Against Le Corbusier's opposition of architecture and revolution one may instead ask whether architecture—as a process rather than as an object—can itself be a form of revolution. The SAAL Process convincingly answered this question in the affirmative. An offshoot of Portugal's 1974 Carnation Revolution, the Serviço Ambulatório de Apoio Local (Local Ambulatory Support Service) was enacted by a decree of the provisional government on 6 August 1974. While SAAL was a direct consequence of the revolution, it sprung from research on housing conditions in the 1960s conducted by architects Nuno Portas and Fernando Távora. Instituted during Portas's nine months as secretary of state for housing and urban planning, SAAL was a government-funded initiative to empower the massive numbers of previously voiceless (and often illiterate) Portuguese living in substandard housing at the time of the revolution.1 

The SAAL process was a performative one in which experts had to learn to...

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