the performance of matter by joao abreu valente the performance of matter by joao abreu valente
nov 28, 2012

the performance of matter by joao abreu valente

‘the performance of matter’ by joao abreu valente


the expression ‘form follows function’ is no longer a representative statement in the production world. the shift has gone toward a more honest materialization of design thinking – in other words, the process. to that extent, portuguese designer joao abreu valente uses a liquid method of research to question the functional meaning of the process and to explore the idea of objects producing other objects.


his project ‘the performance of matter, approaches the moment of transformation itself by exploring the idea of a ‘liquid process’, essentially seeking a more fluid way of working. in his first of two developments, the ‘teapot’ set, is a single mold that produces an entire tea set. by using a fixed amount of liquid clay, the production of each object leaves less material to make the next one. the coloring of the clay is a visual translation of this process, where the first casting reveals the initial mixing of two different shadea that eventually start to blend into a single hue as the material is poured in and out of the mold, repeating the gesture.


 in the same vein, ‘wood casting’ is a wardrobe that creates its own mirror. by casting aluminum in a wooden mold, the process of transformation generates its own ornament and function through a material interaction. the mirror is created by pouring and polishing the surface, revealing the reflective potential of the aluminum. the grain is visibly charred by the metal, and likewise, the aluminum mirror frame is imprinted by the lumber that originally encased object creates another according to the functional need; they exist because of one another.



wood casting hanger side



wood casting



aluminum wood print and the burnt wooden mould burnt wooden mould



aluminium detail

teapot’set line



teapot’set vizualization



the tea set






teapot’set collection



coloring process





teapot’set concept illustration



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • many times a lot of lip service is given to the concept of “process” in design – it’s often easier said than done and also easier to do with art than with objects that are at least semi-functional

    this work succeeds in leaving behind real concrete evidence of procedural actions while also producing objects that are both funtional and posessing of a sublime and mysterious beauty

    dbkii says:
  • Great to display clothing made in garment factories that are prone to fires.

    JimCan says:
  • Great

    Carlos says:

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