Before & Beyond

The EXD Biennale ends with the theme BEFORE & BEYOND

Over the years, the many themes defined by the Biennale have always had a prospective nature, often anticipating questions and ideas that proved to be essential in the years following each edition. Furthermore, these themes have always been characteristically timeless, remaining relevant to this day.

In 2017, with the closing of the Biennale, we look back at its previous themes, understanding them as part of the the event’s memory, while launching them as directives for reflexion about the present and the future.

Thus, the main guideline of EXD’17 is the idea that it is essential to establish a positive correlation between the past – from a point of view of the experience and knowledge acquired – and the design of the future. This edition underlines that this dialectic does not in any shape or form compromise innovation and creative ability. The past represents far more than a mere archive, it is also a source of questioning and knowledge, and the solid base for the foundations of a bold and even disruptive future.

The theme is articulated through two main approaches, one that revisits the 9 themes explored by the 9 previous editions, consolidating and transporting them into the present and the future, and another that indicates some of the areas of research and knowledge production that will be continued through Experimenta’s day to day activity.

As the last official moment of the Biennale, EXD’17 is especially symbolic. Amongst other elements, it aims to celebrate some of EXD’s more structuring and identifying features. On the one hand, its strong international component, and on the other, its profound interest in national creativity. Furthermore, this edition also celebrates the prospective and investigative character of the platform, which has always applied methods of developing content that strongly contributed to its importance as a vehicle for innovation and the transformation of knowledge.


Centro Cultural de Belém

* Cancelled due to reasons beyond the control of the organisation. New date to be announced soon. We apologise for the inconvenience.

National Coach Museum

Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus: 28/714/727/729/751 Tram: 15E Train: Belém Boat: Estação Fluvial de Belém
Avenida da Índia 136, 1300-300 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus: 28/714/727/729/751 Tram: 15E Train: Belém Boat: Estação Fluvial de Belém
Doors Open: 10:30
The ticket for the Lisbon Conferences includes the entire programme.
The order of the lectures may be changed.
The Conferences do not have simultaneous translation.
Alice Rawsthorn
Arjun Appadurai
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Miguel Nicolelis
Philippe Starck
Stefan Sagmeister
Tyler Brûlé

This year the Lisbon Conferences return to the Main Auditorium of the CCB.

The various themes defined by the Biennale have always had a prospective character, underlining questions that became crucial in the years following each edition. These themes have also always been timeless, never ceasing to be relevant.

The model chosen for this edition has the duration of one full day, in which 7 internationally renowned Speakers have been invited to each explore one of the 7 themes of the previous 9 editions. In line with EXD’17’s theme, Before & Beyond, each guest is challenged to explore one of the past themes, transporting them to 2017 and into the future. The subjects and areas debated are vast, including design, ethics, architecture, sociology, creativity, neuroscience and politics.

Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn


Alice Rawsthorn is not only an award-winning design critic, but a firm believer that design is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal to improve our quality of life. Having started her career as a news journalist and foreign correspondent, her passion for design was ignited by the courage and verve of radical designers such as Buckminster Fuller and László Moholy-Nagy. read more …

Author of the critically acclaimed book Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, she has had an essential role in the contemporary understanding of design, speaking at important events across the globe, including TED and the World Economic Forum in Davos. With a truly bold and comprehensive world view, Alice understands design as a slippery and elusive phenomenon, believing that all inspiring design projects have one thing in common – they begin with a dream – which is why the greatest designers are almost always the biggest dreamers, rebels and renegades.

Based in London, she is chair of trustees at Chisenhale Gallery and the dance group Michael Clark Company, and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery. A founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign, she was was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts. Her next book, Design as an Attitude, will be published in 2018.


Intersections of and in Design

In 1999 the first edition of the EXD Biennale took place. With the aim of stimulating reflection, criticism and knowledge concerning project culture, the biennale was dedicated to the observation of the various intersections made possible by design, both as a work methodology and as an instrument for culture and communication.

That year, the theme proposed to:

“Approach intersections of and in design, not only from a work-based perspective, according to different generational perspectives, theoretical frameworks, experiences and methods of experimentation, but also as an expansion of knowledge and influence in other areas – as well as a combination of both, in fields such as scenography, architecture and art. Design is also expression, provoking discussion and confrontation, which can originate change – in methodologies, paradigms and frameworks of thought.”

