Large housing complexes for the middle-class beyond Europe
The "Optimistic Suburbia" International Conference has its starting point in a research on large housing complexes in the outskirts of Lisbon, Luanda and Macau. In the last decades of Portuguese domain in Africa and Macau, these housing complexes were instrumental for the urban growth, showing similarities as well as diferences. Drawing from this context the Conference intends to open the reflection on these complexes on broad realities, showing the multiple features of urbanizations in several geographical, chronological and social contexts.
The objective is to put into perspective the shaping and the pattern of autonomous neighbourhoods, both of private and public promotion, on the outskirts of big cities, for the middle-class and designed in the second half of the twentieth century. Originally isolated in the orbit of large cities, they were characterized by a set of high-rise buildings of modern design, which were progressively articulated with the evolution of the historical city through major roads, which often ended up determining its limits.
This model, which arose in the interwar period (1918-1939), marked, globally and in particular in the cities which were most affected by the two major wars, more than 40 years of an urban planning convinced of the benefits of decongesting the historic centres – freeing them of degraded and insalubrious living conditions –, of the rationalization of the city and of the development of metropolises served by circulatory systems of transportation to wooded suburbs. Imbued with desires of progress and social aspirations of a new culture and optimism, this model was also controversial and the target of criticism.
Although the origin of the referred model is located within an architectonic culture of central European matrix, its use occurred throughout a long time and in very diverse contexts, such as in Africa, South America and Asia (while in the United States of America this model never triumphed, facing the strength of the “American dream house”), with the middle-class as its target.
The objective of this International Conference is that of acknowledging the initial principles of the model proposed for the middle-class, describing and reflecting on the diversity of results and on the different ways of appropriation in very diverse geographical, social, chronological and cultural contexts.
Call for Papers closed | Call for Workshops until 28 February 2015
Proposals must include: a) name, contact and affiliation of the author(s); b) short biography of the author(s);
c) abstract with no more than 500 words; d) 5 keywords and the indication of the session in which the proposal is to be inserted.
The proposals must be submitted to:
The Conference will have several sessions around six main themes.
1 | Rescuing spatial dystopia. Large housing complexes for the middle-class
Ana Vaz Milheiro | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / CIAAM
2 | Metropolitan (re) territorialisation. Urban expansion and the large housing complexes
Paulo Tormenta Pinto / José Luis Saldanha | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / CIAAM
3 | Death and Life of the large housing complexes. Appropriations, uses and identities
Isabel Guerra / Sandra Marques Pereira | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
4 | The housing problem in the architecture periodical press: manifest, critic and divulgation
Rute Figueiredo | ETH Zurich / D-ARCH / gta
5 | Beyond the model. Conceptual dislocations
Mónica Pacheco | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / CIAAM
6 | Outside looking in. Other Visions − art, literature, cinema and music
Jorge Figueira | CES / DARQ, Coimbra
Dates and Deadlines
Conference Announcement | October 2014
Deadline for Paper Proposals | 22 February 2015
Deadline for Workshop Proposals | 28 February 2015
Notifications of Paper and Workshop Acceptance | 06 March 2015
Deadline for Registration | 15 April 2015
Deadline for full text submission | 15 April 2015
Workshop | 18-20 May 2015
Conference | 20-22 May 2015
Publication of Proceedings | 20-22 May 2015
All the accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, in digital format.
Some papers will be selected for publishing in Passagens, a journal indexed in the LATINDEX Catalogue.
The Registration Fee is 150€ (75€ for students).
Manuel Aires Mateus | Aires Mateus e Associados, Lisbon, Portugal
José António Bandeirinha | DARQ, Coimbra, Portugal
Margarida Acciaiuoli de Brito | FCSH/IHA, Lisbon, Portugal
Carlos Eduardo Comas | UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Rui Leão | DOCOMOMO Macao
Rui Ramos | FAUP, Porto, Portugal
Monique Eleb | LABORATOIRE ACS Architecture, Culture, Société XIXe-XXIe siècles, Paris, France
Ana Vaz Milheiro | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / CIAMM
Filipa Fiúza | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
João Cardim | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
Rogério Vieira de Almeida | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / CIAAM
Ana Vaz Milheiro | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / ISCTE-IUL
Isabel Guerra | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
Isabel Martins | Universidade Agostinho Neto, Luanda
Jorge Figueira | CES / DARQ, Coimbra
José Luís Saldanha | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / ISCTE-IUL
Mónica Pacheco | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / ISCTE-IUL
Paulo Tormenta Pinto | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / ISCTE-IUL
Rogério Vieira de Almeida | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
Rui Leão | DOCOMOMO, Macao
Rute Figueiredo | ETH Zurich / D-ARCH/gta
Sandra Marques Pereira | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL / ISCTE-IUL