Objects and furniture that we buy and surround us at home or at the office are somehow a project that started with the began of the 1st Industrial Revolution, still during the 2nd half of the 18th century, through the technological advances and the new labour methodologies.
It is important to bear in mind that a big handmade tradition existed already, from a wide range of intervention from wood to textiles, ceramics, among others, that had a huge influence the design and the manufactures processes.
In the Portuguese context of material culture, it is inevitable to think about Passa ao Futuro; a non-profit association and a cultural initiative based on research into intangible heritage and the Portuguese cultural heritage of artisans and designers.
Through various initiatives, the association promotes collaboration between artisans and designers to re-think techniques and knowledge, products and objects, with a contemporary perspective combined with design thinking, in order to reactive, keep it alive and make know this heritage, namely through residences and later exhibitions.
As we increase the scale of intervention and move towards a bigger and more industrial context, there is an increasingly greater integration of small artisans and more frequent collaborations with independent makers, who manage to introduce a relevant cultural background, as it helps to perpetuate these techniques over time and expands the number of people in contact with them, thus helps to create a more sustainable and materially rich economy.
PS. If happens to be in Lisbon, take the opportunity to visit the Museu de Arte Popular, in Belém, and take a look at the exhibition “Um cento de cestos”, curated by Astrid Suzano and Fatima Durkee, on display until May next year.