The idea of intersections and crossovers as well as the conviction that design encompasses a series of other subjects is now, in 2017, understood as an undeniable fact. However, this conception continues to raise great challenges and countless questions that will occupy an important part of the subject’s development in the coming years.

Now, in 2017, it is Alice Rawsthorn who will address the theme of intersections and influences within a subject that, 18 years later, increasingly reveals its potential as a utilitarian tool as well as a generator of knowledge. ← close

Cancelled due to reasons beyond the control of the organisation.
New date to be announced soon. We apologise for the inconvenience.



Arjun Appadurai

Arjun Appadurai


Arjun Appadurai is a leading thinker in the field of globalization. His extensive academic and research-driven career has been centred on achieving an understanding of how this phenomenon has affected modern life, believing that its most important impact has been on culture. read more …

He is the author of several books on the cultural and social dimensions of globalization. In Modernity at Large, which is one of the most important anthropology studies ever written, he conceptualizes modernity as a constant and unpredictable circulation of people, ideas, technologies and images, leading to a trans-national world. In another of his seminal works, Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy, Appadurai proposes 5 factors that contribute to the global exchange of ideas and information. He labels these five dimensions as “scapes”, which are permeable and constantly changing, just as cultures are. One of these dimensions, the Ethnoscape, refers to the migration of people across cultures and borders, presenting the world and its many communities as fluid and mobile instead of solid and static.

Having earned his anthropology B.A. from Brandeis University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from The Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, he is Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, during his academic career he has also held professorial chairs at Yale University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, along with numerous fellowships and scholarships, receiving several scholarly honours.

Arjun Appadurai has also served as a consultant or advisor to a wide range of public and private organizations, including many major foundations (Ford, MacArthur and Rockefeller); UNESCO; UNDP; the World Bank; the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Asian Art Initiative at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Forum D’Avignon in Paris.


No Borders

Inspired by the American designer and author, Buckminster Fuller, EXD’13 launched its theme, NO BORDERS, driven by an affirmation taken from his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, written in 1969:

“Where do you live?” “What are you?” “What religion?” “What race?” “What nationality?”, are all thought of today as logical questions. By the twenty-first century it either will have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and anti-evolutionary or men will no longer be living on Earth.”

When in 1969 Buckminster edited his anticipatory book “Manual for Spaceship Earth”, where this paragraph is taken from, he believed that by the 21st century these questions would no longer be asked. That humanity would have reached an evolutionary level where the barriers created by space, by beliefs and by race would be diluted.

The beginning of the 21st Century unavoidably presents itself as a unique moment of profound transformation on various levels, embodying a time where we will inevitably be forced to review that which we take for granted and redesign a substantial part of our operational structures.

In many cases, defining a border means evidencing a difference and somehow transforming it into an obstacle. “NO BORDERS” is centered on the detection and analysis of some of the principle barriers and frontiers that human beings, as social animals, have created over time. It explores not only the identification and definition of these barriers, but also the development of possible solutions that may allow for their transformation.

Furthermore, it assumes that collaboration and cooperation represent fundamental vehicles for social development, wherein the creation of an effective context that allows them to exist becomes a priority. This context is intimately connected to the dismantling of some of the borders that we have created and intimately linked to the development of new material or immaterial tools, be they on a small or grand scale.

When we refer to borders that are inherent to our structures we automatically refer to them in their multiple and diverse forms. We look at borders that are anthropological, cultural, social, geographic, technological, economic and financial. Physical, mental, material, immaterial and emotional. These represent a truly multidisciplinary and transnational territory that is extremely current and within which design will play a fundamental role.

Thus, experimenta launches as a central theme for the EXD’13 Lisboa one of the great subjects of this century, and calls upon designers, architects, theorists, producers, researchers, economists, managers, politicians and the general public for a comprehensive and plural discussion of its meaning.

Without borders.”

