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Hard Engineering:

Propositions for Future Ruins

Project Team

Lead Investigator: Dr Jaspar Joseph-Lester
Reader in Art, Urbanism and the Moving Image, and Senior Tutor (Sculpture), School of Arts and Humanities, Royal College of Art, London

Principal Investigator: Julie Westerman
Sheffield Hallam University

Principal Investigator: Susanne Prinz
Director, Kunstverein RLP, Berlin

Principal Investigator: Dr Filipa Roseta
Municipal Councillor: Urbanism / Urban Rehabilitation at Câmara Municipal de Cascais, Researcher at Research Center for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of  Lisbon

Principal Investigator: Dr Sofia Marcal
Curator, National Museum of Natural History and Science, Lisbon

Researcher: Dr Carlos Noronha Feio
Royal College of Art

Researcher: Dr Miguel Santos
Sheffield Hallam University

Hard Engineering: Propositions for Future Ruins explores sites of urban development and transformation to consider how we navigate and repurpose the future ruins of our urban surroundings. In collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History and Science (Lisbon), the University of Lisbon, The Gulbenkian Foundation, HANGAR Contemporary art projects (Lisbon) the Kunstverein RLP (Berlin), Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Oxford and project participants (artists and academics in the field of contemporary fine art, architecture, social anthropology, human and physical geography, civic engineering, futurology and law), the core group of artists and academics have developed collaborative city guides and a film installation as a catalyst for considering natural disasters, dark tourism and the effects of economic crisis to explore how these visible and invisible forces have acted on the cultural development of the city. Hard Engineering is primarily concerned with sharing research methodologies and developing new collaborations that draw from a wide range of areas and approaches in contemporary art practice to impact directly on altering the formats and expectations of the various disciplines involved in shaping cities of the future. The research foregrounds and explores the full social, economic and critical potential of arts relation to urban environments undergoing transformation. The methodological framework is multidisciplinary, established within a practice-based approach that embeds empirical experiences within the larger discursive framework.

Project Outputs


Hard Engineering: Propositions for Future Ruins,  Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Filipa Roseta, Sofia Marcal, Susanne Prinz, Julie Westerman (eds.), Oferta do CIAUD dia FA-ULisboa
ISBN 9789896583699

6 Collaborative City Guides Lisbon

6 Collaborative City Guides Berlin


Presentations: Two four-day workshops (Lisbon, October 2016 and Berlin, April 2017)

Public Events: 6 Public events at the National Museum of Natural History and Science, Lisbon
Event website


Hard Engineering, National Museum of Natural History and Science, Lisbon, October–November 2017

Hard Engineering, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, February–March, 2017

Kunstverein RLP, Berlin, dates TBC

LoBe Block, Berlin, dates TBC


Related Projects and Events

Future RuinsTegel: Speculations and Propositions, 2014

Walking as method:  Walking Cities, book launch, The Showroom, 2017

City guides as art formCoventry: A Guidebook, 2013