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Integrated Researcher

Nuno Grancho

research interests

Theory; History and Criticism of architecture and urbanism. Architecture and Urbanism in former European Colonial Territories.UNESCO World Heritage.

Short Bio

Nuno Grancho is an architect, an urban planner and an architectural historian and theorist who works at the intersection of architecture, planning, material culture and colonial practices and its relationship with the transatlantic world and (post)colonial Asia, from the early 16th century up to the present days.


Within this field, his research projects are focused on questions of human and material agency, the epistemology and geopolitics of architecture and urbanism as a technique of social intervention.


Grancho holds a Ph.D. in Architecture and Urbanism, University Coimbra. In 2014/15, Grancho was a Visiting Researcher, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University London.


Grancho was architect for Douro World Heritage UNESCO.Since 2017.


Grancho is a Researcher at DINÂMIA'CET- IUL.

research project at dinâmia'cet-Iscte

The research project aims to produce a new and bilateral understanding of knowledge about the spread of architecture and urbanism made by the Portuguese in South Asia across the Portuguese empire since the 17th c. (post-Enlightenment), by focusing on its vectors, connections, semantics and materiality.


By combining interdisciplinarity of architectural and urban history with area studies’ knowledge, the intention is to map and analyse more complex dissemination patterns and border-crossing relationships between Portugal and South Asia. Beyond architecture and urbanism, the challenge is to contribute to the writing of a history of modern Portuguese culture, including overseas expansions and transnational dynamics in its scope.

Link to DINÂMIA'CET-IUL identifying mission:

The research project will be carried out at DC, within the Cities and Territories group and in accordance with the research theme Modes of Living, Society and Architectural Culture. The scientific objective is to make a contribution for the study of urban development processes in colonial and postcolonial contexts, that has been carried out at DC. My research project is focused on the former Portuguese colonial territories of South Asia.

Main publications

“Early modern narratives of Diu’s architecture and space”, WritingPlace Journal "Inscription: Tracing Place. History and Memory in Architectural and Literary Practice". TUDelft, Issue #2. 2018.

"The artist as a producer of colonial landscape in Diu”, I Iberian Colloquium of Landscape “Studying and building landscape as a methodological issue.” Lisbon: New University of Lisbon. 2017. Vol. IV, pp. 45-62.

“Diu as an interface between East and West. Comparative Urban History in ‘Non-western’ stories”, Port Towns of Gujarat, ed. Keller, Sara and Pearson, Michael. Delhi: Primus Books. 2015. pp. 259-272.

“Diu: urbanismo, arquitectura militar e arquitectura religiosa” (with Walter Rossa), edited volume, Portuguese Heritage Around the World: architecture and urbanism, Mattoso, José (dir). Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 2011. volume III - Asia and Oceania, pp. 112-127.

“Hibridismo na India: Diu, cidade guzerate e ‘cidade’ católica”, Portuguese Architects Association Journal 220 / 221. Lisbon: Portuguese Architects Association. 2005. pp. 34-40.

Main projects

"Asia on the move: two-way Processes, Data and Legacy of Architecture and Urbanism from former Portuguese Colonial Territories in South Asia", DINÂMIA'CET- Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal. Head researcher.

"The New Silk Road. China's Belt and Road Initiative in Context", International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, Holland. Researcher.

Last update

23 de maio de 2023
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