JULY 15- AUG 2ND, 2019. Lisbon, portugal

portuguese basket technology summer camp

Successful candidates will be announced at the beginning of June.


The Summer Camp is an iniciative of the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship in partnership with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Fundação Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva. Organised by Passa Ao futuro and The Home Project Design Studio.

This summer camp is a is a fully funded 3 week intensive workshop taking place at the Popular Art Museum (MAP) in Lisbon, Portugal. Design, architecture and craft students are invited to explore five Portuguese basket weaving methods and co-create a series of new pieces with 5 Portuguese master craftsmen guided by design mentors.

The objective is to push the boundaries of what these techniques can be used for in the twenty first century in a beautiful, intelligent and compelling way.

The Summer Camp will be held prior to the opening of Um Cento de Cestos exhibition on Portuguese Basket technology at the Museu de Arte Popular Lisbon in September 2019. The Summer Camp outcomes will be included in this exhibition.

Who can apply

  • Over 18 year old at time of application

  • A young craftsman or a young designer/architect with a strong interest in craftsmanship

  • A student or a young graduate (less than a year since graduation)

  • Good knowledge of English

  • Be able to attend the whole course

  • Live in Europe and be able to travel in Europe




To bring innovation to basketry craft by uniting young people, basketry craftsmen and design mentors. The structure of the Summer Camp fosters the development of collaborative creative proposals by taking advantage of the aesthetical as well as functional characteristics of the following Portuguese basketry materials: Bunho (Tule) , Bracejo, Junça, Palma (Palm) and Vime (wicker).


It is important to acknowledge that craftsmen are creative collaborators and teachers. They are experts and are involved in the creative process with the students. This is an opportunity for both students and craftsmen to dive into an informed collaborative experimentation.

Craftsmen and students will be guided throughout the summer camp by the design team who are also there to guarantee goals of excellence are achieved.


Students have the opportunity to learn from craftsmen and design mentors, practice a collaborative design process and explore a series of techniques that will enrich the development of their practice. Craftsmen and students will be able to look at their practice from different perspectives and absorb a wide range of inspirations, explorations and new experiences.

The final outcome is a series of completed exhibition quality pieces.


Pieces and process will be a part of the Um Cento de Cestos exhibition as well as the reference book. The Summer Camp outcomes can be a stand alone component, used as an independent exhibition in other (future) events.


This intensive course is developed in partnership with the the Michelangelo Foundation, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva and organised by the Museu de Arte Popular/Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Passa Ao Futuro and The Home Project Design Studio.

Scholarships will be awarded to 10 students (5 Portuguese and 5 foreigners) by the Michelangelo Foundation and will cover tuition fee, travel, accommodation and meals of selected participants.


All programming to be held at Museu de Arte Popular in Lisbon




Basket weaving is one of the oldest technologies in human history. It’s also incredibly sustainable, fitting perfectly into the biological cycle. As such it needs to be given new life.

Today basket weaving is practiced by a decreasing number of aging craftspeople. Once an all-pervasive staple of Portuguese life, baskets were used for everything from transporting recently caught fish, to harvesting grapes, to collecting olives, pressing olives for olive oil, to packing dried figs, a host of other agricultural applications, selling seeds and grains, shopping, holding yarn by the loom, furniture, fashion, and decorative arts.

Traditional baskets have for the most part either been replaced by plastic or are no longer needed. The future of  basket-weaving is facing a number of difficulties:

  • The craft is not given the value it deserves.

  • Their know-how is not transferred to a younger generation.

  • The craftsmen struggle to reach their potentials on the (inter)national market.

  • Potential collaborators and new practicers do not have access to their knowledge.

At the same time there is a growing interest in the technologies and patterns of weaving around the world. Designers and architects are adapting these patterns to new forms and materials, finding uses and solutions in before unforeseen ways. Within new economic systems, such as the circular economy model, products made with these natural fibers have great potential. Due to their sustainability credentials, these ancient materials can now  to be given a new life and be brought the forefront of the product landscape.

For these reasons it is urgent to present these techniques and find new ways to preserve and disseminate this knowledge. To carry on the transmission of know-how of these millennial technologies for generations to come.

Basket base collage.JPG