Last week on a trip to Brazil I met with Adélia Borges, the curator and journalist who spoke at the very first WDCD in 2011. It was a great pleasure seeing her again and she took me to the interesting new A Casa Museum for the Brazilian Object that Trip Advisor rates as excellent.
In the concrete jungle of São Paulo, new buildings are rising constantly. One of these is the new A Casa Museum do Objeto Brasileiro. This building is a pleasant, strikingly simple, quiet ‘temple’ for design and crafts. The symmetrical space is entirely dedicated to the handcrafted object. Focusing not only on the cultural, but also on the social dimension of the crafts.
The museum was founded by Renata Mellão as a civil non-profit foundation in 1997. This foundation pioneered in bringing together designers and craftsmen from several areas of Brazil. The projects benefit small businesses of craftsmen all over the country. Their products can be bought in the museum shop, including beautiful hammocks, pillows and table or bed linen.
The foundation also organises trips to places with popular artists and craftsmen. Besides that A Casa offers a virtual museum on the net. Here you can find all kinds of information, in Portuguese only, about the exhibited objects, their production and the Brazilian designers and craftspeople who made them.
Adélia Borges is now working at A Casa as a consultant. Currently the museum has an exhibition on show on tableware ceramics and table and bed linen embellished with ‘boa noite’ embroidery. Borges keeps on researching, analysing, curating and writing about crafts and design as she explained in her talk at WDCD2011.
She also gave me her book ‘Design + Craft, The Brazilian Path’ that was published in 2012. It is a remarkable book on the intersection of design and craft, artisanal objects and social innovation. In it Borges shows beautiful contemporary crafts placed in the wider perspective of crafts in other places of the world and contemplates on the future of crafts in Brazil. Design + Craft shows how social and economic growth can occur by reinventing and renewing crafts, and how crafts can play a strong part in contemporary and future design.