The program of this conference comprises three roundtables on which photography is explored as a significant research instrument for building critical and innovative views on architecture as an extended field of knowledge that operates within larger systems, with cultural, artistic, technical, and historical dimensions. The focus of this 5th edition on the publicness of urban space, aims to question how different dimensions of the public sphere may be meaningfully understood or reframed through different lenses and perspectives. At the heart of this debate is the contemporary discussion that the image of the city is in itself modified within the very process of change according to specific sensorial and cognitive conditions, for example, to understand better how other dimensions or diverse data as geographic information of urban environments at very fine scales or resolutions (for example, trajectories data about human activities) combine with architectural formal and spatial aspects of legibility as Kevin Lynch´s five elements or others alike and influence the legibility or imageability of contemporary cities. All these interconnections and combinations can be explored in order to infer how they may originate the possibility of establishing new spatial connections in an expanded territory of cosmopolitan interaction. Within this broader discussion, each roundtable will address the following issues, among other questions posed by the invited authors.

The roundtables will be held on 31st May 2019 at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT).


Opening Session, Invited Speakers and Moderators

This edition of On the Surface brings together a diverse group of researchers, visual artists, architects and curators of international relevance, in an exercise of joint reflexivity about the transformation of contemporary cities and territories.  The talks held at this conference will allow the introduction of a number of issues that are not necessarily foreseen in the initial program of the conference, enabling an active dialogue between researchers, authors and the public, contributing to the identification of new avenues of research and artistic expression related to contemporary dynamics of appropriation of public spaces, and how such dynamics alter the notions of publicness. This pluralist approach aims to favour a dialogic learning not not only among the people and institutions participating in this conference, but also intensifying interactions with the general public in order to identify the emergence of new cultural identities and artistic expressions, in a dynamic that seeks to open new horizons of artistic and cultural expression in the public space. 

Pedro Gadanho - MAAT
José Miguel Rodrigues - FAUP
Olívia da Silva - ESMAD
Pedro Leão Neto -FAUP

Marco Iuliano

Keynote speaker - Beate Gütschow
Moderator - Pedro Leão Neto

Keynote speaker- Bas Princen
Moderator - Iñaki Bergera

Keynote speaker - Gloria Moure
Moderator - Pedro Gadanho

Paolo Rosselli




Visual Spaces of Change through digital images

This panel will discuss mutual interactions, interferences, intersections and interpretations between the virtual world of photography, manipulated visual narratives and architecture in contemporary discourse. We want to discuss, among other things, how constructed and manipulated images that suggest a new reading of, or create new idealised scenarios of existing architectural and public spaces may be used to cross or infringe certain borders people are bound in their daily lives, as a way to act upon reality, fabricating new relationships between individuals and the collective. 
We want to discuss authors whose work manipulate the image on purpose, abandoning the commitment to the literal recording of reality as perceived from the eyes of the observer. Authors reflecting todays possibilities of image creation with digital tools, which expand and potentiate significantly the practice of photography on creating imaginary scenarios of present architecture and public spaces - going beyond traditional objective approaches, exploring the fictional universe and creating alternative scenarios or critical readings of existing spaces, going in this way against the uncritical saturated media consumption of architectural images. Some examples of these works are the ones of Idris Khan, Olivo Barbieri, Filip Dujardin, Beate Gütschow, Emilio Pemjean or Isabel Brison.

Some issues of interest that can be taken on board by the paper contributions, but not limited to, are:
-  How photography can be used for communicating the way past architecture and city forms relate or confront present architectural programs and public spaces and their contemporary public appropriation; 
- The relation between photography and architecture as a creative process that brings to light new ways of understanding the urban space;
- Blending Photography, Architecture and ICT for visually communicating multiple and overlapping dynamics of change in contemporary urban spaces;

Keynote speaker Beate Gütschow
Table moderated by Pedro Leão Neto


Panel #2

Re-framing the Public Space through Artistic and Documentary Photography on Architecture

This panel will discuss how Photography on Architecture may constitute sophisticated visual elements of the subjective gaze of a particular author, used to critically read in a meaningful manner various aspects of contemporary realities. From the sphere of architecture, art and documentary photography we will focus on diverse authors which relate to the subject and practice of architecture, understood as a broad concept and a social space. 
We are interested in authors whose photography may combine diverse approaches and that have public space and architecture as their subject, whose work, in different ways, denotes a will to go beyond the traditional photography of architecture. This may include photography incorporating people (appropriation of spaces by the public) and focusing on direct experience on the urban space and, on the other hand, exploring different artistic expressions and communication strategies; and architectural photography where “different gazes” may be present and are able to bring a new rapport to the understanding of the universe and practice of photography and contemporary architecture. Some cases in point, besides others, are for example Helen Binet, Philippe Ruault, Paolo Rosselli, Cristobal Palma, Armin Linke or Bas Prince.
All these different "architectural gazes" allow to understand city space as a living organism, a rich and multifaceted reality defined by several subjective experiences that continuously shape different and overlapping cultures and societies, allowing to address questions as, for example, how photography may provoke self-reflections of the world triggering imagination and memory of places in new ways. Other matters of interest that will be discussed will allow to question in what extent the characterization of actual historical transformations occurring in contemporary cities and territories may contribute for enhancing self-reflexive attitudes of citizens in relation to their practices of appropriation of the public space. 

