Whoever enters the Kinda store on Rua Maria Ulrich, in Lisbon, will come face to face with the exhibition “Daciano da Costa — Father of Design in Portugal” in the coming days, where some of the iconic pieces designed by the portuguese architect. over the years you can see a career spanning several decades. It is located in the Diana Park building, just in front of Amoreiras, where, for many years, there was a famous Zara.
This exhibition is part of a partnership developed between the decoration chain and the Daciano da Costa atelier, which was officially inaugurated this Friday, March 17. Stay there until the 30th of this month and then go to Kinda do Porto, at Rotunda dos Estrela Products, where you will stay between the days April 13 and 18.
“It was a happy coincidence”, Patrícia Bentes tells the Observer. Working as Kinda’s creative director for three years, he had already spoken with Jon Leitão, the brand’s general manager, about the possibility of them reissuing pieces of Portuguese design, as so many international commercial projects do with their designers compatriots
Patrícia worked for 23 years at the Área decoration brand and it was during this trip that she met Ana and Inês Cottinelli, daughters of Daciano da Costa. It was the latter who, in that case mentioned above, recently sent her an email asking if she would be interested in arranging a meeting. “I told him, ‘Jon, you’re not going to believe what just happened to us.’
Eight months later, the partnership materializes. Some pieces from the Daciano da Costa workshop, which has a small permanent headquarters in Lapa, are now on display for the first time in a retail environment in the Portuguese chain store, where one can see, for example, the Alvor chair, the Altis ashtray, the Palace of Ceramics and the Practical bookstore, which is already on sale at Kinda’s online store.
“The Práctica bookstore is the ‘poster product’, let’s call it that”, explains Jon Leitão. Developed in the 1970s in close collaboration with Metalúrgica da Longra, it is a modular piece available in various colors and that can be transformed into an “infinite number of solutions”, according to its managers.
And why make practice the key? “It’s a more democratic product,” says Jon. “It is the most interesting for our target audience. Our positioning is affordable luxurywe try to enable people to buy a dream at an affordable price”.
What actually happens is that the shelf is available through Kinda’s sales channels, with each of its modules costing between 680 and 780 euros. While the other parts are not for immediate sale, they can also be ordered to order.
“They are unique, museum pieces,” Jon says of them. “It is a path that is taken slowly”, adds Patricia. “Unfortunately, Portugal does not have the tradition of celebrating its stars. One of our functions is to change that paradigm, because it is fundamental that we fight for what is ours”.
The Casa da Música, the Altis Hotel, the Gulbenkian interiors and the Casino Park Hotel, in Madeira, are just some of the emblematic spaces in which Daciano da Costa worked throughout a career of more than 50 years, and in the who collaborated with stars of international architecture, such as Óscar Niemeyer. It was from the projects with public buildings that some of the most important pieces of the father of the design Portuguese.
“He was the first person to start doing industrial design in Portugal,” says Jon. “It took that path in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s a business first, but we also have to provide something of value to society. Our role here is as promoters of the brand, because these pieces do not reach the public”.
Patrícia describes this role of the brand as “pedagogical”. And she concludes: “We don’t celebrate national talent much, except in football. And yet. Joana Vasconcelos is not spoiled, but what happened to Dior [a criação de uma instalação para a Semana da Moda de Paris] It was great and few people celebrated it”.
The artist Joana Vasconcelos installs Valquíria at the Dior show at Paris Fashion Week