Collaborations Design Residency

Plant Based Design Residency #4 - Esparto

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

PT_Esparto_Nature Profile_04©Jenna Duffy


1 – 12 April 2024 | Loulé, Portugal | Passa Ao Futuro
Designer: Henrique Ralheta, craftsman: Isidoro Ramos

A designer will collaborate with an esparto basket weaver and 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.

Henrique Ralheta holds a postgraduate degree in Design from the Lisbon School of Architecture. His work includes Product and Spatial Design, Curatorship and Scenography. He is currently a lecturer in Spatial Design and Theater courses. In 2017 he was invited to set up the Loulé Design Lab whose focus is on the dynamization of traditional arts and the local economy, with Design as the engine. He was a Creative Director in the area of Industrial Design and Environments in Brandia – brand design agency, and a regular collaborator with ExperimentaDesign and Miguel Vieira Baptista. Ralheta’s work is represented in the collection of the Museum of Design and Fashion (MUDE, Lisbon).

Isidoro Ramos learned “empreita” in esparto 30 years ago with his grandmother and mother but has only fully dedicated himself to the craft about 4 years ago. Since then, he is one of the very few to harvest this native plant that grows wildly in the mountainous lands of the interior of the Algarve and is very active in maintaining the art alive — be it in the former elementary school turned educational center in his small hometown of Paderne, where he gives training, or by participating often in other promotional activities.

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