• Economy of Means
    Éric Lapierre
    Museu de Arte, Arquitectura e Tecnologia (MAAT), Lisbon
    Oct 03, 2019 to Jan 13, 2020
    Lisbon Architecture Triennale

Viollet-le-Duc, Application of bones juncture to mechanics, from Story of a Drawer, Paris, 1879. Photo: CMN

Ex uno plura, or from one, many. It is a truth universally acknowledged that resources of all types, in all parts of the world, must be managed with greater consciousness and care as the twenty-first-century waxes. The principle of the economy of means addresses this challenge by suggesting that one means must be used to multiple ends. In architecture, this might mean one material, one space, one form or one process. In other fields, the principle has other manifestations: music of one note, cuisine of one ingredient. As part of the 2019 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the multisensory exhibition Economy of Means explores how this principle has inspired architects throughout history, and how it might guide architects and designers toward innovative, sustainable, and ultimately beautiful solutions to local and global challenges in the field of architecture.

Éric Lapierre is architect, theoretician, and founder of Éric Lapierre Experience (ELEx), his Paris organization that coordinates his activities as builder and as writer. ELEx buildings, recognized on international level through awards and publications, aim at keeping architecture as a sophisticated cultural medium in the contemporary ordinary condition. Lapierre teaches in École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Paris, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, and KU Leuven in Ghent. Lapierre edited Identification d’une ville–Architectures de Paris, (Editions A&J Picard, 2002); Guide d’architecture de Paris 1900–2008 (Pavillon de l'arsenal, 2008); Le Point du Jour: A Concrete Architecture (2011); Architecture Of The Real (Le Moniteur, 2004), and Se la forma scompare, la sua radice è eterna, 2018. He has curated Paris Identification d’une ville in Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris (2002), Lille métropole en Europe (2004), and the French Pavilion in Beijing Architecture Biennial (2004).

Founded in 2010, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale is a nonprofit association whose mission is to research, foster, and promote architectural thinking and practice. It holds a major forum every three years for discussion and dissemination of architecture across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. The first Triennale, Urban Voids (2007), consisted of an international program of exhibitions, competitions and conferences, and drew 52,000 visitors. By the fourth edition in 2016, the public tripled to 154,778 attendees. The Triennale's first four editions have been distinguished with the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic; in 2010, the Ministry of Culture has recognized it as a Cultural Interest, and in 2013, the Portuguese Government endowed it with the status of Public Interest. For more than a decade, therefore, our annual and triennial programming has enriched the cultural life of the city of Lisbon in ways that are applauded by specialists and the general audience alike.