Hands on Lisbon is a summer workshop developed by Colectivo Warehouse focused on Design and Build.The aim is to develop meaningful interventions that channel participants’ energy and creativity and involve the communities in the process.

This first edition took place in the Lisbon neighbourhood of Mouraria where the participants developed three interventions. The theme was “The role of CIM – Mouraria Creative Hub in the neighbourhood.” CIM served as the workshop’s production center and simultaneously one of the places to intervene.

The group of participants brought together seven different nationalities from areas as diverse as architecture, product design and social development. This multiculturalism is also evident in the various communities that make up the Mouraria community (Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Mozambique, India, Angola, Pakistan, Portugal, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, China, Brazil).

In the first week the participants had their first interaction with the city and the neighborhood following various activities such as guided tours to Lisbon with local guide, photographic tours around specific themes and getting to know the local associations and residents. After this experiences the participants started the design phase and began developing the interventions divided in groups. In the first week there were also lectures from various Design and Build tutors that fueled the creativity of the participants and opened new horizons and approaches.

The second week began with a training in tool handling and safety on the building site. In addition to the tools provided by Bosch, the participants also had CNC and Laser cutting machines supported by FabLab Lisboa. Three interventions were built during the week that culminated in the community presentation event and inauguration party at CIM.

Caracol da Graça

A temporary artistic installation was developed on the stairs of the Caracol da Graça referring to the image of the Lisbon clotheslines. The concept was to demonstrate the multiculturality of the neighborhood and celebrate its sense of communion in contrast to the time of increasing xenophobia and racism we live in. There are four wooden porches that are connected with clothesline pulleys and support curtains that contain symbols representative of each Mouraria community. The curtains resemble a tiled wall in both the pattern and blue color used and creates a clear analogy to the city. In each curtain one of the communities is highlighted in orange. At the top was placed a bench and a conceptual tree in birch plywood in a reference to the old tree that existed in that place.

CIM Wall

The difficulty of communicating with the outside and the fact that the CIM is very closed itself was identified as one of the problems. An intervention was developed in the wall of the CIM that shows its name on the outside and functioned as a projection base on the inside.

The wooden frame “grabs” the wall without resorting to any fixation. The triangular structure on the outside gives dynamism to the façade and supports the canvas with the CIM lettering created by the participants. In the future events or information about the CIM may be fixed on the façade. Inside is created a projection wall that ends with a bench and a side table. The blue color of the patterns gives unity to the several interventions.

The island

Furniture pieces have been created that combine to form an island in the center of the courtyard. This intervention responds to the need to equip the outer area of the CIM. When combined the pieces resemble the Castelo hill and the faces of the furniture contain stylized elements such as windows, doors, clotheslines, flower pots and roofs to emphasize this analogy.

The furniture pieces allow for numerous combinations when divided. The created pieces can be used vertically or horizontally forming benches, low tables, high tables, sun loungers. In the center of this island we have a flower bed that acts as the only fixed element. All furniture is ready to be used outdoors and indoors and give support to the events happening at CIM.


Team: Colectivo Warehouse
Partners: CIM – Centro de Inovação da Mouraria; BTUIN; Milacessos; FabLab Lisboa; CML – Progama BIP-ZIP; Junta de Freguesia de São Vicente; CIN; Bosch; Jular Madeiras; Campotec; Unicer.
With: Ricardo Morais, Sebastião de Botton, Rúben Teodoro, Romain Deboulle, Monica Di Eugenio
Collaborators: Alaa Alhariri, Allegra Zanirato, Annika Maria Solbjørg, Cayetana Antón García, Eugénio Silva, Fran Matijevic, Katrine Stahlschmidt, Tetiana Kamenska, Vito Grego.