I spent the end of last week in Lisbon, where I had been invited to speak on a panel at Experimenta Design 2011, the city’s design biennial. My theme, and the theme of the biennial as a whole, was “Useless Architecture.” Or was it “Use less”? No design conference is complete without punctuation trickery. I found Useless to be an excellent jumping off point for my talk, in which I tried to identify what recent criticism, and what recent architecture, could actually prove Useful. It seemed to go over well.