Intensive Culture

The uniqueness of the territories in the South of Portugal, especially Baixo Alentejo (Lower Alentejo) and the Algarve has, throughout time, shaped its people and cultures.
The aridity of the Algarve’s Barrocal1 and the plains of Alentejo lingers on in the skills, songs, gastronomy and, more precisely, in the primitive rawness of a unique material culture.
Seemingly monotonous for their lack of dramatic geographical features, these landscapes are distinguished by an unmistakable character that leaves a deep impression on those who journey through them, whilst forever influencing their inhabitants.
The 2009 edition of DESIGNFORFUTURE exhibition introduces “Cultura Intensiva”. This project begins with an observation of the ways of making and using objects within a community to then try and capture its habits and customs, its sense and reason for being. Behind each object and utensil lies a forgotten story. What we want now is to recover these stories and attempt a new continuity.
This collection of scattered memories is being developed dynamically with various actors in the terrain, namely local craftsmen, with the goal of restarting
Developed dynamically with several actors in the terrain, the final goal of this collection of scattered memories is to reactivate processes that are currently stalled and restore lost identities.
The agents we have engaged possess an irreplaceable, ancestral knowledge that should be retrieved and materialized into new functionalities, contributing to generate added value. The results of this action will be presented as original proposals for new objects, made from genuinely Portuguese materials and techniques such as olive and carob wood, schist, cork, woven palm leaf and esparto grass, cane basketwork or pottery. It is our hope that these news proposals can contribute to the retrieval of a lost authenticity.