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To connect two hemispheres. The mechanisms of critical mediation in transatlantic culture

22 and 23 may, 2023 | Porto – ESAP; Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ

Since the middle of the 19th century, criticism has been a fundamental practice for both constructing and challenging ideas, models and narratives in the field of architecture. It was, in fact, a crucial mechanism for structuring a network of relationships, contact and exchange between Iberian and South American intellectuals that went far beyond the physical and imaginary borders that different geopolitical tensions helped to erect and crystallize.

Despite recent efforts in the development of monographic works and in mapping its production, the understanding of architectural criticism as a transcultural practice and the specific focus on Ibero-American relations still needs to be explored.

This workshop aims to contribute to fill in this gap. Therefore, it will take the Atlantic space as a metaphorical scope, a contact zone, and, more specifically, will scrutinize on the critic’s mechanisms of mediation, their institutional, formal, and informal places of encounter and exchange. It is based on the hypothesis that such mechanisms gave tangibility to discourses and objects of criticism. From distinct scales and perspectives, the case studies here presented are attempts to approach the ways of thinking and criticizing as an action of transculturation. The purpose is to understand how those places overcome physical and ideological boundaries, and whether a routine of regular meetings between Iberian and South American critics was able to create a culture of exchange, debate, and mutual influence. It is, also, about studying how, inside different waves of globalization, critics seem to have been active agents in the construction of a global citizenship and shared vocabulary.



Rute Figueiredo (CEAA-ESAP)

Priscilla Alves Peixoto (PROARQ-UFRJ)

Maria Helena Maia (CEAA-ESAP)



To Connect two Hemispheres. The mechanisms of critical mediation in transatlantic culture is a workshop shared between the Integrated Master’s Program in Architecture at Escola Superior Artística do Porto and the Graduate Program in Architecture at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. It results from the concerted collaborative effort of the research projects ARCHMEDIUM (CEAA) and History of Architecture Criticism (PROARQ-UFRJ).