In 2017, this theme influences, and will continue to influence humanity’s political, ethical and economic agenda. Arjun Appadurai, one of the most fascinating thinkers on globalization, continues the examination produced by EXD in 2013, bringing his unique perspective as a contribution to the theme NO BORDERS. ← close



Eduardo Souto de Moura

Eduardo Souto de Moura


Eduardo Souto de Moura is one of world’s most recognized contemporary architects, having won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2011, as well as the Wolf Prize in 2013. Known for designs that are minimal and sometimes dramatic, his style is consistent and versatile, avoiding trends and exuding a solid and enduring quality that intertwines with the landscape and time itself. read more …

Souto de Moura has been continuously praised for his unique ability to embrace reality while employing abstraction, as well as for his constant strive for originality and an exquisite use of a plethora of materials, along with surprising applications of colour. With a truly comprehensive understanding of his field, he views architecture as a global issue, expressing that there is no ecological, intelligent or sustainable architecture, only good architecture that incorporates all aspects, including energy, resources and costs.

Beginning as an art student studying sculpture, he eventually transitioned to a degree in architecture at the Porto School of Fine Arts, following the architectural guidelines of the “School of Porto”, an influence that remains to this day. After graduating, he went on to work with the legendary Álvaro Siza, with whom he remained for 5 years. In 1980, he opened his own office, working with a variety of clients on various different types of projects. After winning the Pritzker Prize, his practice began to take on more international projects, currently expanding into the United States with a residential project in Washington DC.

Apart from his architectural practice, Souto de Moura has pursued a continuous interest in teaching. From 1981 to 1991, he was an assistant professor at his alma mater, and later began to teach as professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. He has also been visiting professor at the architecture schools of Paris-Belleville, Harvard, Dublin, ETH Zurich, Lausanne and Mantova, and has participated in several seminars and lectures both in Portugal and abroad.

In 2008 he participated in the Portuguese representation at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale with the artist Ângelo de Sousa, in a project entitled Cá Fora. Arquitectura Desassossegada. With a broad and expressive range of interests, jazz music can often be heard echoing among the sketches, drawings and models in his Porto atelier, overlooking the Douro river.


Space and Place

2008 was the year of the internationalization of the biennale, which held its first edition in Amsterdam, produced in partnership with Droog Design. To a certain extent, the theme reflected this expansion by talking about space and place, while also focussing the perspective of the curators and participants on the urban reality and cities.

“For the first time in history the earth’s population is more urban than rural. This means that for most people on this planet, the city has become their natural habitat. When in this context we speak of growth and blossom, terrain and flow, or use other natural metaphors, we speak in fact of engineering, architecture and design. We talk about the city as a landscape, that we have created ourselves and continue to shape.

Shaping a place is as much about imagining it as it is about building. Look at a child playing and you can recognize an arch-instinct shared by all living beings. Stepping over an imaginary line, and closing a virtual door behind him, the child says: now I’m in my home. If he has only sticks and stones to play with, he will use these to demarcate the difference between inside and outside, between a place and its surrounding space.

In design for the urban landscape, such symbolism meets the existential needs of the city’s inhabitants, who use it to define their habitat as a place to be. EXD’08 Amsterdam focuses on the new urgency with which we consider urban public space. We highlight the latest strategies for enhancing public places as theater of public conviviality. From informal – and sometimes illegal – interventions which reclaim the street as the meeting place for independent citizens, to proposals by architects and designers to develop the city’s public space as a playground for social interaction. Plus reflections on how to transform a neutral space into an individual place by an international range of cutting-edge designers.

EXD’08 Amsterdam invites designers, architects and other creatives from all over the world to meet their audiences in one of the finest urban playgrounds of all: the city of Amsterdam.”

Place and space are different in that one entails a sense of property or a geographical position and the other only awareness and perception. Cities, structures edified by man, continue to provide various typologies of space created for an increasingly culturally and economically merged society, which in turn will transform them into places. In 2017 Eduardo Souto de Moura, an architect of spaces, times, histories and places will talk about his perspective on this theme and how it relates to his architecture. ← close



Miguel Nicolelis

Miguel Nicolelis


You surely remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. read more …

Pushing the boundaries of neuroscience and medical design, Miguel is a pioneer in the exploration of the brain-machine interface. Testing the limits of the imagination, his work has revolutionized the relationship and interconnectivity between humans and machines. With several years of experience and research, he views the human brain as an amazing universe between our ears, that is only comparable to the complexity of the one above our heads.

