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IST Press publishes the books “The Shape of the City” and “The Mediterranean Question”

"The Shape of the City" and "The Mediterranean Question" are the result of the "PhD Architecture Weeks" held at Técnico.

IST Press published two books, which are the result of keynote lectures presented at “PhD Architecture Weeks” held at Técnico since 2013. Professor Ana Tostões, coordinator of the PhD programme in Architecture, is the scientific editor of these two books that show the current research in the field of architecture and urbanism, carried out by professionals and students.

“The Shape of the City” presents updated essays on architecture and urbanity, deconstructing the common approach to the history of the city – mainly Eurocentric, American, male, divided between public and private initiatives – by offering new built narratives in which the main protagonists are not the usual suspects: V. M. Lampugnani explores a methodological proposal of presenting what are the broad conditions that shape our cities, by going deep into determinations and dependencies ranging from environmental and technological conditions to social issues and cultural manifestations; S. Whiting reveals how economics defines politics, culture and society in the American context; T. Avermaete addresses the dichotomy between the Global South and the Global North by presenting the experiments in modernity undertaken in Casablanca and Chandigarh; and H. Heynen explores the latent dichotomy in the ideology of the two spheres, through an awareness of the presence of gender patterns in the shape of the city.

“The Mediterranean Question” reveals cultural relationships and hidden narratives, far beyond conventional architecture discourses about the “Mediterraneus” (medius terra) that, for centuries, represented the centre of commercial, cultural exchanges and conflicts: A. Pizza addresses the theme of the Mediterranean syncretism in Spanish art and architecture during the first decade of the 20th century; R. Agarez presents the Algarve, in Portugal, as the most Mediterranean part of what is an Atlantic country; M. Pacheco presents the urban and architectural evolution of Fuzeta, a coastal fishing settlement in Algarve and J. Santa Rita explains how far an anonymous modern single family house (Alporchinhos, Algarve) was developed in deep correlation with the elements of its physical and cultural context, following vernacular influences.

The two books are available online, at IST Press and in bookstores specializing in architecture.