint, inviting rediscovery of the city and the creation of new, intriguing itineraries on foot.

Palácio Quintela welcomes curators and participants in anticipation of the biennale

EXD’s main office at Palacio Quintela, in the heart of downtown Lisbon, has served as the stage for the preparatory meetings for EXD’11/LISBOA. Design writer Max Bruinsma, design consultant Hans Maier-Aichen, design historian Emily King, designer Ian Anderson, designer Jonathan Olivares and many other participants have visited the 17th century palace for work sessions constructing the many facets of design biennale.

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Institutional Partners:
Câmara Municipal de Lisboa; Ministério da Economia e da Inovação;
Turismo de Portugal; Ministério da Cultura.

Sponsor: Heineken.
Associated Brand: Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

Co-production: Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema. Action For Age Partners: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian; The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce; Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa. Cooperation Protocols: Moda Lisboa; MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda, Colecção Francisco Capelo. Supporters: ATL – Associação de Turismo de Lisboa; Cision Portugal. Media Supporters:Arqa; Étapes; Eye Magazine; Items; Neo2; Revista Up; Sapo.pt.

With the high patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic Aníbal Cavaco Silva. Statute of cultural interest, within the patronage of the arts law.
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