Close your eyes and walk through the city

One of the ways of seeing things differently is actually…not seeing them at all! In urban spaces, diverting attention from overwhelming visual information to other sensory experiences can be particularly immersive and revealing. Nowadays, with technological solutions widely available and affordable, artists, scientists and creatives that deal with sound and urban space can explore this realm in most amazing ways.

And luckily, Porto is among those places where innovative and creative research in this domain is done, too. The acoustic heritage of this city has already been recognized through a project named PortoSonoro. Voices, identities, characteristics, celebrations, resonances and particularities of Porto have been registered, mapped and made available for the general public. Ahead of heritage institutions, the PortoSonoro team has already been working on documentation, classification, dissemination and artistic interpretation of the sound heritage of Porto, and the people behind the project are professionals in music and acoustics.

The goals are widely set: mapping the city sound marks, both historical and present-day, registering everyday life of the city, including emerging slang and themes people discuss over a cup of coffee, creating the acoustic experiences through imaginary sound walks.

Porto Sonoro

Here is the link to PortoSonoro’s acoustic map:

What an amazing range of possibilities to research the city life from here!

Anselmo, thank you for the info!

Sivan Askayo’s trips

Recently I discovered an amazing, artful travel blog of Sivan Askayo, a photographer from New York/Tel Aviv. She has a dream job – traveling and photographing for the world’s most renowned magazines. But traveling is more than that for her: it is “a state of mind”, she says. From Portugal, there are photos and impressions from Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon (a lot) and, of course, from Porto.

She also pursues some personal projects, like this, named “Intimacy under the wires”. None of these photos are from the streets of Porto or Lisbon, but they could easily be depicting everyday life of the Portuguese cities!

sivan askayo

Here is the link to her blog:

Now I have the photo-guides to Aveiro and Coimbra!


An item and its discourses

5529_1There is a huge problem about the cultural scene of Porto – the problem of what to choose among so many things happening around!

I will be keeping an eye on the diverse and imaginative initiative of the Porto City Hall named “Um objeto e seus discursos”, that started in March and will be going on weekly until the end of 2014. I already attended one event  last Saturday, that somehow got to span the vast space between 19th-century feminine fashion, higher education and the current economic crisis in Portugal!


P.S. It was also enchanting to see the audience was very diverse, all ages and backgrounds!

Portugal and Porto within ERIH

ERIH stands for the European Route of Industrial Heritage: it is the tourism information network currently presenting over 1 000 industrial heritage sites across 43 countries. ERIH started as an EU project – the network was developed between 2003 and 2008, and when the activities within the EU framework ended, it continued its life through an association registered in Germany (that explains the excellent contents and organization!), so it still expands. ERIH has various categories of membership, depending on type and content of a site, as well as various types of industrial routes.

Portugal currently has 22 sites in the ERIH network (for a comparison, Serbia has 3 sites in total in the network, and BiH has 1). Three of them are in Porto: Dona Maria Pia/Dom Luis I bridges, Electric Tramway Museum and Solar Vinho do Porto. They are linked to some of the main experiences this city has to offer a visitor: one could not imagine Porto without its wine, or trams or bridges! I have already visited a wine cellar for an amazing tasting experience, and seen all the six bridges of Porto, including the two above mentioned, the wrought iron achievements from the epoch of industrial revolution here.


Gustave Eiffel designed the Dona Maria Pia bridge (1877), while his collaborator, Theophile Seyrig, designed the Dom Luis I bridge in 1886. The latter is still in use, while the former has been closed for all traffic, recently cleaned and repainted, and remains an amazing monument that spans river banks and times.


More about ERIH at:

The latest reports!

I am sure all Portuguese already know about it, still very excited to share the important and amazing link:

It is a website of Fernando Guerra, the architect and architecture photographer, containing a whole bank of images related to contemporary Portuguese architecture. And not only Portuguese! He has founded the site together with his brother. His greatest privilege, as he says, is to work with Siza and be the photographer of Siza’s architecture.


Note to self: research thoroughly, investigate how he sees the relations of contemporary and inherited in architecture!

More about Fernando Guerra in this interview:

And a big obrigada to my special source of information 🙂

The oldest house in Porto.

Only a few days have passed since I am based here in Porto, and I already found out which the oldest house here is!

casa beco dos redemoinhos

The house is named “Casa do Beco dos Redemoinhos” and it’s situated very near the city cathedral (to be precise, just behind it). It is dated in the first half of 14th century. Of course, not all authentic elements and details are preserved to the present day. It belonged to a rich merchant who traded with northern European countries. Therefore, there are some Gothic elements (Gothic arches at the doors and windows, two original windows preserved out of 4) and influences of Flemish architecture visible on its façade (the chimney is placed in the middle of the façade, just like in Flanders of that epoch).

Unfortunately, the gate towards the house was locked yesterday at the time of my visit, yet I found nice photos on the web for the blog. And a nice short film about the house, though in Portuguese:

For this discovery and the link, I am thankful to my special guide through Porto.

The CAMOC conference in Gothenburg, Sweden

CAMOC (the ICOM’s Committee for the Museums of Cities) is organizing their annual conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference is taking place between August 6th and 8th, 2014. The theme is INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AND THE CITY MUSEUM.


I am planning to research the industrial heritage of Porto, primarily in the areas of fish and wine production, and the ways this heritage is presented to visitors or tourists in the Porto of today. I will analyze the souvenirs and the vast gastronomical offer of this city linked to this heritage.


Abstract deadline: March 1st, 2014

Link to the conference info:

Metamorphosis – an exhibition about the potentials and possibilities of cork


Browsing through the web site of IGESPAR, I have just found the ongoing Bienal EXD13, taking place in Lisbon (Jeronimos Monastery), between November 8th and December 1st, 2013. Among other events, an exhibition named “Metamorphosis” is a part of the Biennial. The exhibition is dedicated to exploration of limits and potential of cork in the realms of architecture and design. Interesting!


Also, the names of participants assure this is something to look at.

Btw, the whole thing is organized by Experimentadesign, a team doing inspiring research within the areas of culture, design and the creative industries.

More info here: and

The REHAB 2014 conference

Three days in March (19th to 21st) are reserved for the International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historical Buildings and Structures (REHAB 2014), taking place in Tomar, Portugal. It is organized by the Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development. It sounds so interesting for all the heritage people with its nine main topics, ranging from theoretical considerations  to matters of inclusivity or new materials applied in rehabilitation.


Two more good things about the conference: the deadline for abstract submission is extended until December 31st, 2013, and the dear lady and a great expert Görun Arun I know from Mostar TA-MIR seminars will be in their Scientific Committee. BUT the registration fee is über-pricey – 400 € regardless of being a presenter or attendant. Well, something to keep in mind and decide about when the time comes.

The link to the conference:

Hmmm, what do I know about Tomar? Just one fact so far, it has a world heritage site, the Christ’s Convent. I adore this drawing from the travel sketchbook of a Parisian blogger/artist nicknamed Flinflin: