THE CENTRE FOR COMMUNICATION AND REPRESENTATION OF SPACE (CCRE) is an open research group that integrates a diverse range of studies and works through its many sites and platforms. The Centre's objective is to acquire the interest and collaboration of individuals from various institutions and fields of study in its research on City Spaces and Culture. The three main topics that come under this theme are the following: (a) Documentary Photography and the critical use of images as a research tool in Architecture, City and Territory; (b) Documentary Photography and Art; (c) Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for collaborative work focused on design communication and learning within Architectural and Art courses.
The CCRE aims primarily to develop activities surrounding the research on City Spaces and Culture, establishing various editorial and photographic projects, as well as collaborative platforms open to the public. These initiatives will further enable communication within the subject and promote interaction between universities, research groups, public institutions and even the general community.
The group explores the idea of image and its use as a method and means of representation, in addition to analysing digital art and various ways of communicating. This allows the development of new forms of understanding and interacting with a wide range of public spaces whilst supporting the use of photography as an investigative instrument in the fields of Architecture, City and Territory. Through this, the project aims to improve communication between various parts of the group, linking the virtual world of the Internet with real homes and places of work, while at the same time offering new perspectives through studies and visual critique.
The AAI project plays an important role as a forum for increasing knowledge, debate and reflection on Architecture, Art and Image (AAI).
Through this, it aims to promote an array of initiatives that help to encourage a worldwide critical analysis of Architecture, Art and Image, while searching out links between these three fields of study. It proposes exploring the idea of image as a means capable of crossing the boundaries between different problem areas and disciplines within Architecture and Art. The project advocates a comprehensive understanding of architecture as a subject that operates, on the one hand, in real space, influencing our perceptual experience and exploring new spatial codes and forms and, on the other hand, one which operates more within artistic, socio-cultural, technical, political and historical systems.
Of particular importance is the connection between Art and Architecture itself, especially in terms of technical and artistic skills. This connection, as described by architect Carlos Martí Arís in regard to design theory and its implementation, represents the possibility of creating an objective and transferable insight into the field of artistic study.
The project acknowledges the use of image, design and photography as critical and investigative devices in representing and understanding architecture and its ability to transform and reflect the different cultural identities that gives it its form.
This understanding involves the exploration of image as a planning tool capable of exploring project ideas and simulating space, both in the actual execution, and within architectural and artistic culture. The project also seeks to recognise the way in which image can extend architectural practice and theory beyond the limitations of their physical materiality; in other words, the project examines how to focus on imagination, as well as image, within architecture.
Scopio Editions is a publishing house that recognises drawing and architecture as integral to the study of Image and aims to highlight a number of other means of artistic expression that incorporate the idea of memory and direct the designing process. Recognising a huge potential in combining and exploring free design, construction design, physical mock-ups and photography, scopio Editions focuses on the use of these image-based media, along with other design tools and visual representation, in order to realise the different stages of the design process and actual construction.
As well as being a partner in the Drawing and Photography International Contest (DPic) - Architecture, Art and Image (AAI) – UTOPIA500, scopio Editions will also be supporting the design and promotional aspects, in addition to publishing their catalogue exhibiting the top 20 entries.
UTOPIA500: A programme commemorating 500 years since the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia is the overarching title for a range of different outreach campaigns that will be implemented globally over the course of 2016. The Project is organised by researchers of CETAPS – the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies at both the University of Porto and the University Nova de Lisboa.
Utopia500 proposes a series of multidisciplinary activities capable of engaging with schools, museums, libraries and even cities in a significant number of countries. It aims to capture the interest of the public and to make clear the many possible ways in which we can transform the world around us. The programme seeks to motivate, inspire and involve all, making clear the power of utopian-thinking to the largest number of people possible: it is what takes us forward.
The programme is managed through its website (utopia500.net), which offers information about the various activities organised across the world, as well as promoting various other competitions and providing links to relevant information and educational material. The project is also being widely promoted on social networks throughout 2016 thanks to the dedicated work of 40 trainees from the Erasmus+ Mobility Programme.
Though the partnership with CCRE, scopio Editions and Óbidos – Literary Town, the Utopia500 programme aims to set up a contest to help prove the importance of utopian-thinking in the architectural world, whilst inspiring young people across the globe to consider alternative ways of organising our space as well as the influence this can have on our social lives.
CETAPS – the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies, of the University of Porto’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the University Nova de Lisboa’s Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, is a research centre funded by the FCT that brings together 63 PhD researchers and 67 young researchers of Anglo-American and Anglo-Portuguese Studies. CETAPS has six major research groups, publishes five online journals, organises five databases and has been investing in the construction of a Digital Laboratory for Humanities subjects.
The Utopia500 project is being developed in line with the “Mapping Dreams” research group, which in the past has been involved in various important university outreach projects.
Óbidos – Literary Town
The Óbidos Literary Town project is an initiative of the Ler Devagar bookshop, supported by the creative writing company Produções Fictícias, the Town Hall of Óbidos and the municipal enterprise of cultural management Óbidos Criativa. With the permanent presence of book agents and leading-thinkers within literature, the Literary Town promotes writing and reading through activities such as festivals, presentations, meetings, representations, screenings, concerts and reading and writing sessions.
In 2015, UNESCO awarded Óbidos the title of “Literary Town”, and its October Fólio Festival drew in more than 30,000 visitors.
The 2016 Fólio Festival will focus on the idea of Utopia as its central theme.