After a successful edition in Lisbon the Portuguese exhibition Shapes of an identity is going to travel to Madrid. During ARCO, the international contemporary art fair, MUDE will present around 70 design pieces from 44 authors. This selection, curated by Bárbara Coutinho, presents the most remarkable tendencies of Portuguese design over the last 60 years, all being placed into the cultural context of Portugal. Three main themes can be distinguished: Form over Ornament, Practical Intelligence and Between the Popular and the Erudite.

The exhibition shows many facets of design in Portugal. The history of the country has demonstrated that its identity is characterized by an open and receptive mentality. Multiple European, Brazilian, African and Oriental traits have influenced the culture. These features are reflected in Portuguese design, as shown in the exhibition. Besides these influences several themes can be defined. The first theme Form over Ornament shows a rationalist approach in which designers pursue reducing pieces to its essence. Simplicity in its form as well as in its resources pervades. Examples of these designs are: Bookshelf XI by Gonçalo Campos and the lamp Light by Rita Filipe. The second theme Practical Intelligence refers to the sensibility of materials and the way techniques play a significant role in the design. The side table by José Espinho and the vase Hybris by Alda Tomás are examples in this category. References to traditions prevail within Variations on the Theme of Tradition theme, consisting of reinterpretations of artisan techniques, traditional habits and rituals. Examples of this are the design of Splendidor glass by Paulo Sellmayer and the Itálico stool by Henrique Ralheta.

The exhibition can be visited between the 24th of February and the 27th of March in Matadero, Central de Diseño (DIMAD).

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Photos: Central de Diseño (DIMAD).

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Diseño, Visual Merchandising e Interiorismo comercial.

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