The project consists in the conversion of an ancient fort that was used as a prison until 1982 (Nossa Senhora da Saúde da Trafaria Fort or the Presídio), into the Institute of Art and Technology of Trafaria (IAT). The project brings together NOVA University’s Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT) and the NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities (FCSH) to foster greater collaboration and research in the arts and technology, creating knowledge and value with a commitment to sustainability, impact over the local community and, hopefully, over the rest of the country, gradually as well. It aspires to become a reference in arts & technology education, both nationally and internationally. 

The IAT project intends to transform the Presídio area into a center for arts, technology,  culture and creativity that is to become a catalyst for a new kind of higher education, applied and arts-based research, as well as future opportunities for enterprises.

The establishment of direct relations with key local stakeholders around the regeneration project is needed to involve different audiences and publics, as well as to unveil the potential of the project, by activating dynamics of reciprocity between the academics, local associations and local citizens. This is needed not only for increasing the relational capital of all actors and for preventing future potential conflicts, but also to enhance mutual trust and to embed IAT in the local complex and delicate environment. 

NOVA IAT initiative will be run in close and permanent interaction with the population of Trafaria and Almada, and in alignment with the objectives of the Almada municipal government. It will be a space open for the inclusion of the various local communities and an ecosystem capable of driving the social development and the economy of Trafaria. “Meanwhile” uses will be key in achieving this. They will also be a tool for NOVA to communicate the masterplan project and engage with the local population.


/Theory of Change: Cultural & Heritage-driven temporary uses as drivers of innovation, community building and growth

The activities at this stage will serve the process of installing the Institute locally, socialising with both academic and local communities the capacities of IAT in developing advanced technology and art research and innovation programs, to serve local needs and contribute to building  new narratives of the area while preserving heritage and history. 

There are three main areas of innovation addressed by the portfolio.

The creation of a bottom-up museum, whose collection will be made of objects and memories co-created with Trafaria’s communities. Participants will be invited to choose objects and stories to be integrated in the museum. Activities are planned to harvest the knowledge and activate the participation needed to create the bottom-up museum: an action-research programme with citizens, including workshops and activities organised in the neighbourhood of Trafaria. These activities will occur in 2022 to feed the process of designing and creating the museum. In parallel, a stream of technical activities for prototyping the digital tools of the bottom-up museum (virtual space, website, app) will be run by NOVA. 

New training programs for master and Phd students, focussed on art and technology and embedded in the local context. The education programs are prepared in the short and medium term by prompt activities such as artistic performances, street education activities, workshops, and a documentary project, developed by FCSH and the local communities within the area. 

Artistic Activities for community outreach: (see timeline of executed + planned ones until 2024)

  • regular activities with iterations for community outreach and social impact (e.g. slam poetry events, walkscapes, fadiagens, etc.)
  • Art-installations involving technology (e.g. TEIA, a large-scale spider web built with luminescent fiber: work-in-progress to involve local youngsters as well)

/T-factor at trafaria

The Trafaria T-Factor project, being one of the smallest in scale of the six pilot projects, is probably also one of the most open-ended still, simultaneously delicate and inspiring, naturally carrying the excitement character of all the projects where everything is still possible to happen.  Bradly, it consists in the conversion of an ancient fort that has been used as a prison until the early 80s, but quite abandoned until recently, (Nossa Senhora da Saúde da Trafaria Fort or the Presidio) into the future Institute of Art and Technology at Trafaria (IAT). 

NOVA University has several proposals and multiple missions integrated in the T-Factor project for meanwhile uses and activities that could positively contribute to the future IAT, as well as to the local extremely fragile communities, in risk of serious gentrification and disappearance:

  • The first mission aims at increasing knowledge and awareness about the local identities, quite diversified and unique, by enriching relational capital and local heritage. The more general goal is to increase local participation and collaboration both within the local community and between citizens and the university.
  • The second mission aims at developing training programs based in Trafaria, focussing on art and technology, with a strong emphasis on the local context. The ultimate goal is to develop new skills and capacities while improving access to resources and opportunities for the local population. 
  • The third mission aims at improving Trafaria as a place, by facilitating the development and access to new services and opportunities in the area, increasing the general attractiveness and improving the external and self-perception of Trafaria.

pilot's stages

June → September, 2021

Exploring & Inquiring

  • Kick off Workshop in June, 2021.

September → December, 2021

Scoping & Ideating

January, 2022 → November, 2023

Prototyping & Iterating

  • Activity plans V1 in January, 2022
  • Transformation Camp in February, 2022
  • Activity plans V2 in April, 2022

December, 2023 → May, 2024

T-Factor’s Roadshow

/local coalition

trafaria local coalition

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

UNL is a public higher education institution with a mission to serve the society through knowledge and education on a local, regional and global level. UNL includes, besides the Rectorate, 5 Faculties, 3 Institutes and 1 School. It  has around 20.000 students, 1716 academics, and 670 non-academic staff, and it is among the 50 best universities in the world under 50 years old according to QS rankings. It is also in the top 10 of young universities in Europe.



EDA – Ensaios & Diálogos Associação

Non-profit Cultural Association. Transdisciplinary collective that explores alternative ways of intervening the territory, crossing culture, art, architecture, education and environmental awareness.



Instrmnts is a cutting-edge collection of musical instruments designed by composer Victor Gama and developed by PangeiArt


Atelier 20

A collective space dedicated to develop unique pieces, sculptures and items in ceramics.



Art group that makes software for exhibitions and the public realm, founded in Lisbon in 2007 by Sofia Oliveira and Jared Hawkey.


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