He is the founder of the Walk Again Project, an international consortium of scientists and engineers, dedicated to the development of an exoskeleton device to assist severely paralyzed patients in regaining full body mobility. Working tirelessly to improve the lives of those in need, his lab is always in search of new challenges, such as developing an integrative approach to studying neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. One of his most recent projects is the study of brain to brain communication, devising mechanisms to allow two minds (for now using only rats and monkeys) to communicate without physical or verbal interaction.

Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at Duke University’s School of Medicine, Professor of Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering and Psychology and Neuroscience, and founder of Duke’s Center for Neuroengineering. He is also the Founder and Scientific Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute for Neuroscience of Natal. Having published two books, Beyond Boundaries and The Relativistic Brain, in 2015 he was honored as one of Foreign Policy's Global Thinkers.


As Far as the Mind Can See

Only 2 years ago, when the biennale took place in Matosinhos and Porto as well as Lisbon, EXD focussed on the importance of the brain and individuality as vectors of production and innovation.

“The ability to discover and create something entirely new is directly related to the way we use one of our most fascinating biological devices: the brain. The act of designing is closely connected to our ability to see what is not yet formalized and to draw it, so it can then be produced. This possibility is unique to humanity.

Establishing a link with the theme of the 2013 edition, No Borders, which focussed on the expansion of boundaries and the idea of collective scope, the theme of EXD’15 is centred on the individual, their unique capacities for abstraction and invention, on what allows them to go that extra mile, to find different perspectives and to design something new. These are individual abilities common to us all but which vary widely in terms of plasticity and skill. They boast different characteristics, both on a biological and contextual level. Although individual, they are the basis for generating products in various formats that are capable of developing within a contemporary and global framework, thus, inevitably, transforming the collective.

The 9th edition of the Biennale deals with the individual intellectual dynamics of creative production and the ability to see as far as the mind allows, observing it at different times and in different areas.”

In 2017, a year in which robotics and its relationship with humans is raising many different types of questions, namely ethical and economic, it has become essential to attain a better understanding of our brain’s design and how it relates to our own bodies and machines. Miguel Nicolelis will bring his scientific and in-depth perspective about this theme and the new challenges it represents for society in general. ← close

Cancelled due to reasons beyond the control of the organisation. New date to be announced soon. We apologise for the inconvenience.



Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck


“Political, ethical, subversive, ecological, fun: this is how I see my duty as a creator”. These are the words of Philippe Starck, one of the most recognizable names in the creative world. With more than 10.000 projects, he is driven by a mission and determination to change our society. read more …

A true citizen of the world, he has created unconventional places and objects with the clear vision of improving the lives of as many people as possible, understanding that a piece must always be good before it is beautiful. This sense of duty is an essential element of his practice, which has included the creation of everyday products such as furniture and lemon squeezers, as well as revolutionary mega-yachts, hotels and restaurants that aspire to be wondrous, stimulating and intensely vibrant.

With a profound comprehension of contemporary mutations and a persistent enthusiasm, Philippe Starck’s work reflects the imagining of new lifestyles and a determination to defend the intelligence of usefulness and the usefulness of intelligence. This unique and untiring approach has led to creations that implement an anticipatory concern for environmental implications, translated into technological innovations that search for ways to respect the future of both humans and nature. Including individual windmills, smart thermostats, electric bikes and an innovative and ecological wooden prefabricated house – soon to be followed by solar boats - his technological miracles are vectors of democratic ecology, focused on action.

Inventor, creator, architect, designer, artistic director – Philippe Starck is all of these things and more. Rebellious at heart and with a sense of humour that has transpired throughout his career, his creations have had a profound impact and influence on the development of contemporary design and architecture, leaving a mark that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

After participating in the EXD Biennale in 2003, with his work integrating the exhibition Design France: Innovation & Inspiration, and in 2005, as one of the main speakers of the Lisbon Conferences, Starck now returns to give us his unique perspective about the significance of uselessness and use. From the man who predicted the phenomena of convergence and dematerialization and devised objects that demand the most from the least, we expect nothing less than an intervention that is controversial, exciting and truly enlightening.



