Sensitive Image

Project Title

Sensitive Image

Research Line

  • Planning, Territory and Society
  • Instruments of Aid to Design and Construction


The architectural and urban project appeals to more realistic images, which evoke atmospheres and staging of realistic situations for a purpose of communication, beautification and promotion of a concept during a competition.

These images not only freeze the project from the start but do they ensure what they advertise? They often represent scenes of life and environmental conditions of a complex but supposed reality, using the modelling, simulation, photomontage etc. and the end, reality does never evaluate the initial idea.

This research project aims to identify what is representable in an atmosphere and what is not during a project. What is subject to a standard of representation in the image of the project? And what remains of the free expression of architects?

State of the Art and objectives

The objective is to identify the regulatory aspects of the representation of the project (3D, photographs, films) in a competition, for the development of a set of specifications, criteria of evaluation, ensuring a space of freedom and creativity. In other words, the goal is to understand how the atmospheres are taken into account upstream in the process of conception, negotiation and manufacturing of urban spaces.


The method will be based on the case study of urban and architectural projects already carried out by analysing the images and speeches during the design on the one hand, and the observable reality of that built and lived space on the other hand. In other words, the method compares the imagined space, the physical one and the lived spaces and of the same atmospheres of the project.

Problematic and project development

These questions revolve around the notion of atmosphere in the process of the urban project. The assumption is that the atmosphere is imagined, mentioned and represented, upstream during the first ideas of the project, it is not a simple meeting of the built space with practices that fill it.

By setting image of some situations, it becomes the matrix that allows architects to intuitively drive the project since the first idea until the final building, even if it is at the point when the building is given to the uses that the atmospheres become effectives and actual, thanks to the practices of users and to the permanent changing conditions of the environment. It is then necessary to compare this reality with the images that conceived it. It is in this perspective that the image is as important as the text that produces the work.

However, if the text is subject to certain standards that cannot be negotiated because of security, comfort or other standards, the image of the project benefits from a certain freedom of expression which, even if they want to be hyper-realistic, often exceed limits of the achievable.

Evaluation and diffusion data

The object of the investigation here is the designed, built and practiced space. The study of the image of space in these three states is the corpus of this research. The results of this somewhat exploratory research are:-The writing of an illustrated book for students and public and private actors in charge of the production of urban projects.

  • Definition of the standards of representation of the image of the project
  • Communication in journals and conferences
  • Organization of a conference or seminar on the atmosphere of the architectural and urban project and its image


Mohammed Boubezari

Team (at LEAU)

Team (external to LEAU)

  • Jean Martin Caldieron FAU School of Architecture Fort Lauderdale USA
  • École Supérieure d’Architecture, Grenoble France.
  • Thessalie University, Volos (Grèce)


Funding (entities)

Results (achieved or expected)

Book, papers in journal and conferences

Project Beginning (expected date)

Project Conclusion (expected date)