Thinking Architecture Through Publications

28th Sept — 2nd Oct of 2015 / Museum of Banco de Portugal, Lisbon

During the 20th century, magazines of architecture had an important role as platforms for the debate about modernity, and post-modernity in Portugal. Through Construção Moderna launched in 1900; passing through Binário, or Arquitectura reflecting the last decades of the Estado Novo dictatorship; until Architecti and Prototypo closing the millennium, it’s possible to understand, either the optimism about new technologies and life conceptions, as well as the cultural threats brought by novelty in relation to what was being left behind.
Through magazines, discourse became part of the architectural process, increasing its field beyond the traditional practice. Notwithstanding the purpose of magazines as vehicles of disclosure for ideas and idealisms, as “printed objects” they have its own identity as a whole, achieved by the quality of its graphic design, materials and format.
This exhibition presents some of the most important publications used as base for the research “The Site of Discourse” supported by the Portuguese Agency for Science and Technology (FCT), which had as main goal analyzing, debating and reflecting on the editorial culture of the Portuguese architectural periodicals over the 20th century.

No século XX, as revistas de arquitetura tiveram um importante papel enquanto plataformas para o debate sobre a modernidade e pós-modernidade em Portugal. Através da Construção Moderna lançada em 1900; passando pela Binário, ou Arquitectura que marcaram as últimas décadas da ditadura do Estado Novo; até Architecti e Prototypo  que fecharam o milénio, é possível compreender, tanto o otimismo em relação às novas tecnologias e concepções de vida, bem como as ameaças trazidas pelas novidades em relação àquilo que foi sendo deixado para trás.

Através das revistas, o discurso tornou-se parte do processo arquitetónico, ampliando o seu campo para além da prática tradicional. Não obstante o propósito das revistas como veículo de divulgação de ideias e idealismos, enquanto “objetos impressos” elas têm a sua própria identidade como um todo, conseguida pela qualidade do seu desenho gráfico, materiais e formato.

Esta exposição apresenta algumas das mais importantes publicações usadas como base para a investigação em “O Lugar o Discurso”, apoiada pela Fundação para Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), a qual teve como principal objetivo analisar, debater e refletir sobre cultura editorial presente nos periódicos portugueses de arquitetura, no século XX.

The Site of Discourse

Principal Researcher:
Margarida Acciaiuoli

Curated by:
Pedro Castelo
Vitor Alves
João Almeida e Silva
Rute Figueiredo

Paulo Tormenta Pinto

Sérgio Correia

This exhibition is supported by National Funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia in the context of the Research Project PTDC-CPC-HAT/4895/2012


First International Workshop, January 18, 2016
Architectural criticism: a part of public debate or an autonomous “discipline”?


This call concerns the first of a series of three international workshops, which will take place in January 2016 (Rennes 2 University), Spring 2016 (University of Bologna) and Fall 2016 (Paris and Rennes). The aim of these three workshops is to foster scholarship on history of architectural criticism and to facilitate exchanges between scholars involved in this field of research.

This first workshop is to be held at Rennes 2 University on Monday, January 18, 2016. It will deal with the relationship of criticism with “public opinion” and on the opposite side, its relation to architecture as an autonomous discipline.

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Optimistic Suburbia International Congress

20-22 May 2015 / ISCTE, Lisbon  / 14.00 – 16.00 p.m.

The housing problem in the architecture periodical press: manifest, critic and divulgation


Architecture publications have played an essential role in the launching of the debate around the housing problem, as well as in the divulgation of housing models and typologies. In fact, although its general use only occurred after World War II, already in the 1930s the Grand Ensembles emerged in the specialized periodical press (L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, vol. 1, no. 6, June 1935), a theme that became recurrent in the subsequent decades. Thus, we aim to reflect on the different ways that model appeared in the periodical press. Generally, we intend to debate:

1 | To what extent the presence of these ensembles in the architecture periodicals contributed to their discussion and use?

2 | Which protagonists were divulgated and what was the expression of that divulgation?

3 | What kind of analyses and critical discussion it is possible to detect?

4 | What predominant discourses – of acceptance, rejection or critique – were formed from the presence of these ensembles in the architecture periodical press?

5 | To what extent these publications provide nowadays food for thought in relation to housing?


Sessão 4.1 | Rute Figueiredo (led by)

22 May | 14.00 – 16.00

Speakers and paper topics:

Bruno Parente – DATMC ISCTE-IUL

Quando o modernismo chegou à “Arquitectura” – a divulgação de dois casos de habitação colectiva em Alvalade

Rui Seco – DA/UC

Portugal, antes de zero

João Silva – FAUP

Publi/cidades: uma leitura do problema da habitação a partir da divulgação publicitária

Luciane Scottá – FAUP

A habitação moderna no livro-catálogo Brazil Build: Architecture New and Old; 1652-1942

Daniela Simões – IHA/FCSH-UNL

A questão da habitação na revista Binário



Profª  Margarida Acciaiuoli (Keynote speaker)

“O regime da propriedade horizontal”

21 May | 11.30

Optimistic Suburbia International Congress

ISCTE | Auditório Afonso de Barros



The editor’s place in the discourse on architecture

6 May 2015 / Ordem dos Arquitectos, Lisboa  / 6 p.m. 


The editor’s place in the discourse on architecture


From the early 20th century architectural magazines have played a central role in consecrating identities and giving rise to new orders of thought on the practice of architecture. Editing and projecting have thus become so closely linked that it seems reasonable to claim that they share a common ground beyond the contingencies of constructive practice, resting upon a web of both conceptual and professional relationships.

