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Architectural History - PhD/MPhil

Start date:

September 2023

Mode of study:

Full time

Research title:

Transnational Brutalism?


Ada is an architect and urban planner. She graduated in 2016 from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Brazil). During her undergraduate studies, she received the Science Without Borders Scholarship to pursue a year-long exchange programme in the UK. In 2019, Ada was awarded the Chevening Scholarship to pursue an MSc in Housing and City Planning at The Bartlett (London, UK), being awarded the prize for the best student of the programme. In 2021, she obtained a Master of Research in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Her research during this period focused on real estate vacancy, resulting in a new methodology for identifying vacant properties using electricity consumption data. Professionally, Ada has led significant design projects at GPA&A, an award-winning firm in Brazil. Additionally, she co-founded 'plano livre', a collaborative practice dedicated to architecture and urban planning. Ada is now furthering her studies by pursuing a PhD in Architecture History, supported by the ECA PhD Scholarship.


Brutalism often finds itself mired in a biased limbo of misinformation. It's commonly believed to be purely British in origin. However, Villanova Artigas, a leading figure in Brazilian Brutalism, frequently contested the influence of the British-led trend, supposedly initiated by the Smithsons. Moreover, recent studies suggest that Brutalism is a transnational movement, having emerged simultaneously worldwide. Architects were inevitably influenced by both the post-war international discourse and their unique local contexts, leading to distinct forms of brutalist architecture. However, further evidence is required to substantiate this claim. This research investigates the hypothesis of Transnational Brutalism, focusing on Brazil and Britain, where culturally significant works are located. Its aim is to revise the history of Brutalism by disassociating it from dominant narratives.