philippe block

Philippe Block is Assistant Professor in Structural Design at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he directs the BLOCK Research Group, which focuses on the analysis and design of vaulted masonry structures and new structural design and fabrication approaches. He studied architecture and structural engineering at the VUB and MIT, earning his PhD from MIT in 2009, in which he developed a revolutionary computational method for masonry vault assessment and design. As partner of Ochsendorf DeJong & Block, LLC, he applies his research into practice on the structural assessment of historic monuments and the design and engineering of novel compression structures, with projects ranging from unreinforced vaults in cut stone to appropriate construction projects in developing countries. He has won several awards for his research and work; has lectured worldwide, invited at top universities as well as leading engineering and architecture offices; and did consulting for cutting-edge architects and artists. His work has been exhibited at the Design Triennial 2009 in New York City, USA, and the Architecture Biennale 2012 in Venice, Italy.


Alexandra Paio holds a degree in architecture (Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa, 1993), an Master in Urban Design (ISCTE-IUL, 2003), and a Ph.D. in Urbanism and Shape Grammar (ISCTE, 2003). She is a lecture at ISCTE-IUL in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism and researcher at ADETTI-IUL. She is co-coordinator of the advanced Studies Third Cycle Postgraduate Programme in Digital Architecture (ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon/FAUP, Oporto). Since 2011 she has been responsible for the VitruviusFabLab-ISCTE-IUL.  She has delivered several international lectures and conferences. She has published papers in national and international journals and conferences about the relationship between generative architecture and urban design.


Bárbara Varela, Master Architect, formed in 2011 by ISCTE-IUL. Developed its final work of master’s degree at FAU-SP, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo, Brazil. She joined several NGOs and the atelier Architecture Environment. In 2008 she joined the GRID team, collaborating on various projects. Her research line binds to the themes of Self-construction, sustainability and Indigenous natural resources, having published several scientific review articles. Collaborates with the team of Vitruvius FabLab, being involved in several research projects.


Maria João de Oliveira holds a Master in architecture and Urbanism in the Instituto Superior das Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa in 2008. Since 2007, collaborates with Extrastudio Office, working in partnership and collaborating with several other foreigner offices. In 2010, integrates the research team of ISCTE-IUL, in partnership with the IHRU, developing the Evaluation Study and Diagnosis in the Lóios and Condado neighborhoods, in Chelas. In the area of research has developed multiple jobs, conferences and publishing scientific articles, national and internationally. In 2011, integrated the research team of Vitruvius Fablab ISCTE-IUL.


Vasco Moreira Rato, architect (FAUTL, 1996), master in construction (ISTUTL, 2002), doctorate in civil engineering specialty of rehabilitation of built heritage (FCTUNL, 2006). Collaborator in Cabinet Teresa Nunes da Ponte architecture (1995-1997); technical adviser in the Department of building products from Dow Portugal (1997-2000); self-employed technical consulting projects and works for the conservation and rehabilitation of buildings (2000-2002) where he was coordinator of the conservation project of the cloister of the Jerónimos Monastery (1998-2002), promoted by the World Monuments Fund-Portugal; Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2001-2009). Since February 2009, guest lecturer at the Department of architecture and urbanism of the ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute, where he coordinates the scientific area of technologies of architecture; Member of the Working Group of the Task 41-Solar Energy and Architecture of Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency. Research activity developed within the framework of conservation and rehabilitation of buildings.


Brimet Silva is graduated in Architecture, teaches Digital Systems II, III and IV at ECATI, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, and does research in the fields of generative design (parametric and algorithm architecture), digital process and fabrication. Co-founder and CEO of DigitaLab _ creative laboratory for research oriented towards advanced digital technologies. Authorized Rhino Trainer by McNeel Europe, Co-founder and director of Rhino3Dportugal.


Miguel Ferreira Mendes is a Portuguese architect that seeks, in his projects, a bioclimatic
approach, as well as the using of sane materials, namely earth construction.
He studied architecture in Lisbon and Milan (Italy), between 1989 and 1995. He then had a
Master’s Degree in Ecological Architecture, by the San Francisco Institute of Architecture
(USA), in cooperation with Biosphere2 and the Foundation Convento da Orada, in 1995, and
then studied at the 2000-2002 edition of the DPEA Terre, at CRATerre – École d’Architecture
de Grenoble (France).
From 1999 to 2000, he was a member of the Project team for the rehabilitation of the Paderne
Castle, built with rammed earth in the XII century. In 2003, he was one of the founding members of the Association Centro da Terra – the Portuguese association for the studying, documentation and disclosure of earth construction – that gathers most of the Portuguese professionals and academicals related to earth construction. From 2005, he has been a trainer in several courses and workshops about earth construction for architects, engineers, builders, construction workers, etc., in Portugal as abroad, and he has coordinated courses and training construction sites in this domain, namely for risk groups populations, aiming the transmission of knowledge and skills and to trigger mechanisms of selfhelp construction methods.
He has written texts and articles about earth architecture and construction, and has presented
at several seminars and conferences, both in Portugal and abroad.