Some issues of interest that can be taken on board, but not limited to, are: 
- How photography may set forward the idea of an architecture, changing our on-site perception and even turning it into a projected vision in space;
- What photography tells us about the world we inhabit from the most sophisticated to the most conventional and banal aspect of everyday life;
- The relation between photography and architecture as a creative process that brings to light new ways of understanding the urban space;
- How does photography and / or images expand the practice of architecture or theory as instruments of thought and imagination;
- How can image and/or photograph be used as critical and inquisitive tools in architecture;
- The relationship between photographer and architecture;
- How can photography be used as a design tool combined with drawing for architects to create spaces;
-  How photography can be used for communicating the way past architecture and city forms relate or confront present architectural programs and public spaces and their contemporary public appropriation; 
- Crossing borders among cultural differences, values and desires related to specific characteristics of place and time;
- Urban, suburban, and transgenic territories.
- Intersections between the practice and discipline of architecture and art;
- Connection between the universe of images with both architecture and art;
- How can images expand the practice and theory of architecture beyond the limitations of their physical and constructive materiality;

Keynote speaker Bas Princen
Table moderated by Iñaki Bergera


Panel #3

Architecture and Urban Space in the History of Photography 

This panel will address issues related to Architecture and Public Space from the perspective of History of Photography. This panel is directed to globally promote critical analysis around the relations established between History of Photography and Architecture, and how these relations influence the notions of public space in various ways, thus enriching its meaning and influencing the perception of aesthetical, historical, cultural, political and social aspects of the urban space; 

Some issues of interest that can be taken on board, but not limited to, are:
- The relevance of History of Photography on Architecture Theory
- The use of visual narratives in photography for exploration of architecture, city and territory;
- The importance of image for the dissemination and comprehension of architecture;
- The relationship between photographer and architect;
- Photography as a design tool for architects to imagine urban spaces; 
- The rich universe of images that comprise photography and drawing as well as a number of other expressions that are intertwined with memory and sense of place and space;
- The potential in the idea of combining and exploring photography in architecture, along with other media and design tools and visual representations;
- Curatorial and/or editorial strategies about the practice and discipline of architecture
- The importance of editorial projects for the creation of space for debate and critical commentary, and the impact it can have in the cultural production and artistic creation at national and international levels.

Keynote speaker Gloria Moure
Table moderated by Pedro Gadanho



09:30 Opening Session

Pedro Gadanho (MAAT)
José Miguel Rodrigues (FAUP)
Olívia da Silva (ESMAD)
Pedro Leão Neto (FAUP)

10:00 Opening keynote speaker: Marco Iuliano (30’)

10:45 Panel #1 - Visual Spaces of Change through Digital Images

Keynote speaker: Beate Gütschow (30´)
Moderated by Pedro Leão Neto

Beate Gütschow
Katarina Andjelkovic: Visually reinventing architecture in the pre-cinematic scenario of Idris Khan’s photographs (12´)
Zeca Osorio: Images in Dispute: Olympic Rio and Vila Autódromo (12´)
45 - 55' debate

Along the lunch-break (1,30 min), photography works of the scopio Photoweek and the project Visual Spaces of Change (VSC) will be displayed 

14:30 Panel #2 - Reframing the Public Space through Artistic and Documentary Photography on Architecture

Keynote speaker: Bas Princen (30´)
Moderated by Iñaki Bergera 

Bas Princen
Ana Miriam: Clareira: towards a phenomenological perspective in the representation of architectural space (12´)
Apostolos Kyriazis: Behavioral mapping of Abu Dhabi’s public spaces: Urban research photography and cultural clashes (12´)
Cristina Gastón: Atlas Interactive. Visual Register or Urban Architecture (12´)
45 - 55' debate

16:30 PANEL #3 - Architecture and Urban Space in the History of Photography 

Keynote speaker: Gloria Moure (30´)
Moderated by Pedro Gadanho

Gloria Moure
Ana Amado & Andrés Patiño: The invisible villages. Up-to-date Images of Settlement in Spain (12´)
Mariana von Hartenthal: Bodies in Brasília: from candangos to rock bands (12´)
SUN Haode: A visual technological enthusiasm: industrial urban spectacle: study on “Tenth Anniversary” commemorative photographic albums of China (12´)
45 - 55' debate

18:30 Closing keynote speaker Paolo Rosselli (20´)




Livestream from MAAT
(Coming soon)