The prestigious research institution OrganicArchitect, based in San Francisco, promotes an annual award to distinguish innovative, sustainable and ecologically efficient projects in architecture, urbanism and design. One of the recipients of Organic Awards 2007, the 3rd edition, was "Betão Orgânico" (Organic Concrete), a project developed by architects João Costa Ribeiro and João Caldeira Ferrão, founders of Portuguese studio e-studio, in collaboration with Sónia Oliveira.

Debuted at ExperimentaDesign 2005, under the theme "The Medium is the Matter", "Organic Concrete" was among the creative and cultural proposals that reflected the evolution of matter and subsequent interactions between creator and receiver.

According to its authors, the project arose from a need to fuse the organic and the inorganic in a single element. By synthesizing natural and artificial matter, Organic Concrete enables the development of living permeable surfaces, exploring the material's ability to retain moisture, releasing it in dry weather. When applied to a surface, this new type of concrete offers an innovative way of bringing back and integrating natural aspects in urban public spaces. João Ferrão and João Costa Ribeiro have recently signed an agreement with a Portuguese company with a view to the industrial production of organic concrete.

Founded in 2003, e-studio works in architecture, urbanism and design.


The exhibition "Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1986-2007", open to the public from September 7 to November 2 at LX Factory, registered a total of 16.100 visitors. This means that this emerging cultural venue in Lisbon welcomed a daily average of 277 visitors or, 35 visitors per hour. On Sunday November 2, the exhibition's last day called for extended opening hours, with a record turnout of 782 visitors, both national and international.

For 58 days, ExperimentaDesign's Education Service carried out a programme of activities that fostered the audience's closer involvement with the work of this leading Swiss architect.

The exhibition welcomed 1540 students of 35 different schools from all over Portugal, with an emphasis on Lisbon and Oporto, as well as several free visits from classes of architecture graduate and undergraduate students.

"Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1986-2007" will continue its international tour with a forthcoming presentation scheduled for 2009.


The Education Service of ExperimentaDesign has developed a pedagogic program for children and youngsters aged 6 to 12 centered on the exhibition Peter Zumthor: Building and Projects 1986-2007, now showing at LXFactory, in Lisbon.

Relying on a sensorial, playful experience, the Education Service aims to stimulate younger audience members' interest in architecture, highlighting features such as construction, urban space, nature and everyday living. This initiative complements ExperimentaDesign's strategy aimed at high school, college and technical & professional school students.

On 13 October, ExperimentaDesign's Education Service welcomed two 4th grade classes from Escola da Torre. Entitled "Discovering Kolumba", the tour began with the Kolumba Museum model that, given its large scale, allows the children to literally enter the building represented.
Climbing a couple of small steps, it is with great curiosity and delight that the children come into direct contact with Kolumba's interior space. This proximity leads them to explore the various elements – ruins and chapel – that compose the building, which prompted a lively exchange on their meaning.

Next came Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch's life-size film installation, shown simultaneously on 6 screens and recreating in an enveloping way several of Zumthor's buildings as well as their surroundings, including the sounds, weather elements like the rain and the sun and the movements of its dwellers. Responding to this richly sensorial experience, the youngsters then talked about their own ideas on life in and outside buildings, their preferences and doubts.

Back to Kolumba Museumás large-scale model, the young visitors took part in a drawing activity, being asked to depicted their strongest impressions of the afternoons' new findings.

The visit came to a close with an itinerary through the Third Floor, where by observation of the various models on display, the children gained a perception of the diversity in shape, material, size and type in Zumthor's architecture.

The motivation and commitment of "Escola da Torre" school in participating in this guided tour, coupled with the enthusiasm of both students and teachers, are a boost to ExperimentaDesign's resolve to pursue similar Education Service activities and programs.


In October, ExperimentaDesign is starting a cycle of guided tours by four architecture experts to the exhibition Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1986-2007, open to the public from September 7 to November 2, at LX Factory, in Lisbon.

Taking the challenge of "Peter Zumthor as seen by…" as starting point, Ana Vaz Milheiro, Ricardo Carvalho, Diogo Seixas Lopes and Gonçalo Byrne are invited to share with the audience their personal view and insights on the Swiss architect's emblematic work.

