Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism


Center for Studies
in Architecture and Urbanism

Visual Spaces of Change

Start Year

2018 (On going)


48 months

Principal Investigator

Pedro Leão Neto

Co-principal Investigator

Luis Gonzaga Magalhães

Funding Entity

FCT, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI)

Portugal 2020

Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER)

Funding Value

236.707,61 euros

189.000,00 euros (FAUP)

Project Reference



Proposing Institution


Partner Institutions

Universidade do Minho




Visual Spaces of Change is an interdisciplinary research project combining contemporary photography and visual documentation with georeferencing and new technologies.  This project investigates the creation of a network of public and collective spaces capable of catalysing emerging dynamics of urban change in the Porto Metropolitan Region (AMP). 

The territory is simultaneously used as a laboratory for empirical experimentation and stage for visual representation of, and for, its agents and urban change processes. The project aims to alter public perceptions about the transformation of public space and collectively transforming imaginings of the city by articulating material and immaterial resources, which provide more visibility to existing urban change dynamics. The strategy for promoting this articulation includes the development of online facilities for virtual interactions at multiple scales, including a digital platform with georeferenced visual data in temporal layers allowing for the accessibility, diffusion, monitoring, and sharing of visual information. This platform promotes an active dialogue between researchers, local institutions and general public, while contributing to the identification of opportunities for cooperation between citizens, institutions, and the urban environment.

The project draws on broad conceptions of creativity and innovation as driving forces for social and institutional cooperation processes, exploring the potential of photography to question imaginatively and address issues that are transversal to the interdisciplinary debate on architecture, art, city and territory. The project intends to develop tools for a greater integration between emerging sociocultural dynamics in alternative spaces of public participation, institutionalized artistic spaces and the cultural, architectural and environmental heritage in Porto Metropolitan Region (AMP).

Visual Spaces of Change proposes a visual communication strategy based on the development of contemporary photography projects that reflect upon different dynamics of urban change to open new horizons of public intervention in the public space. These projects are conceived as “visual narratives” of these dynamics, intentionally interfering with the metropolitan territory in a self-reflexive representation of its own process of change, reducing the distance between the objects of investigation (landscapes, places, public and collective spaces) and their representations. At the same time, the creative content resulting from this research process is integrated into a visual data online platform, which allows for different levels of interaction between these contents and the general public. Departing from the identification of new dynamics of social change related to marginal productions in the field of art and culture, the project seeks to favour the integration of new cultural identities, incorporating emerging artistic expressions in relation to the public and collective spaces where these dynamics take place, stimulating their interaction at different scales. 

The project advances the potential of architecture, art, city and territory to give visibility to new spaces of public and collective interest. The project’s online platform reinforces this potential, providing a digital support for greater interaction among its audience, constituting a horizontal network of communication between artistic institutions and the public in general. All this provides a basis for visual information that is meant to be expanded beyond the scope of this project, and whose contents can serve to discover new routes and visions of the city, offering different levels of cultural information about public space and territory.

Carlos Ramos Pavilion © Mark Durden; João Leal


Pedro Leão Neto (Principal Investigator)
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Luis Gonzaga Magalhães (Co-Principal Investigator)

Bruno Moreira
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Eduardo Gomes da Silva
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

João Castro Ferreira
Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação da Universidade do Porto

João Barbedo
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

José Miguel Rodrigues
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Joaquim Moreno
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Pedro Gadanho
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Susana Ventura
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Lígia Ribeiro
Universidade do Porto


Iñaki Bergera
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Marco Iuliano
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Researchers who took part in the project

Eduardo Silva (Bolseiro de investigação)
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Joana Rodrigues (Bolseira de investigação)
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

José Barbedo (Bolseiro de investigação)
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Miguel Santos (Bolseiro de investigação)
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Mark Durden (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

João Leal (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Ana Miriam (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Cláudio Reis (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Sara Lino (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Helder Sousa (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Sofia Augusto (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Marta Ferreira (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Sérgio Rolando (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Jorge Marum (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Frederico Martinho (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Edu Silva (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Jiôn Kim (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)

Artur Leão (Projecto de fotografia contemporânea)


Né Santelmo (Direção Artística)
Associação Cultural Cityscopio

Rita Silva (Fotografia / webdesign)
Associação Cultural Cityscopio

Involved Institutions

Visual Spaces of Change gathers a diversified set of institutions and researchers, architects, curators, photographers, and authors in the field of visual arts, in an exercise of joint reflexivity around common concerns linked to the transformation of the territory, the public space and the environment. The active colaboration of that ample network of institutional actors seeks to enlarge its capacity to intervene in its social reality through concerted actions.

Universidade do Porto
Porto, Portugal

Universidade do Minho
Braga, Portugal

Braga, Portugal

Laboratório de Arquitectura, Arte, Imagem & Inovação (AAI2Lab)
Porto, Portugal

Universidade de Saragoça (AAI2Lab)
Saragoça, Espanha

Universidade de Liverpool - Escola de Arquitectura (AAI2Lab)
Liverpool, Reino Unido

Centro para a Arquitectura e as Artes Visuais (CAVA)
Liverpool, Reino Unido

Metro do Porto
Porto, Portugal

Museu de Arte, Arquitectura e Tecnologia (MAAT)
Lisboa, Portugal

Instituto de Investigação em Arte, Design e Sociedade (i2ADS, FBAUP)
Porto, Portugal

Fotografia e Arquitectura Moderna em Espanha (FAME)