Research Areas

Cities and Urban Change

This research line includes research on urban life and urbanism, urban planning, urban regeneration, the history of cities, urban cultures and the memory of spaces and places. It is interested in interdisciplinary perspectives that allow studying or contributing to the processes of urban transformation in Portugal and in the World (particularly in the South), through action-research methods such as projects, participation, mapping, observation, and ethnography.

Art and Conceptual Practice

This research line develops in an interdisciplinary scope provided by the relationship between the system of beliefs and material practices culturally identified as Art and what we designate as Conceptual Practice, that is, the production of reflective and self-reflective knowledge of human experience and its interactions with the natural, social, cultural and ideological world.

Spatial Heritages and Cultures

Within this research line, Contested Heritage represents a thematic area that addresses issues related to the appropriation, manipulation or obliteration of heritage by certain population groups, often for political purposes. Contested Heritage is a cross-cutting theme in several projects underway at CES, especially those that address issues of post-colonialism and collective identity.

Architecture and Spatial Practices 

This research line also involves critical discourse, studies of expert practice (including the design process), housing, and colonial and post-colonial space, with a focus on countries with Portuguese language. Methods encompass history (architectural, urban, vernacular, or formal), architectural and urban ethnography, phenomenology, and theoretical or critical essay, often through research by design.

Culture in Sustainable Development

In this research line, the term culture includes heritage (comprehensively understood) and research approaches include critical perspectives on sustainable development. Research is also associated with the creation of public policies. It includes three sub-lines: Cultural Production, Participation and Governance (includes Social Museology); Cultural Mapping, Planning and Impact Assessment; and Culture, Tourism and Local Development.