The exhibition Re-invented crafts shows the current state of Portuguese design. The six Portuguese designers push the boundaries of the local crafts industry. Two tendencies stand out clearly this year. 3D-printing and computationally generated design are two of the focuses among this year’s designers. On the other side of the technology spectrum, experimentation and exploration of traditional local crafts is noticeable in the pieces of the selected designers. Their design approach is straight forward: local resources and a minimum amount of materials is used, complemented by the synergy between craftsmanship and technology. “Less is more” is what the work conveys of these six Portuguese designers.
aicep Portugal Global - Trade & Investment Agency (AICEP) is a government business entity, focused on encouraging the best foreign companies to invest in Portugal and contribute to the success of Portuguese companies abroad in their internationalisation processes or export activities.
DIGITALAB merges analog and digital technology in order to come up with computationally generated designs and structures. The digital crafters use a newly developed non-fibrous and 100% natural material: cork thread. This innovative material is used in their computationally generated designs allowing limitless variations of structures for chairs and installations, so called Co-RK systems.
João Abreu Valente is known for his contemporary approach to ceramics. He already works for over 10 years in close collaboration with the Portuguese crafts industry through which he mastered the knowledge of different types of ceramic casting techniques. In his work the starting point is formed by local production. From there on Abreu Valente examines different techniques and processes. In the tableware collection Fusion he explored the boundaries of digital techniques and craftsmanship. 3D printing and digital programs allow Abreu Valente to create new refined designs and meticulous shapes.
Kite is a suspended lamp inspired by the immateriality of light designed by Manuel Amaral Netto. The design contains only the most essential elements: a light source, a diffuser and a reflector. None of the components is redundant. It is a good example of the Portuguese design approach; looking in an efficient way to the necessities and come up with a straight forward solution, making use of a limited amount of materials. The Kite is assembled by hand and is only produced in small batches. The power source fitting is manufactured by a 3D printing additive process. This method enables the integration of complex geometry in the design.
The Wall Project MAVC is a project developed by artist Maria Ana Vasco Costa. Her design process is driven by the experimentation of color, textures and patterns led by simple geometrical shapes. These shapes are inspired by Portuguese traditional monochromatic tiles. Maria Ana explores new possibilities for the use of traditional ceramics by experimenting with new patterns, temperatures, colors and glazing methods – set in the architectural scale. In this project the use of traditional tiles is transformed into bespoke contemporary surface designs.
The Inflorescence Vase gives the flower vase new meaning. Instead of the usual open container, the outside surface is the place where the flower arrangements are suspended. This refers to the superposition of garlands as in contemporary ikebana. For production, 3D Printing (FDM) replaces the traditional use of clay molds. In this way the ceramic process is more efficient: less time- and labour-consuming.
Caruma vases are developed by a mixture of two techniques: earthenware and basketry. Eneida Lombe Tavares demonstrates the possible relationship between these two different construction fields, creating a certain degree of dependency between them. The production took place in Caldas da Rainha in Portugal. The base of the vase is developed by following a specific earthenware tradition that this specific region in Portugal is known for. This base is complemented by a basketry technique from Angola, where part of Tavares’s roots are from. In this technique, sewed coiling is combined with local natural fibers; the pine tree needles which are called Caruma.