Collaborations Design Residency

Plant Based Design Residency #3 - Palm

This event is a one-to-one residency, where Passa Ao Futuro invited and challenged one designer to collaborate with a palm basket weaver.

PT_Palm_Nature Profile©Pedro Arsenio_02


1 – 12 April 2024 | Loulé, Portugal | Passa Ao Futuro

Designer: Joana Astolfi, Craftswoman: Sónia Mendez

The designer will collaborate with a palm basket weaver. Together they will create a small collection of contemporary utilitarian objects that can go into production. It will take place in Loulé Criativo. A territorial development project, which focuses on the valorization of its identity, promoting culture and heritage in its relationship with the contemporary and incorporates the Space Knowledge, Crafts and Arts (ECOA) that serves as a driving force for various activities: exhibitions, creative residences, workshops and training.

Joana Astolfi (b. Lisbon, 1975) is an architect, artist and designer who draws visual inspiration from a broad universe of found objects and artifacts, with particular focus on history and narrative. Astolfi completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture in England, graduating with Distinction. She lived and worked for twelve years outside of Portugal, including London, Italy, Munich and Los Angeles. During two years in Venice, she was part of the team at FABRICA Creative Research Centre. Since 2014 Studio Astolfi has been responsible for the design of the window displays of Hermès in Portugal. Her extensive list of clients also includes Vitra, Discovery Land, Claus Porto, L’Oréal and De La Espada. More>>

Sónia Mendez, born in Venezuela, came to Portugal when she was eight years old and, from an early age, a taste and interest in the arts awakened in her. She creates modern pieces without forgetting ancestral techniques and valuing the finest materials. Sónia learned how to work with palm from her maternal grandmother between the ages of 8 and 15 and later, around the age of 17, she made this art her profession until today. Over the years, Sónia has trained in various areas of decorative arts, including porcelain painting, in which she was a trainer for around 7 years. More recently, she’s also combining clay and palm to create decorative and utilitarian pieces. More>>

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