maat Mode 2020

An experimental participatory public programme, presented as an open-ended exercise in interrogating the role of cultural institutions in society and prototyping the future museum.


Due to the safety measures emplaced for the containment of Covid-19, the maat Mode programme we have been preparing in the past months will temporarily live in an online dimension, until we are able to reopen doors and welcome all of our visitors on site again. Nevertheless, our maat team and all of our collaborators are making an effort to keep alive the conversations the programme wishes to foster.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and on our new YouTube channel — we will keep you updated there on changes to the activities you see listed in the “In time” section of this website.
Be safe and stay strong!


“Institutions of culture should be catalyst platforms to render discourse actionable and empower audiences to own their choices through the articulation of debate, the sharing of positions, and the formulation of knowledge. This is the museum as An Open Forum – A Stage – A School.” (Beatrice Leanza, Executive Director, maat)

maat 2020 programme begins with an open-ended exercise in prototyping precisely this kind of museum — maat Mode (27 March – 13 September 2020) is a 7-month long experimental participatory public programme of talks and other events interrogating the role of cultural institutions in society and envisioning the future museum. Co-developed with a variety of international and locally-based practitioners, institutions and community groups, alongside the curators and creatives involved in the maat’s future programme from the Autumn of 2020, maat Mode is a transformative gesture that temporarily repurposes the museum into a poly-functional civic arena, where public life is debated, probed, challenged and possibly inspired towards a more inclusive and equitable construction of the future.

maat Mode is activated within the major architectural project designed by NY-based studio SO – IL, entitled Beeline. This large temporary intervention, specially commissioned to host the programme, takes over the entire space of maat, opening a temporary new entrance facing the city through the loading door of the building, in addition to the existing entrance facing the river. “This transformation not only opens up the building to new perspectives, but also challenges the implied hierarchies of spaces in a traditional museum” state the architects. Beeline takes audiences through elevated paths, different stage areas, and workshop zones, transforming the museum in a landscape of encounters and conversations.

maat Mode features a strand of concurrent narratives running over 5 months, whose topics, contents and modes of public engagement are both tests and a prelude to future programming. Among many others, research areas include climate action, with a specific focus on the seas and marine culture, including collaborations with Portuguese and international institutions of culture and education. Also featured are workshops, screenings, talks and “schools”, which will discuss and explore various issues concerning the politics of sustainability, scientific knowledge, and other urban and social transformations resonating across and beyond the Portuguese context.

Projects will also address the EDP Foundation Portuguese Art Collection and EDP Foundation Energy Heritage Collection through special presentations inside a reconfigurable art storage system and display structures also designed by SO – IL, unprecedented collaborations with artists from the collection, with workshops and talks by experts in relevant fields. A multifaceted music programme that will take place beyond maat Mode includes new productions and premiere performances, as well as newly created sound projects presented in dedicated audio stations located inside the museum dubbed Sound Capsules

A Media Room set up inside the museum for the duration of maat Mode will be co-run by the museum team in collaboration with various cultural and news outlets and universities.

Read more about maat Mode 2020 programme of events in the “In time” section of this website.

maat Mode 2020
"maat Mode 2020" visual identity with drawings by studio SO - IL