Visionaries exhibition

  • Year: 2022
  • Location: Culturgest Culture Centre, Lisbon
  • Client: Lisbon Architecture Triennale Terra
  • Participants: Andres Jaques, MVRDV, Anupama Kundoo, Rohan Chovan, ORG Permanent Modernity, Roger Anger, Bruno Munari, Hans van der Laan, Aristid Antonas, SVESMI, Selgascano,, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Obscura, Galina Balashova, Tokyo Toilet, Studio Ensemble, Ultimate Compost Club, Carolin Voet, Tomoaki Uno

An exhibition curated by Anastasia Smirnova-Berlin with the SVESMI team explored systemic thinking in architecture and various types of visionary authorship.  

The exhibition was composed of three sections: Monovisions, Cathedral Thinking and Futurology of the Intimate. Each section consisted of thematic rooms, each with its own story.

Room Tabula Rasa Temptation is dedicated to life and work of Roger Anger, author of Auroville masterplan. Photo: Sara Constanca

The first section focused on modernist architects Roger Anger and Hans van Der Laan, classical 20th century fatherly figures with their life-long strategic, systemic projects. Most of the material showed in this section was exhibited for the first time.  

Room Contemplating Space introduced visitors to the Plastic number system invented by a Benedectine monk Hans van Der Laan. Photo: Nuno Cera

Cathedral Thinking section referred to the medieval time, when while building a cathedral all agents initiating construction understood that they would not see the end result. This kind of endeavours required specific work ethics and an ability to act in symphonic harmony over very long periods of time. Visionaries exhibition claimed that strategic initiatives addressing global warming of today require the same type of collective authorship.

Room Artificial Terra explores a wide range of strategic project related to water and led by the office Organisation for Permanent Modernity. Photo: Sara Constanca
Bed Manifesto, 2022 by Aristid Antonas.
Interior design of the Soviet Space stations by Galina Balashova, 1960s Photo: Sara Constanca


The third section Futurology of the Intimate looked at how even the smallest changes in everyday routines might prompt architects and designers to invent new spatial typologies. This kind of reactive authorship is much more nuanced, but no less significant than the other two.

Room Intimacy presents a SVESMI's installation The Smallest Spatial Unit, a composition of a famous Abitacolo bed by Bruno Munari and a video by the young artist Mila Baumann. Photo: Nuno Cera
Room Reinterpretations presented projects of systemic transformation of the built matter, bringing together projects by MVRDV and Photo: Nuno Cera