Every Wednesday in October, 18H30, at LX Factory

October 8_Ana Vaz Milheiro
October 15_Ricardo Carvalho
October 22_Diogo Seixas Lopes
October 29_Gonçalo Byrne


Peter Zumthor's lecture in Aula Magna Auditorium is sold out, 10 days ahead of the event, with a total of 1,237 tickets purchased.

Experimenta is extremely pleased with the level of interest Peter Zumthor's event has generated, which will bring to Lisbon a diversified audience from all over Portugal and abroad. Sharing, live and firs-hand, the creative thinking and experience of Zumthor's work and likewise uncover the depth of his documentation archive will no doubt be meaningful occasions for both the attending audience and the pursuit of Experimenta's mission.

Peter Zumthor will be in Lisbon on September 6 to deliver a lecture and or the opening of the leading exhibition Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1986-2007 at LXFactory.


On 24 July, Hotel Altis in Lisbon was the chosen setting for the presentation of two major events to the national press and international correspondents in Portugal: the programme for ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam 2008, taking place in the Dutch capital from 18 September to 2 November; and the first edition of Warm-Up ExperimentaDesign Lisboa 2009, set for 5 to 7 September 2008 in Lisbon.

Guta Moura Guedes highlighted the importance of Hotel Altis as a partner of ExperimentaDesign for promotional actions as well as hosting participants and events within the Biennale's programme in Lisbon. A 100% Portuguese hotel chain, Altis has a long history of endorsing the work of Portuguese architects, designers and artists. Located in the Lisbon city center, Hotel Altis boasts interiors by seminal Portuguese designer Daciano da Costa and has established itself as a reference among Portuguese hotels.

As it commemorates its 35th anniversary, Altis is preparing to launch two new prestige hotel units – Hotel Altis Belém and Hotel Altis Marquês – which promise to enrich Lisbon's architectural landscape.


On 24 July a cooperation protocol between Experimenta and Ordem dos Arquitectos - the Portuguese professional association for architects - was signed by their respective presidents, Guta Moura Guedes and João Rodeia.

The ceremony took place after the press conference that announced both ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam 2008's programme (18 Sep – 2 Nov 2008) and the first edition of ExperimentaDesign Lisboa 2009 Warm-Up. Taking place this year in Lisbon from 5 to 7 September, this curtain-raider composed of several different events will launch the coming edition of the Biennale in Lisbon in 2009.

During his address, João Rodeia reiterated the importance of partnerships of this kind and of Ordem dos Arquitectos openness to civil society, with a view to "strengthening ties and a joint involvement in activities in the fields of architecture and design." The first stage of this collaboration consists in the Ordemás institutional endorsement of the exhibition Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1986-2007, which, Mr. Rodeia stated "arises firstly from the prominence achieved by this Swiss author's work in the international architecture scene, and the relevance of the initiative itself in the Portuguese context, surely one of the most significant to take place this year" and fits "the spirit" of the commemorations of the World Architecture Day, on October 6.

Guta Moura Guedes emphasized OA's commitment in bringing the present protocol into existence, thus initiating a new cooperation platform within the scope of ExperimentaDesign Lisboa 2009.


On July 16, 11 am, Experimenta Association — responsible for ExperimentaDesign Lisboa/Amsterdam Biennale — signed a sponsorship protocol with EDP – Energias de Portugal. S.A, Portugal's leading energy provider.

The EDP Group is now formally an Official Sponsor of ExperimentaDesign Lisboa 2009, themed "It's About Time".

The signature ceremony was held in the EDP Sustainability Space, in the presence of Guta Moura Guedes and Mário Carneiro, from Experimenta, Jorge Cruz de Morais, Paulo Campos Costa and Ana Sofia Vinhas, from the Executive Board of Directors and Brand & Communication Department of EDP – Energias de Portugal.

In her statement, Guta Moura Guedes made a brief introduction to the theme of ExperimentaDesign Lisboa 2009: "It's About Time", emphasizing the Biennale's international dimension in Amsterdam, in 2008, with a distinct and dynamic programme. She also pointed out the importance of this type of partnership with private entities, building bridges betweem culture and the economic sector.

