For more than two decades, Emmanuel Babled’s design method has been influenced by craftsmen’s expertise. Learning creativity and how to produce exceptional work in the Italian laboratory first, nowadays his Lisbon’s studio always acts with an initial immersion in each field, developing an engagement with Master artisans and their community. Project’s merge the artisan’s implicit knowledge with the contemporary expression of designer language.
For Emmanuel Babled, craft resources are not only a heritage that demands to be preserved, but a modern tool for sustainable living. They integrate experience and awareness, from producers to consumers. It results in an answer to excessive and blind consumerism and instead a reintroduction of the experience beyond the product. In Portugal, Babled has created a co-working space, dedicated to hosting start-ups, associations, designers and creative activities, A programme of talks and presentations curated by Fatima Durkee, is related to the reintroduction of craft process as an alternative to standard production, including sustainability for the planet and for human life (www.the3rdfloor.net/the-3rd-floor-program-and-events/).
Different associations are hosted in the co-work, such as the UN Portuguese agency of the International Organisation for Migration (www.iom.int/countries/portugal) and Passa Ao Futuro (www.passaaofuturo.com/). Passo ao Futuro collaborated on the Lisbon “think tank” programme and develops workshops and residential programmes for designers and craftspeople. They are promoters of the Reimagine Decorative Arts Residency programme. This project is a collaboration with FRESS – Fundação Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva, that invites designers to challenge the artisans who are affiliated to the Foundation. Many projects are currently in development, always with the mission of showing that design is not only about making products but can actually contribute and inspire better living.