Brhands Foundation Opens Its Doors to Artisans and Designers side by side, with raw materials ready to be shaped by the creativity and energy created through more or less unusual collaborations. That’s how CULTURE is born, a creative hub that grew from Brhands Foundation, one of Covet Group’s projects, known for gathering design and luxury brands like Boca do Lobo, Delightfull, Brabbu, and others. They all have the skills and know-how of arts in their DNA, they’re brands that produce one-of-a-kind products with a history to tell.
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CULTURE has the ambition to preserve as many national arts and trades as possible, and for that to become a reality, it has gathered government entities, universities, polytechnics, professional centres, artists, artisans and designers with the goal of joining forces and give visibility to the Portuguese arts in the international market.
Joaquim Paulo and João Barros are two of the designers that are part of Brhands and that are the face of this challenge called CULTURE. Joaquim Paulo tells us that “CULTURE project’s main mission is to be able to put, all in one place, the artists, artisans and designers and to create a synergy where there’s an exchange of knowledge and know-how, and being able to project it onto pieces and elevate craftsmanship through design for the whole world”.
The designer explains that due to the “speed and growth of the in-house brands and the business some of this expertise was lost in the creation of new pieces. This is the moment where we took a break, we were able to understand that these values from these craftsmen are a bit forgotten and we want to give them life again through their knowledge and being able to train people, being able to have some artist residencies, always have an exchange of ideas and making these people the face of this project and not the designers or the brands that, usually, are the ones that have more visibility.
Cláudia Nogueira is one of those young designers that has had the chance to experiment and get to know some of the arts better, also counting on the guidance of professor Almiro Amorim, from ESAD (Higher School of Arts and Design). According to Cláudia Nogueira, her and the other young designers started by “understanding and researching what were the several arts” and which ones they would like to work with.
Nuno Barra, Marketing and New Product Development Director at Vista Alegre Atlantis, believes that “there are many points of contact, eventually there are even new types of products that can start from here”. When we talk about artisanal techniques and design, applied to the world of luxury goods, Nuno Barra clarifies: “It’s the combination of the two areas, not even design can do it, it will never be able to make its pieces without the collaboration of the artisan and the artisan also needs design to able to make the pieces that are valued nowadays.
Luís Rocha, Director of CEARTE – Centre for the Professional Training in Craftsmanship, believes “that it’s an extremely ambitious project, but it’s extraordinary, and it’s in line with what’s fought for at a national level and at a European level, for the development of our craftsmanship sector and to sell Portugal out there and in here with what distinguishes us, what identifies us and what makes us different”.
Luís Rocha also tells us about the possibility of the existence of artist residencies, through partnerships between CULTURE project and CEARTE, even though he knows that “it isn’t easy especially in Portugal, most of our artisans are still very closed off to these types of questions, fortunately, we have a group of new artisans, with a different training, with a different openness to the world and that already have, let’s say, some availability, they already have a better understanding of the assets that they themselves can have from the openness to projects like this”, he concludes.
In this first gathering were represented the following entities:
Besides Brhands Foundation, in which CULTURE project is in, Covet Group is also responsible for the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit. All of these initiatives have the purpose of bringing to life the mission chosen by the Group: Elevate Design and Craftsmanship.
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