This session will seek to understand how the acts of editing and projecting cross over, interact and produce each other, focusing the debate on the Editor as a key agent in this field. Specifically, the session will look at: How far can the Editor’s position go in defining the priorities and values that inform professional practice?  What criteria underlie their editorial policies?  What arguments support their choices when attributing value or denying it by exclusion? What is their relationship with critics, architects and other agents in the field?


O lugar do editor no discurso sobre a arquitectura


Desde o início do século XX, as revistas de arquitectura ocupam um lugar central na consagração de identidades e na formação de novas ordens de pensamento sobre o exercício da arquitectura. O acto de editar e o acto de projectar tornaram-se, assim, tão próximos que é razoável admitir que partilham territórios comuns, definidos para lá das contingências da prática construtiva e sustentados por constelações de relações quer conceptuais quer profissionais.

Esta sessão procura compreender de que modo os actos de editar e projectar se cruzam, interagem e co-produzem, centrando o debate na figura do Editor como agente relevante neste domínio. Mais concretamente, nela procurar-se-á compreender até onde se estende a posição do Editor na definição de prioridades e valores que informam a prática profissional? Que critérios estão subjacentes às políticas editoriais por si produzidas? Quais os suportes argumentativos na atribuição valorativa das escolhas ou nas lógicas de exclusão? Que posição ocupa na sua relação com o crítico, o arquitecto ou outros agentes actuantes no campo?


Rute Figueiredo (organizador/coordinator); Carlos Duarte; Manuel Graça Dias

Coordenação geral: Rute Figueiredo e Paulo Tormenta Pinto


Os ciclos de debates contaram com a parceria institucional da Secção Regional Sul da Ordem dos Arquitectos

Apoios: Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos, MUDE, ESAD


Download poster debate


What became of the Star System in Architecture?

28 April 2015 / Ordem dos Arquitectos, Lisboa / 6 p.m.


What became of the star system in architecture?


In June 1937, the magazine A Arquitectura Portuguesa e Cerâmica e Edificação (Reunidas) devoted its issue 27 almost entirely to Cassiano Branco. The editorial team made up of Júlio Martins, from the ceramics industry, and Thomaz Ribeiro Colaço, a literary writer and essayist, which took over the periodical between 1935 and 1945, granted Cassiano Branco a protagonist status. The architect of the Victória-Hotel and of the daring Caparica plan saw his work published in the magazine more often than any other architect while the editorial responsibility remained shared between Martins and Colaço, two characters with different backgrounds, outsiders to the discipline of architecture. Cassiano Branco thus gave expression to the economic and industrial drive set in motion in the 1930s, associated to the consolidation of the Estado Novo political regime.

The 1930s and the current times offer profound conjunctural differences which in turn result in different frameworks through which to consider how architects are treated as authors in the specialized press.

Taking Cassiano Branco as a case in point, this session opens up the debate on the protagonism of architects in specialized magazines and mainstream periodicals, and how their auctorial personality is explored in these media.


O que é feito do star system da Arquitectura?


Em Junho de 1937, a revista A Arquitectura Portuguesa e Cerâmica e Edificação (Reunidas) dedicava o número 27 praticamente na íntegra a Cassiano Branco. A dupla constituída por Júlio Martins, industrial ceramista e Thomaz Ribeiro Colaço, plumitivo escritor e ensaísta, que assumiu a direção do periódico, entre 1935 e 1945, atribuiu a Cassiano o estatuto de protagonista. O arquitecto do Victória-Hotel e do ousado plano da Caparica foi aquele que mais vezes viu a sua obra publicada enquanto a direção da revista se manteve partilhada entre Martins e Colaço, personagens oriundos de mundos diversos, externos à disciplina arquitetónica. Cassiano deu expressão ao impulso económico e industrial gerado na década de 30, associado à afirmação contextual do Estado Novo. 

Entre a década de 30 e o período atual existem profundas diferenças conjunturais, as quais pressupõem enquadramentos igualmente diferenciados em relação ao modo como são tratados os autores da arquitetura na impressa especializada.

A partir de Cassiano Branco lança-se um debate em torno do protagonismo de arquitetos em revistas especializadas ou periódicos generalistas, bem como sobre o modo como através destes media é explorada a personalidade autoral dos mesmos.