M. Idália Gomes is graduated in Civil Engineering at Lisbon Engineering Superior Institute, received his MSc degree at IST – Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. PhD student at Nova University of Lisbon with the subject “Conservation in rammed earth construction. Repair Mortars”. Assistant in Department of Civil Engineering at ISEL – Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon. Areas of interest: rammed earth, earth construction, earth – repair mortars, seismic strengthening.


Eduardo Carvalho, architect by Oporto University in 1998.
Founding member of the architects colective plano B arquitectura in 2002.
Founding member and associate of the Portuguese earth building association since 2003.
The focus at plano B arquitectura has been the use of natural building materials and processes in conjunction with industrial ones.
Bringing together these materials and processes allows us to reflect upon our society, in a time that is defining itself through two apparently opposed movements: the preservation of nature and the increasing technological ability to manipulate its components. In our projects we also try to engage local communities and owners into self-construction.


João de Magalhães Rocha, teaches at the Department of Architecture at the Universidade de Évora, Portugal. He received his degree from the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (1992) with an Erasmus Scholarship at the Politectinco di Torino. Earned a M.Sc from Columbia University (GSAPP) New York (1995) and in 2003 completed his PhD at MIT at the Design and Computation Group. Dissertation title: Architecture Theory 1960-1980. Emergence of a Computational perspective, under the supervision of William Mitchell. He taught at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago (1996), Universidad Tecnica Frederico Santa Maria, Valparaiso, Chile, (1997), and was a research fellow at the GSD, Harvard. His research deals primarily with the development of computation in relation to architecture both from a historical and practical perspective. Is member of the CIDEHUS research center at Evora University.


António Borges Abel has a degree in Architecture, by the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon (ESBAL), in 1977. Helds since 1983, by the same institution, a post-graduation in Conservation of Monuments and Sites. He is a Master in Restoration of Architectural Heritage and Landscape since 1996, and holds a PhD in Architecture since 2008, both by University of Évora. Currently he is Auxiliary Professor of the Department of Architecture of University of Évora and a member-investigator of the Centre of Investigation in Architecture, Urbanism and Design (CIAUD) of the Faculty of Architecture of Technical University of Lisbon. Since 1994, he has been teacher-conductor in University of Évora of the subjects of Urbanism, Building and Building Technologies and Project and Project of Sustainable Architecture. Besides teaching, has a wide experience as an architect in the areas of buildings design, construction site management and still in urbanism, urban planning and urban design, either in Public Administration (City Councils and Technical Support Offices), or as liberal professional in the company Cidade Utópica, Lda.

foto Paulina 2010

Paulina Faria is a Civil Engineer (IST/UTL 1988), MSc on Buildings (IST/UTL 1993), PhD on Civil Engineering – Building Heritage (FCT/UNL 2004). She was a Researcher at the Portuguese National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC, 1987-1996), an Invited Teacher at IST (1993-1997), an Assistant Professor at FCT/UNL (1997-2008), a Coordinator Professor at Setubal Polythecnical Institute (2008-2011) and actually is an Associate Professor at FCT/UNL. She is a founder member of Centro da Terra Association, a member of Research Center in Construction Science CICC-U.Coimbra and a collaborative member of Research Center on Materials CENIMAT-UNL. She mainly works on traditional building materials and products characterization, on the development of building products with byproducts, on the development and optimization of traditional building technologies, especially in terms of technical and energetic efficiency.


Patrícia Lourenço, architect in 1996 from Universidade Técnica de Lisboa – FAUTL; Professional training in Earth Architecture at École d’Architecture de Grenoble with CraterreEAG in 2001 In 2002 Master in Buildings & Construction with an investigation on Earth Buildings, natural materials as a contribution for sustainable construction in Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa.

In 2008, professional training in Management and Leadership at AESE Business School; In 2010 professional training in sustainable construction certification on LiderA System. In 2011 PhD student and researcher at Instituto Superior Técnico. In 1998 and 1999 works in urban and housing renewal programs at the Sintra Municipality City Centre Renewal Department; In 2000 founded the architecture office Companhia de Arquitectura e Design – CAD S.A. where was responsible for corporate projects (architecture2business©) and renewal & heritage buildings. In 2003 is one of the co-founders of CdT – Associação Centro da Terra, a nonprofit organization for the research and development of earth construction. Presently is a member of the direction board.


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