In 2011 EXD’s programme proposed a re-evaluation of concepts – and preconceptions – connected to use and the absence of use. Uselessness, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder; and like pure pleasure, it is unbiassed. A useless experience can appease or exacerbate desire; can lead us to use less or, conversely, to want more. Uselessness can lead us to concrete problematics with defined applications and executions, or it can equally inspire a symbolic, almost lyrical, reflection on the importance of paradigms like beauty, dreams and invention.

“The theme of the 6th edition of EXD launches an exploratory analysis on the idea of use and uselessness. In a society increasingly obsessed with the achievement of tangible goals and material possessions, the idea of being without occupation or purpose is absurd. Worse: it is politically and socially incorrect. The apparent absence of use or purpose seems nowadays to be the secular equivalent of sin. Still, the time we spend waiting, moving from one use to another, is rapidly growing. We frantically fill any free time with shopping, communicating, keeping ourselves—apparently—busy. Anything, except doing nothing.

If we move to the sphere of design, this notion grows more complex as useless design is an oxymoron. Design should answer a need, solve a problem. But if we look around us, how many designs don’t actually live up to their promise? Are they all wasteful? Many are no doubt, but some are as necessary as sleep is: idle time filled with dreams.

Throughout the programme of EXD’11, the idea—and the attached value judgment—of useless will be surveyed from different angles. From an economic perspective, the idea of useless questions the paradigms of industrial production, the inevitability of consumption and underlying issues of waste and sustainable development. From a cultural perspective, the idea of useless chances a look at the Western work ethos and the dogma of productivity; from a social perspective, it examines the perilous balance between objective and subjective perceptions of “worth” and “value” attached to institutions, interactions or even individuals. From a creative or intellectual standpoint, the idea of useless outlines the hidden yet overwhelming potential of experiments, “dead-end” or “failed” trials, abandoned prototypes and perplexing finds for which, apparently, no use has yet been found.”

In 2017, beyond the relevance of discussing the poetic and philosophical dimensions of the idea of USELESS, along with the more functional and aesthetic ones, the field of environmental sustainability related to use and non-use has become increasingly important. Philippe Starck will talk about this theme and about his activity as a designer and author, through a succession of images and a spontaneous intervention, in a style that is very much his own. ← close



Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister


The enfant terrible of graphic design, Stefan Sagmeister is internationally renowned for his unique and controversial ideas. Pouring his heart and soul into every piece of work, his designs are timeless, incorporating a rare attention to detail and originality that result in extraordinarily effective products. read more …

His intimate approach and sense of humor have elevated his work and made him one of the most recognizable and multifaceted contemporary designers, also leaving his mark on the EXD Biennale with site specific projects in 2005 (Things I have learned in my life so far #10) and 2008 (Obsessions make my life worse and my work better).

Stefan received his MFA from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and an MA from Pratt Institute in New York. He went on to form the New York based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993, designing for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO and the Guggenheim Museum. In 2012, he joined forces with Jessica Walsh, renaming the company Sagmeister & Walsh and specializing in creating bold brand identities, commercials, websites, apps, films, books and objects.

The Happy Show, one of his more iconic projects, attracted more than a quarter of a million visitors worldwide and became the most visited graphic design show in history. Keeping with this theme, in 2016 he released The Happy Film, in which he turns himself into a design project, exploring different ways to attain happiness. An absolute success that was acknowledged with great critical acclaim, the film marks a journey in which the designer travels closer to himself than ever intended.

Sagmeister also teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Art in New York and lectures extensively on all continents. He was nominated for the Grammys eight times, finally winning two for the Talking Heads and Brian Eno & David Byrne package designs. He has also won practically every important international design award.


It's About Time

In 2009, the question of time and urgency underscored the programme of the biennale, which was returning from a two-year hiatus and its first edition outside of Portugal, in the Netherlands. Anticipating the impact of the vortex of increasing velocity that now traverses all territories, EXD’09 also focussed on the idea that it is necessary to make choices and take action, revealing all that may be fundamental.

“The theme of the 5th edition of EXD launches an in-depth analysis on the subject of time. Focusing primarily on the flows and mechanisms of acceleration and fragmentation, it then surveys its impacts across contemporary society, which manifest themselves at all levels: the development of objects and devices that heighten the capacities of the human being, the growing mobility of both individuals and information, the redesign of the space where collective life unfolds, changes in communication processes and the appearance of new structures and languages, or in other words, innovation.

This reflection is the departure point for a debate on the current uses of time and Man-made devices to manage and master it, with the purpose of improving his performance as well as its transforming action over his surroundings.

Speed and acceleration, key aspects of the theme, underpin an incursion into a broader context, as EXD’09 Lisboa looks at social, economic and cultural dimensions. Ever-growing competitiveness in the face of intense competition, emerging markets, the development of new technologies and processes connected to innovation networks will also be explored in light of time-related phenomena: expansion, condensation and manipulation.”

In 2017 Stefan Sagmeister will reflect on this theme and demonstrate what is “About Time” today, through his perspective as a designer and producer of cultural content. ← close



Tyler Brûlé

Tyler Brûlé


Widely considered one of the most influential media innovators of his generation, Tyler Brûlé is the mind behind Monocle, a brand that has grown into a unique global media entity that successfully combines print, web, retail and broadcast. read more …

Starting out as a foreign correspondent working for the BBC and a journalist writing for several publications, in 1996 Brûlé launched Wallpaper*, a magazine that became a publishing phenomenon by bringing together the worlds of design, architecture, fashion, food and travel. The magazine won several awards and in 2001 Brûlé became the youngest ever recipient of the British Society of Magazine Editors Lifetime Achievement Award.

Revolutionizing the way of gathering and selling information to the world, Monocle is an aspirational publication focusing on improving our way of life, intersecting areas as broad as current affairs, business, culture and design. Reaching over 80,000 readers across the globe, it is distributed in over 65 markets and its reach includes a network of over 30 correspondents, 7 bureaux and an expanding mix of video and audio programming.

Creative and forward-thinking, Brûlé is a regular speaker on topics ranging from media to urbanism to international affairs, and in 2011 was awarded Ad Age’s ‘Editor of the Year’ trophy, an unprecedented award for an international editor. He is also the founder of Winkreative, an award-winning business that is distinguished by its international focus, editorial authority and global reach, and a regular columnist for the Financial Times.


The Medium is the Matter

In 2005 the biennale’s theme was THE MEDIUM IS THE MATTER, focussing on the mediums and matters of transmission that are perceptible in the interval between those who create and those who receive, writing:

"The Medium is the Matter targets communication media and communicative objects - a realm where sometimes matter seems less important than the messages it conveys, and in which the interactions between those who create and those who receive become the actual product." (Max Bruinsma, guest curator).

The Medium is the Matter explores the communication process, its agents, mediators, producers, products and by-products. In the fast-changing and expanding global networks, communication exchanges take place through such densely codified media that they generate more meaning than the message they are supposed to transmit.

As it is fed through mediation mechanisms, formatted in different visual languages and codes, shuttled back and forth between subjects, the message is morphed into a complex and composite matter, made up of alternative layers of meaning and intentionality added by each producer/recipient.

Matter enters into a new dimension, as different resources, materials and production tools are fused to create original and daring alternatives that enhance the performance of their applied use. The limits of matter and materials are probed as science, technology and art begin to operate in the same sphere of interest and join efforts in both practise and research, yielding surprising results.”

A continuously relevant idea, especially in 2017 with its non-truths, post-truths and fact-checks, this theme now takes on new possibilities through the countless mediums of content publication and distribution through old and new technologies. Tyler Brûlé will delve into the realm of communication mediums and the strategies they imply in the face of our contemporary landscape and the plethora of available platforms. ← close



Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus: 28/714/727/729/751 Tram: 15E Train: Belém Boat: Estação Fluvial de Belém
The ticket for the Lisbon Conferences includes the entire programme.
The order of the lectures may be changed.
The Conferences do not have simultaneous translation.
Book experimentadesign 1999–2017

Book experimentadesign 1999–2017


Throughout its 10 editions, the EXD Biennale has been a manifest pillar for the development of national and international thought in the areas of design and architecture. As the last edition of this event, EXD’17 consolidates and celebrates this valuable cultural legacy, which included the participation of hundreds of renowned protagonists from various creative and knowledge-based areas.

It is in this context that this year’s programme includes the launch of a book that revisits the past editions of the Biennale and its most important moments. It is essential to integrate a profound understanding of the past in order to really shape and transform the future.

