João Abreu Valente


Industrial designer João Abreu Valente was born in Lisbon in 1984. He studied product design at the Faculty of Fine Arts Lisbon (Faculdade de Belas-Artes de Lisboa), graduating with a Bachelor’s degree with honors in 2008. He went on to study contextual design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, earning his Master’s (again with honors) in 2012. After graduating, Abreu Valente returned to Lisbon, where he opened his own studio in 2013. That same year, he and architect-designer Sara Orsi cofounded Arquivo 237, a cultural platform set in the city’s Bairro Alto district designed to promote, document, and exhibit cultural and artistic projects, with an emphasis on supporting emerging artists and designers.

Abreu Valente’s designs are research- and process-driven, and often highly conceptual. His 2012 thesis project, entitled Process: The Performance of Matter, set the tone for his approach thus far, wherein he explores the importance and variability of process, and, more specifically, the notion of one object influencing or even producing another. With Wood Casting (2012), for example, Abreu Valente cast aluminum in a wooden mold, thereby producing a wooden wardrobe that created its own mirror. Meanwhile, his multi-piece Teapot'set (2012) was cast from a single mold and a fixed amount of clay to visually represent the importance of process; as materials dwindled and colors had time to blend, pieces became smaller and colors shifted.

In 2013, Abreu Valente won first prize in the Homeless Design Competition during Salone del Mobile for his Teapot'set. In 2014, he was honored with Be Open’s Young Talent Award.  He has also had several design residencies, including a 2009 Social Design Residency in collaboration with designer Constança Saraiva with the EVA (Exclusion of the Added Value) residencies program in Vale da Amoreira, Portugal; a 2014 design residency at Vista Alegre with ID Pool in Ilhavo, Portugal; as well as design residencies at both the Pico do Refugio–Casas de Campo in collaboration with Maria Pita Guerreiro and Dion Soethoudt and the Oficinas do Convento–Montemor-o-novo (both in Portugal in 2015).

Abreu Valente lives and works in Lisbon.