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May 26, 2024

Nossa Terra exhibits terracotta designs at Lisbon Design Week

French designer Sam Baron has curated the Nossa Terra exhibition, which displays designs and artefacts made from terracotta to showcase the customs of different Portuguese regions.

Nossa Terra, which translates to Our Earth, features contemporary vases, jugs and plates, as well as historic sculptures dating from the 1800s.

Nossa Terra showcased terracotta designs at Lisbon Design Week

The terracotta designs were displayed on two 14-metre-long wooden tables in the Arquivo Aires Mateus exhibition space, which was formerly the studio of local architect Manuel Aires Mateus.

Baron, who has lived in Portugal since 2001, curated the Nossa Terra exhibition to display the diversity of terracotta and how it has been used across different Portuguese regions.

Terracotta exhibition at Lisbon Design Week
Sam Baron curated the exhibition to display the diversity of the material

“The exhibition is made up of very different types of pieces to show how Portuguese design is evolving and growing,” Baron told Dezeen. “It’s all made from terracotta but treated in very different ways.”

“Terracotta making also translates the cultural habits of the different regions of Portugal,” he added. “In the north, they use more black terracotta while the village of Nisa, which is close to a river, creates white stone bottles.”

“The countryside areas create terracotta water bottles for farmers to drink from when working in the fields, while the cities are more dedicated to ceramics and tiles.”

Among the pieces in the exhibition were black terracotta vases by Porto-based designer Gabriel Tan, water jugs by Lisbon-based designer Marco Sousa Santos, white illustrated jars by ceramicist Vítor Serrano and a water sculptures from the 1800s supplied by Portuguese tile manufacturer Viúva Lamego.

It also featured 3D-printed vases made by local student Sara Batista da Silva from terracotta mixed with coffee waste, and ceramics by local designer Rue Pereia for Danish furniture brand Hay.

Terracotta exhibition at Lisbon Design Week
The designs were displayed on wooden tables at Arquivo Aires Mateus

“You can see contemporary pieces from young designers and recognised brands, archive pieces and architectural pieces like tiles and bricks,” said Baron.

“The idea is to show the diversity of this material and how it is easily shaped by different people, from illustrators, designs, architects and artists – everyone can take a bit of earth and make something with it.”

Nossa Terra at Lisbon Design week
Vases, sculptures, tiles and jugs were included in the display

Nossa Terra is taking place as part of this year’s Lisbon Design Week festival, which is in its second edition.

Elsewhere in the city, the Lisbon by Design fair showcased furniture and craft made in Portugal and the Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian museum extension by Kengo Kuma neared completion.

Nossa Terra takes place during Lisbon Design Week from 22 to 26 May at Arquivo Aires Mateus, Rua Silva Carvalho 175, 1250-249 Lisbon, Portugal. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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