The environment is a space that surrounds, encloses, encircles. The object is a thing that limits a place and a point of view. To think of architecture as an “environmental object” means to question this dynamic of separation and imagine a discipline that amplifies its context, attunes to it and renders it conscious. Portugal Lessons: Environmental Objects turns to Portugal’s history for traces of a design contextualism that can help us move beyond architecture as the foreground of nature. Based on a recent research program at EPFL’s Laboratory Basel (laba), it speculates that, if ecology means the “study of the house” (from the Greek oikos, “house” and -logia, “study of”), it must also mean the practice of thinking the house. Who do we live with? Who/what do we extend our hospitality to? How permeable should our walls be? How do we organize life on a damaged planet? In our age of human-induced climate change, we must reassess our forms of life and our forms of building.