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Highlights from Lisbon Design Week 2024

May 27, 2024

Design took over Lisbon for the second edition of Lisbon Design Week, which was on view across 80 different venues in this beautiful city, from May 22-26, 2024.

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Lisbon’s flourishing creative community came together for the 2nd edition of Lisbon Design Week (May 22-26), a city-wide initiative that included exhibitions in local museums and galleries, special installations in showrooms and shops, design collaborations and related events.  Founded by Michelle Fajtmann in 2023, the first edition of LDW showed the possibilities of what a design week can offer the city and its design community. This second edition, as Fajtmann explains, “takes a big jump, including an advisory panel and more citywide support”. Her vision is about celebrating and unifying the talent and create a community. “Lisbon is the principal ingredient,” she explains.

The focus of LDW is about design and craftsmanship, and this was on display across the city, from up & coming designers as well as historic figures such as Dasciano da Costa. Da Costa (1930-2005), was one of Portugal’s most important design and architecture figures, although he began his practice as a painter – and drawings and paintings form an essential part of his extensive archive, which is now available to be visited by the public thanks to the efforts of one of his daughter’s, who spent the last decade bringing everything together in his former studio. Furniture, shelving and objects are on display along with historic elements including notes and drawings. His work is finally gaining more international recognition thanks to her efforts, and is now included in important collections including Vitra.

Other highlights included bespoke design studio De La Espada, an important supporter of LDW, who exhibited a new handcrafted wooden cabinet at OJO gallery. This stunning arts and crafts-inspired cabinet featured ceramic handles, glazed to appear almost metallic-like, and a handmade tapestry by Catarina Riccabona. Luis de Oliveira, founder of De La Espada comments, “I see the Arts and Crafts cabinet as a container for all the modern crafts that survive and that, in some cases, are flourishing in Portugal and elsewhere. The handles and door details open the door to the world of studio ceramics, the screens allow us to hold dialogues with textile artists and, over time, we hope to see other partnerships develop. In a nutshell, a world of arts and crafts enclosed within a single cabinet. The very best of De La Espada held within a single piece”.

French designer, Sam Baron, who has lived in Portugal for over two-decades, curated a unique exhibition that highlights the diversity, beauty and tradition of terracotta in Portugal. Titled “Nossa Terra”, the exhibition, held in the architectural studio of Manuel Aires Mateus, presented a series of different objects, from historic vessels to contemporary tableware that were installed across two long tables. Set on pieces of standard beige paper that is often used to wrap ceramics, each piece was set next to a red stamp with hand-written details about the artist and object. Baron also recently collaborated with Passa Ao Futuro, an important organization that is helping to give attention to and revive many traditional Portuguese crafts. A new collection titled “Campo” designed by Baron and handmade by Tonio Abel, was part of the organization’s Plant Based Design Residency and launched during Lisbon Design Week.

Roca Gallery presented “Young Design Generation” an exhibition that came from an open call initiative and brought together work by designers under the age of 35. The exhibition offered a chance for younger designers to present new projects, with a focus on experimentation and aesthetics.

Made in Situ, is the ongoing project founded by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance that brings together Portuguese crafts with contemporary editions. His newest project, titled “Caretos” comes from the word for an annual celebration in Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, a rugged and rural region in the north of Portugal, in which the men make wooden masks as part of local festivities. Duchaufour-Lawrance invited several of the woodworkers to use their mask-carving skills in a new way, to create a series of side tables or stools. It offers an opportunity not only. to celebrate this powerful ritual and long-standing tradition, as well as the individual talent of the artisans and their unique skills with wood.

Perhaps on the of standout exhibition of LDW is Pedro Cabrita Reis: Atelier, an anthology of 50 years of work. Set in the up & coming neighbourhood, Marvilla, along the industrial waterfront of Lisbon, a suite of eight monumental rooms, totalling nearly 3000 square-metres of space, held over 1500 artworks from his personal collection, showing the scope of this important artist’s career from the age of 15 to just a week ago. Sculptural installations, found objects, self-portraits, drawings and more, are installed throughout the rooms, with no captions or contextual material, just the visitor’s own vision and interpretation, allowing a freedom to discover Reis’s extensive body of work. This exhibition is on view through July 28th, 2024.

Lisbon Design Week


De La Espada at Ojo Gallery, Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo: Yuki Sugiura
De La Espada at Ojo Gallery, Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo: Yuki Sugiura
De La Espada at Ojo Gallery, Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo: Yuki Sugiura
Nossa Terra, Installation view. Photo: Carla Heyworth
PassaAoFuturo, Sam Baron and Tonio Abel, Photo: Inês Silva
BUCÓLICA, por Oficina Marques, Studio Andringa e Bosque. Lisbon Design Week, Lisboa, Maio 2024. Fotografia: Rodrigo Cardoso BUCÓLICA, by Oficina Marques, Studio Andringa and Bosque. Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo: Rodrigo Cardoso
Luso Collective
"Caretos", Installation at Made in Situ by Noe Duchufour-Lawrance, Photo: Matilde-Travassos
Caretos Carnival in Northern Portugal, Photo: Clement Chevelt
Detail of Caretos Stools, Made in Situ, Lisbon Design Week, 2024, Photo: Matilde Travassos
Pedro Cabrita Reis, Atelier: an anthology of 50 years of work, Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo courtesy Pedro Cabrita Reis
Pedro Cabrita Reis, Atelier: an anthology of 50 years of work, Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo courtesy Pedro Cabrita Reis
Pedro Cabrita Reis, Atelier: an anthology of 50 years of work, Lisbon Design Week, 2024. Photo courtesy Pedro Cabrita Reis

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