Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism


Center for Studies
in Architecture and Urbanism

8th Sophia Journal International Conference Landscapes of Care: Photography, Film, Modern Architecture and Landscape Heritage


Hugh Campbell, Igea Troiani, João Leal, Mark Durden, Olívia Marques da Silva, Pedro Leão Neto, Rikke Munck Petersen, Teresa Ferreira

On September 15th and 16th, at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP), another edition of our Sophia Journal International conference took place, continuing the successful annual cycle of international forums dedicated to the critical exploration of the intersections between image and architecture.

Focusing on contemporary photographic and visual practices that explore how architecture, in its broadest sense, can contribute to healing a planet in crisis, the 8th Sophia Journal International Conference: "Landscapes of Care: Photography, Film, Modern Architecture, and Landscape Heritage" centered on both theoretical and fieldwork. The conference examined how architectural photography and filmmaking serve as descriptive, analytical, and interpretive tools, conveying original perspectives and fresh insights into modern architecture and landscape heritage.

The event comprised a program that combined live and video-conferencing sessions, which were broadcast online and allowed a large audience to participate. The program featured a rich and diverse set of activities, including:

Three roundtables, each dedicated to a specific topic (Types, Places, and Processes), where discussions revolved around photography, film, modern architecture, and landscape heritage, with presentations of submitted articles and visual essays.

A photography exhibition titled " The Idea of Álvaro Siza"

A panel/roundtable discussion with invited speakers on the topic of "Documentary Artistic Publications About Architecture," featuring the presentation of four scopio Editions publications, namely "Another Approach to the Works of Álvaro Siza" by Pedro Leão Neto and the "scopionewspaper" collection "The Idea of Álvaro Siza" by Mark Durden and João Leal.

Launching the new call of Sophia Journal, Vol. 9, "Landscapes of Care. Public housing across multiple geographies: Crossing theories and practices". 

The conference emerged as a dynamic platform for addressing thought-provoking issues central to the discussion of photography and film, enabling us to view the social dimension of architecture. It encouraged us to perceive architecture, as Alvar Aalto did, as "a great synthetic process of combining thousands of definite human functions." This perspective contributes to a deeper understanding of the potential for a more ecological and sustainable balance between architecture and nature within modern architecture and landscape.

Organized by the Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism, based at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (CEAU/FAUP), in collaboration with University College Dublin (UCD), London South Bank University (LSBU), University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Newport – University of South Wales (USW/eCDR), and the School of Media Arts and Design (P.PORTO/ESMAD), the 8th Sophia Journal International Conference marked the continuation of a series of conferences closely aligned with Sophia's peer-reviewed publication. Sophia supports and disseminates scientific research by publishing theoretical articles and visual essays that critically explore the intersections between image and architecture.

We are delighted with the success of the 8th Sophia Journal International Conference, which took place both online and in person at our magnificent City and School of Architecture in Porto, designed by Álvaro Siza. The event proved to be not only an important forum for fostering reflection and debate within the realms of architecture, art, and imagery, but also a significant platform for creating a congenial atmosphere that facilitated constructive exchanges of ideas and networking among researchers and colleagues from various countries. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to experience in person some of Álvaro Siza's iconic buildings, such as the Tidal Pools of Leça de Palmeira and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto's Carlos Ramos Pavilion. The exhibition exhibition integrated in the conference opened with a Port Wine reception, courtesy of Niepoort and Vieira de Castro, which all attended, having had the presence of Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation of U. Porto Pedro Rodrigues, marking the inauguration of the exhibition "The Idea of Álvaro Siza".

We extend our gratitude to all participants in this 8th Sophia Journal International Conference, which has been an integral part of our academic community for over eight years. It has played a significant role in establishing an international network focused on the intersection of Photography and Architecture. The organizing committee is thrilled to have successfully hosted this conference, both virtually and in person, and we hope that all attendees enjoyed their time in our beautiful city of Porto.