27 Jun 2016/01 Jul 2016


Year – 2016
Coordination - Paulo Tormenta Pinto
University – ISCTE-IUL School of Technology and Architecture
Location – Lisbon, Portugal

Lecturers – Albuquerque Goinhas, Cristina de Mendonça, Nuno Griff

Assistant - Oscar Barnay

Students - Hugo Casanova, Inês Gonçalves, Inês Sousa, João Antunes, Mariana Carvalho, Mariana Simões

Seminars - Fernando Guerra, Bak Gordon, Falcão de Campos, Ana Vaz Milheiro, Manuel Graça Dias, Gonçalo Byrne, Manuel Aires Mateus, Carrilho da Graça, Nuno Mateus (ARX)

Photography - NAU, Oscar Barnay

Coordinated and organized by the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of ISCTE in the person of architect Paulo Tormenta Pinto, UNLEASH/EMBAIXADA was one of the practitioners invited to take part in the summer course "Building in the South", a research space where the criteria and contours of architectural intervention in southern Portugal are discussed and experienced in a conceptual way.

This summer course intends to embrace these concerns, involving students in a reflection and project development experimentation around the Southern territory, defined by its expression found in its population density, its extensive non-built-up areas and the monotony and horizontality of its geography. The development of critical reading on the theory of contemporary architecture was the basis to investigate topics such as implantation, typology, limit and dichotomy, light and shadow.

The event took place from 27 June to 1 July 2016. The programme of the event was organised in such a way that, in the morning, there were guided workshops and, in the afternoon, conferences on the central theme of the course were held by guest speakers.


In architecture, traditional technical drawings always use "NORTH" as a symbol to reference cardinal orientation. They follow the principle of the Magnetic North, but as a cultural convention that they are, they could have used SOUTH to transmit exactly the same knowledge: A relative position in space, expressed from a cultural point of view, expressing a sociability process.

Assuming culturally the South as a geographical reference, the objective proposed for this workshop is thus to establish a reflection that follows the same dual principle.

As the North indicates to us the South, we usually reflect the architecture from the existence of a building analysing its effects on the physical and social environment. SUL proposes to reflect architecture from its minimal unit (the Shelter) using its absence (Homelessness experience) to understand its indirect effects on the physical and social environment.

Thus, SUL questions the notions and concepts of "resilience", "dwelling", "urban space" and "body". It also questions architecture in its definition, and on the side effects of its production, both on the city scale of impact of the city and its social fabric and on the scale of individual private space.

This work aims to explore urbanity as well as to take a deeper, more analytical look at our cities. It is a discovery of spaces that we already know but that we have never seen. It's a discovery of new potentials in these spaces. A sensitive exploration of urban space with the desire to change our gaze. A search of spaces with unsuspected qualities, reappropriated. Production of physical and digital elements that allow us to perceive, document and locate this (these) space(s) and their needs.

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