COMMUNICATION, PHOTOGRAPHY & MEDIA
Raising the critical awareness of how people live and use urban space and architecture through the use of print and screen based visual media, especially photography image.
The aim of Communication, Photography and Multimedia (CFM), which is a 4th and 5th year semester course in the second-cycle of FAUP, is twofold. On one hand, to give theoretical and practical knowledge on using photography as a research instrument and a media for communicating and representing Architecture, City and Territory. On the other hand, to raise the critical awareness of students on the use of different qualitative methodologies - questionnaires, interviews, photography series and others - when conducting research using visual instruments.
The course runs through two parallel vectors: a theoretical-practical and a practical one. The theoretical-practical classes give students the necessary knowledge for them to be able to question and discuss critically the potential of photography as a communication medium and research instrument for Architecture, City and Territory. The practical lessons give students the empirical knowledge necessary for them to operate the photographic cameras and the graphic software and also guides them on developing, in parallel, both individual and collective photography projects.
The area of study and training of CFM is Documentary and Artistic Photography related to Architecture, City and Territory, which means in fact understanding Architecture in a comprehensive manner as a practice and discipline able to integrate the socio-economic, political, historical and technical dimensions of life. The objective is to encourage students to create photography projects as instruments of design and inquiry of the real that allow to discover new insights about architecture and how it is perceived and lived by people.
Initially students are asked to analyze, question and confront a set of public spaces and architecture, exploring the potential of photography, as well as the openness and interactivity on the Internet for communicating different experiences and perceptions of urban space. During the semester, students create several visual narratives – photographic series - using a set of graphic software and collaborative platforms on the web. These narratives support a set of ideas that posit a position, argument or story about a particular subject or problem of the urban area being studied.
Based on their final work, the students are also encouraged to make, edit, design and produce their own artist's book, zine, or photobook at the end of the term. In this way we establish an important link between the digital and analogue universe and introduce the idea that the book may be also the documental and art object in-itself.
The individual work of students can be used later as the basis for a case study related to research on documentary and artist photography and digital media applied to the reading of architecture, and therefore integrated in the work of the master's thesis to finalize the second cycle of the course.
Finally, it is important to mention the set of lectures, guided tours and roundtables that are offered during the semester, which are open to the public and to the students of CFM. These events offer to students and the participating public the opportunity to hear several authors of various disciplines speaking about Photography, City Spaces and Architecture. The focus of the analysis and debates is on Photography within a Communicative, Artistic and Curatorial framework very centred on how people live and appropriate space and architecture.
Pedro Leão Neto, senior Lecturer