Architecture or Revolution? A Conversation with Nuno Portas and Nuno Grande

Talk, Presented in French, Paul-Desmarais Theatre, 14 May 2015 , 6pm

Evoking a provocation famously framed by Le Corbusier, “Architecture ou Révolution,” this conversation will situate the SAAL process in Portugal within international debates during the 1960s and 1970s on social housing and the architect’s social responsibility. Nuno Portas, Secretary of State for Housing and Urbanism of the government established after the 1974 Portuguese revolution, will discuss his path as an architect, critic, urban researcher, and politician and his involvement in promoting the SAAL program, an initiative that is emblematic of European efforts toward a participatory architecture during the last half century.

The discussion is presented in conjunction with the exhibition The SAAL Process: Housing in Portugal 1974–76.

An architect, critic, and urban researcher, Nuno Portas was Secretary of State for Housing and Urbanism of the first three governments established after the 1974 Portuguese Revolution. He is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Oporto and has taught extensively at universities in Europe and Latin America. His work as critic and editor has been published in French, English, Italian, and Spanish. As an architect and urban planner, he completed several significant projects in Portugal and coordinated over a dozen municipal master plans in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Brazil. He has acted an External Adviser of United Nations (UN) and European Council (EU) and founded and directed the EUROPAN Association. He is the recipient of two High Honorable Medals from the Portuguese government and the Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize for Urbanism.

Nuno Grande is an architect, researcher, critic, and curator whose work focuses on the relationship between culture, politics, and space. He has been Professor at the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra (DARQ/FCTUC) since 1993 and Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of Oporto since 2006. He has curated exhibitions on Portuguese architecture at the Lisbon Architectural Triennale and the São Paulo Architectural Biennale and La Cité de L’Architecture et du Patrimoine. His criticism has been published in Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Japan.

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