Situated crafts —
knowledge, skill and workmanship

Origem Comum/Common Origins is a work and research platform that shows just what can be achieved with the thousands-year-old heritage that is shared by humans and the land. Slowing things down. Awakening the senses. Creating awareness and recovering the connection to our surroundings. A reconfigured way of life.

We research, take into our programme and create simple utensils that return artisanal knowledge to everyday practice. We value objects that improve with time and usage; sometimes they are reworked into more contemporary versions, other times they are merely rescued from oblivion. They are things that are made by hand and for use by the hands and provide a conscious experience of the world.

We work side by side with the artisans because we want to highlight the cultural and commercial status of situated artisanal production – based on knowledge, creativity and workmanship.

We have opened a contemporary space for providing context to, encouraging involvement in and criticism of the vernacular know-how. We want a place for artisanal practices at the global table when the issues of our times are discussed: sustainable manufacture, fair trade, responsible consumption, respect for the climate and for the communal well-being.

Origem Comum strives to rebalance the cycles of nature and the interests of the people. A rebalance based on the common good.

© Vasco Célio / Stills

The Origem Comum/Common Origins platform is a natural progression for The Home Project Design Studio. Since 2004 we have been working with artisans to preserve and transform vernacular practices. This still ongoing work of immersion into different territories has given us insight into the relationship between the natural landscape, the climate and the people in those places. The knowledge we have gained from this is manifested in the ways things are done, in interpreting the surroundings and in attributing meaning and value to the objects.

From potters, basket-makers, weavers, carpenters, tinsmiths, anthropologists and scientists we have learned about technology, natural materials and their processes, about contextual design, about the market, the local economy and natural cycles.

Our journey has taken us throughout continental Portugal (projects for the Regional Coordination and Development Commission [CCDR], local associations and the National Strategy for the Traditional Arts and Crafts at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture), Spain (in collaboration with Artesania Catalunya), Cape Verde (in collaboration with the National Centre for Art, Handicrafts and Design since 2017) and the islands of the Azores (in collaboration with the Azores Regional Handicrafts Centre). In all these places we have worked in the workshops, developing skills, tools, services and products, and we have collaborated with public and private bodies in studying the sector and coming up with new positioning and production and consumption strategies.

Team and Collaborations

Concept e Coordination
Álbio Nascimento and Kathi Stertzig

Video
Jorge Murteira

Photography
Janina Wick
João Grama (Estúdio Peso)
Vasco Célio

Graphic design
Sabine Kornbrust

Research, writing and copy
Cláudia Freire
Frederico Duarte
Guilherme Sousa
Katharina Finke
Madalena Alfaia

Artisans
Abel Carvalho
Abílio Vilaça
Adélio Gouveia
Adélio Real
Aida Bairos
Alentejo Azul
Almerinda Miguel
Alzira Neves
António Paiva
António Polido
António Vaz
Arménio Varela
Catarina Martins
Domingos Vaz
Egídio Santos
Fernando Nelas
Hortense Domingos
José Domingos
Leonilda Silva
Manuel Ferreira
Maria Helena Rosa
Maria Lopes
Palmira Lopes
Quirino Ferreira
Ricardo Lopes
Rodrigo Sim-sim
Valentina Silva

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