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Maria Rita Pais

Maria Rita Pais (Lisbon,1975) is an architect, lecturer and researcher. She is a graduate by FA-UTL – Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal (1999), a Master in Construction by IST – Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal (2004), and a PhD in Architecture by FA-UTL (2012). She carries her research in architecture and communication media, assessing the particularities of architecture, and its impact both on editorial and theory in architecture fields. For her Master’s dissertation, she researched on “A emergência da arquitectura portuguesa no contexto europeu, no pós Inquérito à Arquitectura Popular em Portugal”, revealing some movements, practical as well as theoretical, that drew attention from the main stream of international critique. For her doctoral thesis, she researched on “Dinâmicas da arquitectura portuguesa na segunda metade do século XX. Um olhar cruzado entre a tipologia de habitação unifamiliar e os meios editoriais”, a study that evaluates the development of architecture theory in Portugal through focusing on single-family houses, a typology playing an important role in both the development and dissemination of architectural conceptions in the second half of the twentieth century.

She started lecturing at IST (in 2004) as an assistant professor for the subject of Project of Architecture (3rd year). She also lectured History of Contemporary Architecture, Critical Discourse in Architecture, Habitat and Dwelling, Dissertation in Architecture, Expertise Seminars, and Curatorial Resources at the Integrated Master in Architecture of EUVG – Escola Universitária Vasco da Gama, Coimbra, Portugal.

She is currently lecturing Architecture Project (3rd year) at ULHT – Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, having previously lectured on Urban and Territorial Planning , Urban Ecology and Sustainability, and Architecture for Public Spaces (all 4th-year subjects).

She has organised several international conferences and scientific publications, and she actively participates in workshops related to her research fields.

She has her own architecture practice in parallel with her lecturing – she considers the two activities to complement and enrich both knowledge and sensibility in one another.

She works in exhibit design, cultural programming and in other curatorial activities, such as Anteciparte, Projecto Alvito, Míni-Stereo, Par Hasard, Habitar Portugal 2009-2011, and “Viagem ao Invisível”.


  • PAIS, Maria Rita (2014) Active silence behind the scenes: women and space changes in architecture, in Matrices, 2nd International Congress on Architecture and Gender, Lisbon, 2014 (;
  • PAIS, Maria Rita (2014) Research by Design in Architecture: an approach into the exploratory research phase, in AE... Architectural and Education Journal, nº11, Lisbon, 2014 (;
  • PAIS, Maria Rita (2012) Interior Spaces for Laze: a look into portuguese domestic in the late twentieth century, Conference and publication proceedings, (in)arch 2014, Technical Faculty of University of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2014 (;
  • PAIS, Maria Rita (2012) Dinâmicas da Arquitectura Portuguesa na Segunda Metade do Século XX. Um olhar cruzado entre a tipologia de habitação unifamiliar e os meios editoriais, Tese de Doutoramento, Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, orientada pela Professora Doutora Madalena Cunha Matos;
  • PAIS, Maria Rita (2004) A Emergência da Arquitectura Portuguesa no Contexto Europeu, no pós-Inquérito à Arquitectura Popular em Portugal, dissertação de mestrado, orientada por Professora Doutora Madalena Cunha Matos, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisboa