The concept of Portugal Normal is based on a certain idea of normality and departs from a survey of useful, functional, accessible and timeless design objects of national industrial production and which, although ubiquitous in Portugal, have little visibility across borders. This specific way of looking at design originated with Das gewöhnliche Design, an exhibition which took place in Darmstadt, Germany in 1976, and was developed further through the Super Normal exhibitions and publications organised by Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa since 2006.
Recently the idea of elevating normality to an object of desire has also motivated a number of designers and brands who seek to curate or produce well-designed and well-manufactured objects. These have material and aesthetic qualities deriving from a clarification process that is first functional, and related with the means of production, but that eventually translates into formal simplicity. This restraint is recognisable in an almost emotional way as normal objects are those which we feel familiar and comfortable with.
Portugal Normal is a selection of normal historical objects, continuously produced in various materials, of Portuguese origin or manufacture, in parallel with a careful selection of objects designed by contemporary Portuguese designers, which demonstrate common characteristics and a similar potential: that of being able to make part of the Portuguese culture and collective memory. The experimental organization of these objects in groups by material, colour, typology or form, aims to create relations of proximity that reveal the unique characteristics of each selected object, presenting relatively undiscovered Portuguese designers, producers and manufacturers to a critical and attentive audience.
Designers: Álvaro Siza, Adico, Big-Game, Carvalho Araújo, Digitalab, From Industrial Design, Geckeler Michels, Gonçalo Prudêncio, Hugo Dias Coelho, James Irvine, Manuel Amaral Netto, Marco Sousa Santos, Mário Freire, Miguel Vieira Baptista, Miguel Rodrigues, Miguel Flores Soeiro, Nendo, O João e a Maria, Pedro Sottomayor, Rita de Almeida Martins, Studio JAV and The Home Project.