Economy of Means

Economy of means suggests the challenge of using one mean for multiple ends, investigating what makes the category both a mark and a precondition of a rational architecture. 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. Architects explore the limits and definition of architecture itself by reducing the material, economic and conceptual means they resort to in a building project.

OMA Rem Koolhaas, Très Grande Bibliothèque (TGB), plan, Paris, 1989. © Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Economy of means is an aesthetic category as well as a tool of conception. It allows us to imagine and evaluate results. It is at the core of any relevant design, whatever the medium. In its usual meaning it consists in using as few means as possible to reach a specific goal. Beyond this, we link it to any attitude based upon a critical approach towards the means used to create something. Economy of means can concern process as well as results. It is an investigation of form in all its dimensions. Form is the horizon of any human activity pushed to a high level of accomplishment. Economy of means is the DNA of good forms. Architecture consists in defining the good form for a building. Using few and carefully surveyed means allow architects to provide meaning and intelligibility to their buildings.

It is a multisensory exhibition, drawn on a large number of contemporary and historical examples, that explores the innovative ways in which architects and designers are guided toward more responsible, ethical, sustainable and ultimately beautiful solutions to local and global challenges, as well as intersections between architecture and other visual arts.

Éric Lapierre (FR)
Eric Lápierre, chief-curator of the 5th edition os Lisbon Architecture Triennale and curator of the exhibition Economy of Means
Éric Lapierre is an architect and theorist of the discipline. Founder and director of Éric Lapierre Experience (ELEx) - with works widely recognized, not only for his projects but also his critical essays. Éric Lapierre teaches at the National School of Architecture of Marne-la-Vallée (Paris), at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne and was a guest lecturer at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, University of Montréal (UdM), Université du Québec à Montréal ) and KU Leuven in Ghent. He is the author of "Identification d'une ville - Architectures de Paris", 2002; Guide d'architecture de Paris 1900-2008, 2008; Le Point du Jour A Concrete Architecture, 2011; Architecture of The Real, 2004, and If the form scompare, its radice is eternal, 2017, among others.
Assistant Curator
Claudia Mion (IT)
Architect, editor and co-founder of the french publishing house Cosa Mentale. Graduated from the University of Venice, Mion has had several professional experiences in different fields connected to architecture, from collaborating with the architecture photographer Hélène Binet in London, to working at Studio Mumbai in India and with Silvia Gmür Reto Gmür Architekten in Basel. Since 2018, she is an assistant professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture at Marne-la-Vallée in Paris.
AAT+ Makoto Yokomizo, Abalos+Sentkiewicz, Adam Khan, Adolfo Scaranello, Aires Mateus, Álvaro Siza, Andre Branzi (Archizoom), André Tavares, Anna & Eugeni Bach, Atelier Kempe Thill, Atelier Provisoire, Barbas Lopes, Barrault Pressacco, Baukuh, Bearth & Deplazes, Brandlhuber +, BRUTHER, Burbouze & Graindorge, Carrilho Da Graça, Caruso St John Architects, Christ & Gantenbein, Christian Kerez, Conradin Clavuot, DATA, De Vylder Vunck Taillieu, Diogo Aguiar, Elisa Valero, Florian Beigel & Philip Christou, Frank Gehry, Gigon/Guyer, Gion Caminada, Go Hasegawa, Gonçalo Byrne, Harquitectes, Herzog & De Meuron, Jaume Bach + Gabriel Mora, Jean Nouvel, Johnston Mark Lee, Junya Ishigami, Kazuyo Sejima, Knapkiewicz & Fikert, l’AUC (Caroline Poulin Djamel Klouche François Decoster), Lacaton Vassal, LIST (Ido Avissar) Lütjens Padmanabhan, Marc Mimram, Miller & Maranta, Miroslav Šik, Monadnock, Norman Foster +Partners, Obvie, OFFICE KGDVS, Olivier Malclès, OMA Rem Koolhaas, Peter Märkli, Peter Zumthor, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Piovenefabi, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Roger Diener, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Rudi Ricciotti, SANAA, Sergison Bates, Seyler & Lucan, Silvia Gmür Reto Gmür Architekten, Studio Anne Holtrop, Studio Mumbai, Ted’A Arquitectes, Tony Fretton, Toyo Ito, Valerio Olgiati, Yellow Office
Represented Authors
Albert Frey, Aldo Van Eyck, Alison and Peter Smithson, Alvar Aalto, Anatole de Baudot, Andrea Palaldio, Antonin Artaud, Asnago Vender, Auguste Perret, Bernard Rudofsky, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Carlo Mollino, Carlos Martí Arís, Charles Moore, Charlotte Perriand, Chris Marker, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Colin Rowe, Cornelius Meyer, Daly César, Donato Bramante, Élie Lotar, Ernst May, Felix Candela, Fernand Pouillon, Fernando Tavora, Filippo Brunelleschi, Francesco Borromini, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fred Koetler, Geoffrey Bawa, George Henri Pingusson, Georges Candilis, Giancarlo De Carlo, Gio Ponti, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Giuseppe Terragni, Gottfried Semper, Gunnar Asplund, Hannes Meyer, Hans Bernouilli, Henri Labrouste, Ignazio Gardella, Jacobus Johannes, James Stirling, Jean François Neufforge, Jean Prouvé, Jean-François Zevaco, Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, John Hejduk, John Soane, Johnatan Woolf, Josep Marìa Jujol, Joseph Paxton, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Juliaan Lampens, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Kazuo Shinohara, Konstantin Melnikov, Le Corbusier, Lina Bo Bardi, Livio Vacchini, Lois Welzenbacher, Louis Kahn, Ludovico Quaroni, Marcel Breuer, Marcel Duchamp, Margarete Schütte-Lihotsky, Mario Ridolfi, Mart Stam, Mies van der Rohe, Moïsseï Ginzbourg, Oscar Niemeyer, Otto Rudolf Salvisberg, Philibert De l’Orme, Philip Johnson, Pier Luigi Nervi, Pierre Le Muet, Pieter Oud, Raymond Roussel, René Magritte, Robert Venturi, Rudolf Olgiati, Rudolf Schwarz, Sebastiano Serlio, Shadrach Woods, Sigurd Lewerentz, Stanley Tigerman, Viollet-le-Duc, Vitruvius, Vladimir Bodiansky, Walter Benjamin, Walter Gropius.
Adrià Goula, Agnès Clotis, Alberto Flammer, Antoine Espinasseau, Atelier XYZ, Bass Princen, Damien Roussel, Daniel Malhão (DMF), David Grandorge, Eric Staudenmaier, Erica Overmmer, Fernando Guerra / FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura, Filip Dujardin, Giorgio Azzariti, Goran Potkon Hélène Binet, Javier Callejas, Jean-Christophe, Garcia Jeroen Verrecht, José Hevia, Julien Hourcade Lluís Casals, Mateusz Zaluska, Maxime-Delvaux, Nicolò Galeazzi, Paolo Rossel, Philippe Ruault, Ralph Feiner, Stefano Graziani, Ulrich Schwarz
Content Loaners
Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture(gta) Zurich, Switzerland, USI Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio, Switzerland, Museu da Música Mecânica, Pinhal Novo, Portugal
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