(Re)descobrir os espaços de cidade: a fotografia como um dispositivo mental que pode levar a uma nova percepção sobre o espaço e a sua arquitectura

Pedro Leão Neto
Arquitecto, Professor Auxiliar, FAUP Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto
Architect, Senior Lecturer, FAUP Faculty of Architecture University of Porto

Maria Neto
Arquitecta, Bolseira de Doutoramento FCT
Architect, FCT PhD Scholarship holder


This article focus on how photography can be used to discover new realities in the city space. Some ideas presented in this article were topics of discussion in several conferences and roundtables that took place in the Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto (FAUP), over the last few years [1]. The purpose of these roundtables was to explain the main guidelines adopted in the teaching of the public space photography topic while showing various authors, their photographic work and what strategies they applied when photographing. The intention of such conferences was to show students how different authors and their strategies are able to integrate technical and artistic aspects by using photography as a mental device that leads to a new perception of the city space and their experiences. This article addresses the theoretical assumptions underlying the strategy adopted for teaching photography subject in the Communication, Photography and Multimedia (CFM) course, at FAUP in the academic years between 2008/2009 and 2013/2014. These assumptions reflect on different ideas about the meaning of photography as a document, art and technique, while simultaneously drawing attention to the link between the conceptual and plastic characteristics in some of the CFM students’ work and the program and pedagogical model adopted in the course. Particularly, to try to understand how it is possible to identify in the final students work the conceptual skills and techniques used for creating the set of photography series that they were asked do. That is, on one hand, the ability to embody an idea and/or emotion within the visual narrative and, on the other hand, to master the technique in order to be able to handle certain shooting parameters that reinforce their ideas, helping simultaneously to give a more complete and imaginative response. Thus, revealing how photography can be both an artistic and research instrument enabling students to (re)discover how architecture integrates and gives expression to diverse dimensions – social, political, historical, technical and many others – and is accountable for the construction of the reality surrounding them and to which they belong.

Keywords: photography; teaching; perception; city.


[1] Ver, por exemplo, conferências ON THE SURFACE e debates D.T.W.