closed | Abstract Submission

Deadline: 19 May - 2016

To submit your abstract (REGISTERED users only, max. 300-400 words and 2 images up to 2MB), click here or send directly to To register, click here

Editorial Policies



The 4th International Conference On the surface: Photography and Architecture - Crossing Borders and Shifting Boundaries aims to continue the success of the previous three editions of On the Surface. The former editions proved to be an important forum for debate and reflection about Photography and Architecture, whose work can be accessed through several internet platforms as and in scopio Editions publications as scopio Magazine, Cityzines, Debates, or the catalog On the Surface: Public Space and Architectural Images in Debate. On the surface: Photography and Architecture aims to promote a global critical analysis around the theme of Crossing Borders and Shifting Boundaries, exploring how image is a medium that, on the one hand, can cross boarders and shift boundaries between different subjects and disciplines where image and photography are present in a significant way. On the other hand, in what ways image and photography are used as critical instruments to understand how architecture is transformed, how it reflects different hybrid cultural identities in many countries, regions or places and how all of this interacts with and affects our cities. We believe that this conference will help to globally promote the awareness and reflection upon Architecture, Art and Image (AAI) and specifically to Documentary and Artistic Photography in regards to its conception as an instrument to question Architecture, City and Territory. This means, on the one hand, understanding Architecture as an extended discipline and practice with an interest, on one side, in the real space and its experiences, exploring new spatial forms and architectural codes, and on the other side, on how architecture operates within larger systems: socio-cultural, technical, and historical. We are interested in understanding the potential of both the Documentary and Artistic universe of photography for building a critical and innovative view of contemporary and past architecture. As well as believing that the worlds of architecture and photography are enriched if photography is not focused on objectivating and documenting buildings and spaces, but also on creating a new understanding and reality based on a subjective artistic gaze.


The format of the papers will be of two types:

(a) the first format, is admittedly theoretical and of critical reflection and can be related to issues of any of the panels; 

(b) the second format, is admittedly practical and can also be related to issues of the panels. This second type, even though requiring a written reflection focused on an individual or collective project, is directed to authors using photography and image in their work as main instruments of communication, design and artistic expression; 

It is intended that this call will yield a significant collection of diverse texts and visual narratives, allowing a rich and deep reflection of how photography and image can be used for understanding the set of issues around the Congress’s three panels, within the universe of Documentary and Artistic Photography for Architecture, City and Territory.

Each panel of this call is open to the following set of issues:

For the 1st panel, which will focus on Architecture and Photography more specifically it will address the issues associated to their mutual interactions, interferences, intersections and interpretation in contemporary discourse. Some issues of interest that can be taken on board, but not limited to, are:

- The importance of the blending between photography and architecture for constructing the modern visual discourse;

- The potential of photography beyond its documentary value;

- New forms of visual narratives in photography for exploration of architecture, city and territory;

- The importance of image for the dissemination and comprehension of architecture;

- The relation between photography and architecture as a new creative processes that brings to light new ways of understanding both fields;

- The relationship between photographer and architect;

- Photography as a design tool for architects to create spaces;

For the 2nd panel that will focus on Documentary and Artistic Photography work related to Architecture, City and Territory, some issues of interest that can be taken on board, but not limited to, are:

- Crossing and erecting borders / cultural differences (mono and multiculturalism);

- To question our cultures’ values and desires and the specific characteristics of the places and time;

- Public spheres and private spaces;

- Urban, suburban, country and transgenic territories.

For the 3rd panel that will be directed to the universe of Architecture, Art and Image (AAI), promoting a global critical analysis around the practice and discipline of architecture and art in general. The aim is to look for various intersections between these two worlds, as well as their connection with the universe of images, with a special focus on photography. collective memories, stories and other issues related to the their work and life paths. Some issues of interest that can be taken on board, but not limited to, are:

- Intersections between the practice and discipline of architecture and art;

- Connection between the universe of images with both architecture and art; 

- The importance of images in architecture and art creation and what are the design tools that architects and artists use today in their practice and culture;

- How does photography and / or images expand the practice of architecture or theory as instruments of thought and imagination;

- How can image and/or photograph be used as critical and inquisitive tools in architecture and the way these tools can transforms and reflect the different identities and cultural universes of the places and the territory;

- How can images expand the practice and theory of architecture beyond the limitations of their physical and constructive materiality;

- The rich universe of images that comprise photography and drawing as well as a number of other expressions that are intertwined with memory and direct the design of the creator;

- The potential in the idea of combining and exploring, at the various stages of the design process in architecture, the use of photography along with other media and design tools and visual representations;

The 4th panel will focus on how we can build an editorial strategy and use image as a medium for discussion and construction of architectural ideas, some issues of interest that can be taken on board, but not limited to, are:

-  What curatorial and / or editorial strategies are best to beget a new understanding and vision about the practice and discipline of architecture: mainstream and counter-culture publications;

- The importance of the digital and network supports understood as tools that can create synergies and build bridges of communication, allowing a broader message and interaction with the physical media of newspapers and other publications;

- The importance of editorial projects for the creation of space for debate and critical commentary, accessible to a broader audience through a free newspaper, and the impact it can have to the production and creation at national and international levels;

- The importance of editorial projects as scopio magazine or Cityzines to promote the publishing world of Portuguese alternative publications known as fanzines (zines), that are often forgotten or known only by a very particular audience;

- What significant relations can be established between alternative publications and architecture or / and photography and how these publications can allow to understand, inquire and render those in many ways, thus enriching its meaning, influencing its aesthetics;

- How do you ‘edit’ architecture or / and photography within an editorial project?


Articles will be evaluated by two anonymous peer reviewers. Submitted articles can be rejected or be returned with the recommendation to revise and resubmit at this stage, accompanied by comments.


The International Conference on the Surface is a biannual event.


This conference is open access


May 19: Submission of abstracts

June 2: Notification of abstracts acceptance

July 30: Submission of full papers

August 15: Notification of paper acceptance

September 1: Submission of revised papers



Pedro Leão Neto

Panels and roundtables coordinators

Camilo Rebelo e Graça Correia
Iñaki Bergera
Olívia Da Silva
Pedro Leão Neto / Ângela Ferreira

Scientific Committe (CEAU-FAUP)

Ângela Ferreira (EI)
Gabriela Vaz-Pinheiro (FBAUP)
Gonçalo Canto Moniz (DARQ-UC)

Iñaki Bergera (EINA-UNIZAR)

Joaquim Moreno (CCRE/FAUP)

José Maçãs de Cavalho (DARQ-UC)

José Pedro Sousa (FAUP)

Jorge Figueira (DARQ-UC)

Jorge Marum (CCRE/UBI)

Madalena Pinto (FAUP)

Marta Cruz (FAUP)

Marco Iuliano (LSA-UL)

Moritz Neumuller (IED-MADRID)

Noémia Ferreira (FAUP)

Nuno Grande (FAUP)

Olívia da Silva (IPP-ESMAE)

Paulo Catrica (UA)

Pedro Bandeira (EAUM)

Pedro Gadanho (CCRE/FAUP)

Pedro Leão Neto (CCRE/FAUP)

Susana Ventura (CCRE/FAUP)

Teresa Ferreira (FAUP)

Roberto Goycoolea (ETSAG-UAH)

Vitor Silva (FAUP)


Articles are the intellectual property of the author. To disseminate copies for commercial advantage requires written permission of author and publisher.

Editorial board: CCRE/CEAU - School of Architecture, University of Porto

Publisher: scopio Editions


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