university competition

The Lisbon Triennale Universities Competition Award

Submission: January 17, 2022
Registration: November 15, 2021
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open, Free


Universities are critical centres for the production of knowledge and innovation. Since the inception of the Triennale we have involved these institutions in the programme of each edition of its most emblematic event. As such, we invite schools from all over the world to participate in a transverse perspective of possible cooperation. The Millennium bcp Lisbon Triennale Universities Competition Award is part of the central programme for the 6th edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale to take place in the Autumn of 2022.

The competition is open directly to the field of architecture and also to its related disciplines, whether these are project oriented – such as urbanism or landscape architecture – technical – such as construction or material technologies – or multidisciplinary – such as urban sociology or environmental studies. We seek proposals of various project typologies, intended to be of an architectural response or with the potential for practical development.

For the first time, the award assumes two levels of participation through Master’s Degree programmes and also Research programmes. The aim is to stimulate individual and collective participation in the production of knowledge in, for and on architecture.

This edition, entitled Terra, explores how new paradigms are changing our ways of place-making in a globalised Planet. In this predicament, architecture can ground us as much as it can elevate us.

This concurrent background and foreground condition of architecture explores relationships and systems to enable change within a diverse set of socioeconomic conditions across the world.

In the Universities Competition Award three forms of production of knowledge responding to the theme Terra are considered:

  • in architecture: speculative project exercise;
  • for architecture: research and development of theory, technology and/or tools for the exercise of architecture;
  • on architecture: studies on the built environment, practice, technologies or theory.

The Competition is open to proposals encompassed by the project subject, research projects with a strong visual component, or intervention projects. The context where they develop and their programme are defined by the applicants in their course subjects or research programme.


Each proposal is intended to focus on at least one of the sub themes that make up the Triennale programme in its four core exhibitions. These are:

Theme 1 – Multiplicity
To address global uncertainty at both micro and macro scale, architecture, and its related fields, are being called to adapt to multiple states of flux and technological divide. How can some of the biggest global challenges including climate change, pandemics, socio-economic inequality and cultural conflict be interpreted at an architectural scale? How can current canons be expanded to address contexts of extreme uncertainty? What does a more inclusive architecture that responds to these challenges look like?

The exhibition will be held at MNAC – Nacional Museum of Contemporary Art

Theme 2 – Communal by design
Cities are ever-changing organisms; formal and informal settlements grow and mature in between states of vulnerability. How can architecture, and its related fields, be relevant vehicles for change in the process of mending imbalances? What kind of self-reflective, retroactive infrastructures – facilities and systems – are capable of restituting basic needs, services, spatial dignity and sense of belonging? What mechanisms can enable collective existence within urban density?

The exhibition will be held at MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

Theme 3 – Cycles
The enquiry into the past and present of construction may lead to virtuous encounters between sustainability, economy and memory. How can re-appropriation methods embrace redistribution of matter and challenge the commonplace of extractivism? What strategies can be used to design new cycles for construction that is doomed to perish or struggling to live? How is architecture acknowledging the use of energy, water, human labour, and the carbon footprint originally embedded in materials’ production, in new processes of making?

The exhibition will be held at Garagem Sul – CCB

Theme 4 – Visionaries
Visions are a bare necessity. The unusual and seemingly impossible can be realised and even accepted by many as a new value. How can multidisciplinary teams create long-term thinking briefs for systemic transformation? What architectural prototypes can be produced in the future, and how will they be replicated? How can new and emerging materials affect the form and the process of architectural production to radically change our approach to design in the long run?

The exhibition will be held at Culturgest.

4 . Elegibility

1 – The competition is aimed at all teaching institutions and centres for the production of knowledge within the aforementioned areas, either included in the traditional academy or new independent institutes and research centers, that is, non-formal ones.

2 – The proposals must be developed during the semester covered by the period between August 2021 and March 2022, of the academic year corresponding to the world area where the institution belongs.

3 – Applicants

  • Applicants are people in the following situations: Teachers of course subjects, in the Master’s Degree tier; PhD thesis supervisors or Group coordinators, in the Research tier. Each applicant may apply for up to three (3) proposals per subject, research group, or number of PhD theses.
  • The applicants are responsible for the orientation, evaluation and prior selection of the applicant proposals, as well as for the process of registration, proposal submission and monitoring of the development and delivery of selected proposals.

4 – Author(s) of the proposals

  • Master’s Degree tier: Students enrolled in Master’s Degree programmes, that is, in the second cycle degree programme (which corresponds to the 4th and 5th years of the integrated masters programme) in the signatory countries of the Bologna Process, or its equivalent.
  • Research tier: Researchers affiliated with a research center, postgraduate students and PhD candidates.
  • People interested in applying outside the scope of a course subject or research group can do so, provided they are under the guidance of an applicant.
  • Applicant proposals can be developed individually or in group.


In this competition, two academic levels or participation tiers are considered:

  • Master’s Degree
  • Research

A selection of twelve  proposals will be an integral part of the four central exhibitions of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale’s 6th edition. Each exhibition is expected to include three proposals in which both tiers will be represented. However, the Jury reserves the right to select a greater or lesser number of proposals depending on their quality and relevance.

The application for the award takes place in two stages. In the first stage, the proposals to integrate the four exhibitions will be selected. In the second stage, the awarded proposals will be selected.

 Master’s Degree Award

  • First prize: cash prize worth €2,000.00 (two thousand euro).
  • Up to four (4) Honourable Mentions worth €500.00 (five hundred euro) each.

Research award

  • First prize: public presentation at the awards ceremony.
  • The proposals selected in the first stage also comprise a chapter each in a physical or digital publication.


>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<