Paulo Tormenta Pinto (organizador/coordinator); André Tavares; Joaquim Moreno; Nuno Grande; Tiago Mota Saraiva;


Coordenação geral: Rute Figueiredo e Paulo Tormenta Pinto


Os ciclos de debates contaram com a parceria institucional da

Secção Regional Sul da Ordem dos Arquitectos



Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos, MUDE, ESAD


Download poster debate


Architecture as seen by architects

23 April 2015 / FCSH, Lisbon / 6 p.m.


Architecture as seen by Architects


It would be hard to deny that the specialty journals were, always, privileged places for the construction of a narrative about Architecture. Indeed, the architects, simultaneously protagonists and builders of their own knowledge’s discourse, have come to define the history of architecture from the building works, looking them as entities liable to reconfigure the settings in which they are included and the identity of their authors. This session aims to put the architect at the center of the debate and understand the position that he occupies in the definition of such narrative, and to what extent this relationship determines the subsequent readings.

Margarida Acciaiuoli (organizador/coordinator); José Augusto; Michel Toussaint; França Nuno Portas;


Coordenação geral: Rute Figueiredo e Paulo Tormenta Pinto


Os ciclos de debates contaram com a parceria institucional da

Secção Regional Sul da Ordem dos Arquitectos



Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos, MUDE, ESAD


Download poster debate



Young architectural editors – new discourse bases

21 April 2015 / Lisboa, Ordem dos Arquitectos / 10 p.m.


Young architectural editors – New discourse bases


The vitality of the architectural discourse is closely linked to the analytical sensibilities of the editors that promote debates, thus helping to broaden the discipline’s critical consciousness. By bringing together social awareness and space planning, architecture constitutes one of the most significant research fields on the conjunctural dynamics of a given historical period. Even more so in critical times, the architectural discourse emerges in strength asserting itself as a compass of architectural positions, and a catalyst for new ideas and intervention areas. The possibilities opened up by the digital world have given rise to novel editorial projects and permitted new agents to come to the fore, reaching a broad audience with greater autonomy and effectiveness.

This session will bring together young editors with the purpose of debating the contemporary discourse and, in particular: relations between criticism and the new editorial tools; relations between a broader debate and discourse fragmentation; today’s architectural challenges.


Novos editores – As novas bases do discuros


A vitalidade do discurso arquitectónico está fortemente relacionado com a sensibilidade analítica dos editores que promovem e veiculam debates, contribuindo para ampliar a consciência crítica da própria disciplina. Ao aliar a sensibilidade social com a formulação do espaço, a arquitectura constitui-se como uma das mais importantes bases de pesquisa sobre as dinâmicas conjunturais de cada período histórico. Sobretudo em momentos críticos, o discurso arquitectónico emerge com preponderância afirmando-se como instrumento norteador da posição dos arquitectos e como catalisador de novas ideias, ou áreas de intervenção. As potencialidades do mundo digital, têm possibilitado o surgimento de projectos editoriais, permitindo a afirmação de novos agentes que, com maior autonomia e eficácia, têm conseguido chegar a públicos amplos.

Com esta sessão pretende debater-se, entre novos editores, os contornos contemporâneos do discurso, aferindo nomeadamente: as relações entre a crítica e as novas ferramentas de edição; as relações entre a disseminação do debate e fragmentação do discurso; e os desafios contemporâneos da arquitectura.


Paulo Tormenta Pinto, Ana Vaz Milheiro (organizadores/coordinators) Alexandra Areia; Hugo Oliveira; Pedro Baía; Pedro Bismarck; Tiago Krusse


Coordenação geral: Rute Figueiredo e Paulo Tormenta Pinto


Os ciclos de debates contaram com a parceria institucional da

Secção Regional Sul da Ordem dos Arquitectos



Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos, MUDE, ESAD


Download poster debate

The Agents of Criticism

18 March 2015 / Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos SRS, Lisbon / 6 p.m.


The Agents of Criticism


Specialized magazines and other disciplinary periodicals can be seen as arenas in which to assert trends and positions. However, and quoting Nuno Portas, in the Portuguese case architecture, unlike other arts, seems to be unscathed by criticism and contrary opinions. In spite of this generally uncritical climate, the specialized press has on occasion been the stage for ruptures and the assertion of affinities, thus redrawing the playing field and the peer relations within it.

Within this framework, the panel will seek to determine the degree of specificity in architectural criticism compared to that in other areas (literature, painting, sculpture, cinema). It will also attempt to draw the social map of such criticism, both from a sociological and a historical perspective; understanding whether the lexicon of this criticism is specific to the field by comparison to that produced in other arts and knowledge fields.  Which criteria ultimately determine a critic’s excellence today? How does the critical discourse relate to the question of taste? What is the relationship between criticism and the awarding of prizes and other distinctions?


Coordenação geral: Rute Figueiredo e Paulo Tormenta Pinto


Os ciclos de debates contaram com a parceria institucional da

Secção Regional Sul da Ordem dos Arquitectos



Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos, MUDE, ESAD


Download poster debate