Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism


Center for Studies
in Architecture and Urbanism

Research Groups


Architecture and Modes of InhabitingAMH

Architecture and Habitation Modes (AMH) is a research group dedicated to the investigation, discovery, and application of innovative strategies in Architecture, focusing on the understanding of the phenomena of production and use of architectural space and their interaction with new modes of Designing, Building, and Habitation.

Affordable Houses at Mira-Sintra (Agualva-Cacém) © Tiago Casanova (Mapping Public Housing)

Housing architectural design and forms of dwellingADC

Such as the Atlas of Mercator in the sixteenth century, the purpose of this research project (AdC) is to transform an invisible reality in to visible.

The house and the house-project (expressions used here in its wider architectural, cultural and political meaning), determine extensively the domestic space. They refer to a large set of phenomena for whose understanding multiple inter-linking agents are required, in areas as diverse as architecture, history, social sciences, geography, engineering materials and technology industry.

In fact, the wide dimension of the matter, which, as a coherent structure, largely escaped traditional single sector analysis produced on the subject. Failing to include a reading of both individual and global phenomena, abandoning any sense of universality of knowledge and leading to significant confusion, which marked many twentieth century studies.

Clear examples are the post-war rebuilding of cities and the urban sprawl in the second half of the twentieth century, with problematic results on the ecological structure, the widespread adoption of housing types today threatened with radical demolition, together with the production of standards on housing unable to consider different ways of life and new technologies available, or the inadequate use of resources and technology.

The tradition of studies on the dwelling, in general supported by the need for deepening vertical knowledge, drastically ignored its context. This led, in all fields of knowledge, to the hasty rejection of the importance of many phenomena discarded as less attractive and visible, characterized as banal and anonymous, or not immediately related to the production of the house, although generally extensive and significant, which could
have unveiled important but grossly devalued facts and concepts.

More than just replace or upgrade a confused and scattered knowledge, it becomes important to introduce a different approach to the studies of the house, the living and the housing, aiming, with a different approach, a new characterization of a common object, deeply inserted in a grid of rich concepts and structures, that should define and guide the research.

To ensure this goal, the House Atlas, as a group of innovative and interdisciplinary research, will start with the house history and genealogy in the belief that it's an indispensable tool for basic knowledge about the home and dwell, to interpret the changes of the twentieth century and mapify the trends of the present.

Restauro e reabilitação do Castelo de Abbiategrasso para sede municipal © Giorgio Grassi, 1970

Architecture: Theory, Project and HistoryATPH

The ATPH group was formed in 2008, within a reorganization of CEAU. The group developed under the belief that the complementarity of theory, project and history allows the construction of an informed point of view about architecture, and intends to build a patient and open investigation that, although begins in one of the 3 mentioned topics, always presupposes the other 2, as a reflex or an unfolding of the transversal problems that connect them. It is the versatile unity of architectural knowledge through time that we propose to study.

THE IDEA OF ÁLVARO SIZA: THE MUSEUM - SERRALVES © Mark Durden and João Leal December 2020

Architecture, Art and ImageAAI

The general objective of AAI is to articulate the mobilizing potential of Architecture, Art and Image to, among other things, (re)think how the world of Image and the various tools of representation, with special incidence on Contemporary Photography, extend a practice of architecture or theory as instruments of thought and imagination, as well as allow another reading of the city space and its architecture allowing to identify and give visibility to new spaces of political action and urban intervention.Thus, the research areas of interest to the group are, in general terms, those of Architecture, Art, and Image and, in specific terms, those of Documentary and Artistic Photography related to Architecture, City and Territory. In this context, AAI promotes initiatives of research, communication and critical reflection in which Image is present in a significant way, integrating design, photography and other expressions and instruments capable of assisting architectural thought, practices, theory and imagination. AAI is specifically interested in developing and disseminating works that reflect and investigate through photography - in a critical, exploratory and innovative way - the themes of architecture, city and territory, having a comprehensive understanding of architecture as a discipline capable of integrating social, economic, political and technical dimensions reflected in its practices and theoretical body.

Robotic Technologies for a Non-Standard Design and Construction in Architecture © DFL

Digital Fabrication LaboratoryDFL

Established in 2013, the Digital Fabrication Lab (DFL) is a distinguished Research Group affiliated with CEAU/FAUP, dedicated to the investigation of digital design and manufacturing technologies within the realms of design and construction. The research conducted in this field holds immense significance due to the profound impact of these technologies within the discipline. These advancements have not only exponentially expanded the scope of design thinking, representation and materialization, but have also brought about a revolutionary transformation in the dynamics of data flow among humans, machines, and the environment.

Modelo territorial, PERU Riba d'Ave Oliveira S. Mateus © MDT-CEAU, 2022

Territory Dynamics and MorphologiesMDT

The Territory Dynamics and Morphologies group (MDT) continue the research, led by its principal investigators, which, since the 1980s, has been dedicated to the recognition and understanding of the materials, processes and dynamics of contemporary extensive urbanization, positioning itself at the forefront of international research.

Castelo de Santa Maria da Feira, Francisco Barata Fernandes in memoriam © Clara Pimenta do Vale

Architecture, City and Territory HeritagePACT

The Architecture, City and Territory Heritage Group (PACT) develops research in the area of built heritage, from classical antiquity to contemporary times, at different scales and approaches: from the history of construction and the constructive characterization of buildings, typification of current anomalies, through specific building rehabilitation projects, to the definition of general intervention methodologies in historical centres, in areas of expansion of the 19th and 20th centuries or in territorial or landscape units of heritage value.

Mies Van der Rohe, Chicago Federal Center, Chicago, 1960-1974 © Siza Baroque 28.11.2022

Theory and Design PracticesT2P

The T2P research group carries out research in the area of the relationship between theory and the practice of design in the field of Architecture. The group’s object of study does not have a rigid geographic delimitation, but it will privilege research in the area of so-called Portuguese Architecture (in Portugal and around the world), without excluding foreign architecture and architects with architectural affinities with our particular design methods. Furthermore, the object of study does not have a rigid chronological delimitation but will always privilege Contemporary Architecture (in the sense of what is done today and now) or, in the case of studies on architectural practices of the past, in their (historical) relation to the architecture of today.