Within the history of Portuguese architecture, a survey conducted on vernacular dwellings in the mid-1950s has a significant place. This article examines how this survey has been remembered and enhanced, mobilised and updated ever since, playing a part in the empowerment of architecture as a discipline, as a profession, and as a matter of culture in Portugal. The main argument is that the collective and individual recollection of the survey has extolled the aesthetic and ethical lessons it provided for architects practice, activating the symbolic capital of an expression of culture long rooted in Portuguese discourses of national identity. This politics of memory has contributed to the recognition of Portuguese architects authority, autonomy and identity as a profession.
- Uses of culture