This protocol secures the first of a restricted set of private sponsors acknowledged by Experimenta as like-minded partners committed to sustainability, innovation, education, awareness raising and empowerment, coming together to support a cultural project that is already a national and international reference.


The first curatorial Think Tank to discuss the programme of the coming 2009 edition took place in Lisbon, at Palácio Pombal, from 6 to 8 June.

A group of international invited curators, creative practitioners, designers and architects attended this work session to reflect on the future of the Biennale, in the year that signals its first edition in the Netherlands and the return of its regular activities in Lisbon. "It's About Time", the theme for 2009, was also under discussion, along with the different approaches that will give rise to this edition's core events.
The first ExperimentaDesign 2009 Think Tank was attended by Ed Annink (NL), Max Bruinsma (NL), Emily Campbell (UK), João Paulo Feliciano (PT), Pedro Gadanho (PT), Emily King (UK), Jacopo Crivelli Visconti (BR) and Guta Moura Guedes (PT).

The Think Tanks are a crucial element in the construction and structuring of ExperimentaDesign. They constitute moments of trans-disciplinary, all-encompassing reflection, where different expertises and perspectives converge in an atmosphere of productive brainstorming and dialogue. The EXD Think tanks were inspired by the Critical Body, a trial group formed by leading Portuguese intellectuals invited to debate and critically contribute to Experimenta's programme proposals. Meeting informally in numerous sessions held between 1999 and 2003, the Critical Body included, among others, Manuel Costa Cabral, Miguel Wandschneider, Luís Osório, Eduardo Prado Coelho and José Bragança de Miranda.


The major exhibition Peter Zumthor: Buildings and Projects 1986/2007 is being presented in Lisbon, from September 7 to November 2, at LX Factory.
This exhibition is the main event of Warm-Up Experimentadesign Lisboa 2009, a programme novelty that also includes the Official Launch of the 2009 edition.

This is the largest and most comprehensive display to date dedicated to the work of the acclaimed Swiss architect, featuring 29 buildings and projects, 2 life-size video installations, 6 large-scale models and a wealth of plans, sketches, drawings and models. As well as affording an in depth look at the the author's most recent output, the exhibition offers a unique, revealing look at Peter Zumthor's creative processes, conceptual logics and work methodology.

The presentation in Lisbon will be highlighted by a Peter Zumthor conference, to be held on September 6, at 5pm, in a rare opportunity to become acquainted with the architect's work process, live.
Tickets for sale at tickets@experimentadesign.pt


Negotiations were closed with the Lisbon Mayor, António Costa, allowing the relaunch of the ExperimentaDesign biennale in the Portuguese capital. The protocol, approved on a session of the municipal executive on January 23, secures 3 consecutive editions.

To make possible this restart, protocols are being prepared with the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and the Ministry of Culture which, along with Lisbon Town Hall, provide the institutional ground for the biennale in Portugal.

But the biennale's return will not take place solely in Lisbon. ExperimentaDesign will go international, taking this Portuguese brand and innovative event — considered an international case study of success — to another country.

Following the cancellation of its 5th edition in Lisbon — communicated nationally and internationally in January 2007 — Experimenta was formally invited by Amsterdam, in July 2007, to bring the Portuguese biennale to that city.

With that invitation in hand, and after António Costa being appointed Mayor of Lisbon, Experimenta preferred to challenge the two cities and the two countries to develop a joint international collaboration for the implementation of the ExperimentaDesign biennale. A similar challenge was issued to the Minister of Economy, Manuel Pinho, and the Minister of Culture, Isabel Pires de Lima.

After the biennale's one-year interruption and an exciting period of work with the two cities, a platform between Lisbon and Amsterdam has already been defined for the implementation of ExperimentaDesign in both cities, on alternate years and always with a different programme.

For that purpose, ExperimentaDesignAmsterdamFoundation was established in Amsterdam, on January 7, to be a representative of Experimenta in Holland. The relaunch shall take place in Amsterdam, in September 2008, coming the biennale back to Lisbon in 2009.

Experimenta is convinced that this will be a nonpareil opportunity to develop an innovative project setting an example as to how culture and design can be the ground for a stimulating collaborative process between two cities and two countries in the current European context.

Lisbon, January 28, 2008