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Study Options

Alternating opening of the PDA study options from the 2024.2025 academic year, starting with options A, D and E, followed by options B and C in 2025.2026, and so on.

Each curricular unit is subject to the existence of a minimum number of six registered students. If the curricular unit does not have the minimum number of students required, the student must choose one with a sufficient number of students.

Unidade Residencial dos Armazenistas de Mercearia, Alçado Perspectivado, Fernando Távora, 18 de Agosto de 1951 © Fundação Marques da Silva/FT/0016-pd0002 

A — Housing Project and Ways of Inhabiting

The concept of culture expanded to material culture leads to the idea that the architecture is the result of practices determined by historical relations. This principle, if applied to built forms of housing, has wide implications and significant reports for architectural knowledge in its final synthesis, the project.

This study option aims to present and develop guidelines of study dedicated to the theme of housing in its different, conceptual and operative, variations: from the single house to the collective housing, in its relationship with the materialization of the urban space and as a result of constructive options and technology. Its thematic definition involves the in-depth knowledge of cultural processes that explain the construction of the dwelling as a primordial place of men, an everlasting manifestation that is important to investigate: the domestic space.

Thus, in the context of advanced studies and specifically in the research housing project and forms of dwelling, it became essential to dialog with the physical and social environment where the architecture is weaved. To open the debate to other subjects and disciplines without losing specificity allows you to enlarge the architectural knowledge about the spatial devices, highlighting the complex web of relations present in the production of architecture.

The curricular component of the program is organized, such as the other lines of the course in two semesters, with four mandatory curricular units, four optional and a seminar, in two times extended by two semesters, dedicated to the thesis project, a total of 60 ECTS.

Seminar – Research Project
Raquel Paulino
Nelson Mota [TU Delft]

Research Seminar 1
Maria José Casanova

Research Seminar 2
Marta Rocha


"Reflexão pós-moderna", s. d. © DR

B — Architecture: Theory Project History 

The theory, the project and the history are the three different ways in which the architects are connected to the architecture. Heading with this triad this line of research, leading to the doctoral degree in architecture, it’s assumed that the procedures listed above are always present, in varying degrees and establishing between themselves the multiple relationships, in any project conductive to the thesis.

Although the core of the problems can be found in any one of them, is through their complementarity that the construction of a point of view of architects on architecture, can be structured. Consider the theory, the project and the history as complementary and interdependent, also implies that the knowledge produced in each one of these procedures will always have the ability to be translated into what were already, in any one of the other.

Thus, what we are proposing is an enduring and open building of the thesis project that, although assuming, or not, of one of the ways described above, always presupposes the attendance of the other two, as reflexes or splitting of those problems that transversely intersect and come together. It is also the unit of the multifaceted architectural knowledge over time that we are studying.


Riba d’Ave, Vila Nova de Famalicão © FAUP | CEAU

C — Urban Forms and Dynamics

This study option main objective is the development of a pedagogical process that promotes a deep reflection on the territory, the city, the object or the architectural site and their interactions. This process should enable the PhD students to discover their own process of research and communication, learning to distinguish what is permanent and structural from what is transitory and circumstantial. It seeks also to transmit and demonstrate that the urban knowledge is, increasingly, shared by various disciplinary backgrounds that complement each other.

The programme is organized, such as in the other study options, in two semesters with four compulsory courses, four electives, and also a seminar, covering the two semesters and dedicated to the thesis project.


Desenho de Fernando Távora, Casa dos 24 © Fundação Marques da Silva/FT/0290-pd0002

D —
Architectural Heritage

This line of research comprises issues that arise in the study of interventions in unique architectonic heritage, questions that are related to the rehabilitation or redevelopment of significant urban areas of the historic city, subjects that are connected to preservation and enhancement landscape in certain urban or rural areas, and concerns directed to analysis, registration and protection of archaeological legacy related to the ancestors marks of settlement patterns and road networks.

We do not stand for the creation of specialized practice, autonomous within professional or academic scopes, but the existence of a set of characteristics for the operative methodologies, techniques of analysis, survey, strategies and project monitoring of work. The deepening of these specific knowledge and their interactions will contribute to the understanding of the complexity and diversity of the disciplinary field of Architecture and to the enrichment of their contents.

The research will cover a wide range of situations, from interventions in heritage architectural works, urban rehabilitation, interventions in archaeological sites, to the renovation of the Modern Movement structures. Though, the main goal is to contribute to the studies on Portuguese experiences in the area of architectural heritage, promoting their dissemination.

As the other study otptions of the PhD Programme in Architecture, this is organized in two semesters, during which will operate four mandatory curricular units (UC), four optional units and a seminar devoted to the discussion and preparation of the Thesis Project. Two of the four mandatory disciplines are dedicated to intervention theory in architectural heritage and urban rehabilitation and the other two will address issues of research methodology in the context of the preparation of Doctoral Thesis.

Seminar – Research Project
Nuno Valentim Lopes
Joaquim Moreno

Research Seminar 1
Clara Pimenta do Vale
José Aguiar [FA-Ulisboa]

Research Seminar 2
Teresa Cunha Ferreira


Giorgio Grassi, Lützowplatz Berlim, 1981 © DR

E — Project Theories and Practices

Investigar a Arquitectura através do seu principal instrumento metodológico, o projecto-de-arquitectura, implica um movimento do olhar, ora no sentido da Teoria, ora no sentido das suas Práticas. A Teoria da Arquitectura entendida enquanto corpus partilhável de um ofício milenar em permanente reequacionamento face ao tempo presente, não pode senão construir-se à custa de uma reflexão crítica sobre o fazer implicando pensamento, análise, crítica e escrita. As práticas entendidas enquanto formas do fazer em arquitectura, não podem senão consubstanciar-se no desenhar e no construir implicando os domínios da comunicação. Investigar a teoria de projecto em arquitectura significa, por isso, perscrutar os processos criativos subjacentes ao acto de projectar, implicando a consideração dos próprios métodos do fazer arquitectura enquanto referências para o pensar e o investigar arquitectónicos. Neste sentido, propõe-se uma opção de estudos que recorra aos métodos de investigação do projecto-de-arquitectura, designadamente: a construção de problemas arquitectónicos, a pesquisa de alternativas desenhadas e escritas na construção de cenários, o método tentativa-erro na busca de soluções parciais, o carácter exemplar de certas arquitecturas, o manuseamento das noções de traçado, modelo e tipo na investigação projectual, o manuseamento das noções de referência, analogia e afinidade no processo criativo, a leitura crítica do passado e do território com vista à acção, a construção de análises e sínteses através da geometria e suas representações gráficas, a leitura da teoria de projecto a partir de obras e escritos de autores-arquitectos, a releitura crítica da História enquanto material arquitectónico.

Seminar – Research Project
José Miguel Rodrigues
Nuno Brandão Costa
João Pedro Serôdio

Research Seminar 1
Carlos Machado
Jorge Figueira [dARQ-FCTUC]

Research Seminar 2
Nuno Brandão Costa
Sergio Mah [NOVA FCSH]


Common structure

Attendance of the research seminars of all the Study Options
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