This bilingual book, in Portuguese and English, has around 350 pages that reveal a visual and encompassing analysis of this motor for cultural and creative development, which instilled a new paradigm for contemporary international project culture, mainly originating from Lisbon, but also from other cities.

It is a journey that incorporates all the important milestones of the history of this event, including all of the editions and their themes. It also includes contributions from some of the personalities and thinkers that participated in the various editions, launching a unique perspective of the work accomplished and the effect it had on the national and international cultural panorama.

During its launch, experimentadesign will be giving away 200 copies of the book to 200 of the people present at the Auditorium of the National Coach Museum.

Avenida da Índia 136, 1300-300 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus: 28/714/727/729/751 Tram: 15E Train: Belém Boat: Estação Fluvial de Belém
Free admission, subject to room capacity.

Drawing in Stone


Drawing in Stone presents a first collective look at the work that 23 authors developed for the First Stone experimental research programme. First Stone represents one of the main principles of the biennale, intensified during its more recent editions, and which relates to the theme of design and its importance in the area of innovation and knowledge production. Drawing in Stone reveals the first approach of the invited authors to a material with a strong identity, Portuguese stone, through both manual and digital drawing.

Álvaro Siza (PT)
Amanda Levete (GB)
Bijoy Jain (IN)
Carrilho da Graça (PT)
Mia Hägg (SE)
Paulo David (PT)
Souto de Moura (PT)
Studio Mk27 (BR)
Vladimir Djurovic (LB)
Ian Anderson (GB)
Jonathan Barnbrook (GB)
Jorge Silva (PT)
Pedro Falcão (PT)
Peter Saville (UK)
Sagmeister & Walsh (US)
Claudia Moreira Salles (BR)
Estudio Campana (BR)
Fernando Brízio (PT)
Jasper Morrison (GB)
Michael Anastassiades (CY)
Miguel Vieira Baptista (PT)
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (FR)
Avenida da Índia 136, 1300-300 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus: 28/714/727/729/751 Tram: 15E Train: Belém Boat: Estação Fluvial de Belém

Inauguration: Free admission, subject to room capacity.

Open from 1 October to 5 November
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm / Last Admission: 5:30pm
Entrance included in the ticket for the National Coach Museum



Experimentation with new formats for the dissemination and sharing of content was a predominant goal of the EXD Biennale since its first edition. In the century of new technological advancements, INSIDE is presented as an immersive video-mapping and sound design performance that approachs a precise theme, comprising a collective intervention that will transform the exterior square of the National Coach Museum.

INSIDE is an audio-visual piece that will occupy 1.024 m2 of the National Coach Museum façade with videomapping. The technological system used creates an immersive and sensorial effect, with real-time generated visual elements, multichannel sound design and frame to frame synchronized light.

Lasting about 10 minutes, this live performance tells a story in 3 different moments, developing a narrative that seeks to explore the different stages of stone formation, its extraction and transformation through human device and the uses it is given through the genius of human creation.

Concept, Creative Direction, Programming: Rui Gato
Concept, Programming, 3D: David Negrão
Sound Design, Original Score: Manuel Morgado
Production: EXD - Joana Morais, Juliette Canon (assistant)
Lettering: EXD - Nuno Luz
Video Projection / P.A: Hipnose

The Illustrated Man


While the EXD Biennale is coming to an end after 18 years of activity, experimentadesign continues to look forward towards the future. In 1969, Ray Bradbury, one of the most fascinating science fiction writers of all time, wrote 18 stories in a book called THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, in which the main character is a man with an almost completely tattooed body. In this book these tattoos have a particularity: they move and predict the future.

EXD’17 invited a group of graphic designers and illustrators to create 18 one and a half minute-long visual pieces based on Bradbury’s book, which will be presented in the square of the Museu dos Coches in 2018.

This collective work will relate to the space of the Museum square through an exhibition format, instead of through a performative approach. Here, the narrative will be established through a loop of the projections, both animated and stills, while the use of light and sound will give the work a live performance dimension.

Avenida da Índia 136, 1300-300 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus: 28/714/727/729/751 Tram: 15E Train: Belém Boat: Estação Fluvial de Belém
Free admission, subject to the capacity of the square.