Design Creative Processes Applied to Fashion Accessories from Cargaleiros’s Work Of Art

Fernandes, A. Romãozinho, M.

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RESUMO: Com o presente artigo pretende-se reflectir em torno da importância do design enquanto processo criativo aplicado ao projecto experimental de uma linha de acessórios, tendo como conceito a obra plástica do pintor Manuel Cargaleiro. A analise da obra do mestre cruza-se com um conjunto de referências e memórias desenvolvidas ao longo do seu percurso enquanto pintor. A reinterpretação de técnicas tradicionais como o patchwork ou a exploração de novos métodos de produção, nomeadamente a prototipagem rápida, constituíram parte integrante da metodologia adoptada, lado a lado com o desenho processual e modelos intercalares. Pretende-se demonstrar a operatividade do conhecimento da tradição e das memórias que influenciaram o percurso do mestre, para a prática projectual interdisciplinar. Cruzaram-se imaginários e referências na criação de peças funcionais, dotadas de identidade própria e distantes de transposições explícitas, atitude promovida por Cargaleiro no seu próprio processo criativo.

PALAVRAS-CHAVE: Acessórios; Arte; Cargaleiro, Design; Memória

ABSTRACT: With this article we intend to reflect on the importance of design as a creative process applied to the experimental project of a line of accessories, with the concept of the plastic painter Manuel Cargaleiro work. The analysis of this master intersects with a set of references and memories developed along his career as a painter. The reinterpretation of traditional techniques such as patchwork or the exploration of new production methods, including rapid prototyping, were part of the methodology used, alongside the procedural design and intermediate models. The intention is to demonstrate the operability of the traditional knowledge and memories that influenced the master route for interdisciplinary project-oriented practice. The imaginary and references were crossed in the creation of functional parts, which have their own identity and distant from explicit transpositions, an attitude promoted by Cargaleiro in his own creative process.


KEYWORDS: Accessories; Art; Cargaleiro, Design; Memory

1. Definition of the Problem

To develop this project, we intended to cross a body of knowledge from different areas in order to establish a connection between the design and the art of the master Cargaleiro. The Design as a creative area moves by a constant experimentation in development around new products, having the innovation factor constitute an inexhaustible pole when combined with cultural values. Based on the concept of differentiation and added innovation principle to a cultural value (BRANCO, 2005) the following question was placed in a first moment: In what way (s) can we intersect traditional techniques such as patchwork, a predominate influence in the work of Cargaleiro with new production methods in the context of creating a line of accessories?

Based on this issue, the intention was to create a line of accessories through 3D printing, specifically brooches, having a poetic reference to the work of master Manuel Cargaleiro that continues to fascinate a sensitive public to contemporary art.

The project presented is intended to reflect this balance between tradition and modernity, away from revivalist attitudes or direct transpositions of the past. The design of a line of fashion accessories is not limited to a so-called "functional" answer. The fashion accessory corresponds to a customized piece of a whole, to a differentiation bond, individuality, and also emotions. They are also pieces to be produced in limited editions. On the other hand, we are fundamentally motivated by a phenomenological perspective, implicit in the work of Baudrillard, for whom design is not limited to respond to a daily necessity but aims to transcend the real life of its own, beyond the subject (BAUDRILLARD, 2001, p.10-11). We encourage, in this sense, the utopia that produced pieces can enrich the imagination of the public but this phenomenon can only be assessed over time, depending on the sociocultural context of the public.


2. From the Research to the Concept

The most recent or distant past, is integrative matter of our methodology and therefore the object, reflected not literally in the compositional schemes and crossing with the use of a new material. Historical knowledge inherent in areas such as Art and Design, enables us, above all, to include the project within a continuity framework and explore meanings that lead the public to recognize themselves in this set of pieces.

In the initial phase of the research, we tried to understand the past and route of this artist's third generation (FRANÇA, 1985, p.437) which succeeded the Futurism and Surrealism. Cargaleiro was born in Chão de Servas and started his activity as a ceramist in a pottery of José Trindade in Monte da Caparica and subsequently developed work in a workshop inside the factory Viúva Lamego, next to Jorge Barradas (1894-1971) whom he met in 1947. In 1958, he left for Paris with a scholarship of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian to intern at Faïencerie de Gien. The following year, he installed his studio in Paris, with the support of Édouard Loueb (1897-1984) a gallerist in the city where never stopped exhibiting and became friend of artists such as Natalie Goncharova (1881-1962) and Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964), Vieira da Silva (1908-1992) and Arpad Szenes (1897-1985). It is also possible to connect his work to Herbin (1882-1960) group named Abstraction Création or more indirectly to Alfred Manessier (1911-1993), contemporary of Vieira da Silva, because of the freedom of its iconography (ABSTRACT ART, p.109 and p.121)

At this early stage, sketches were also developed from some works of Cargaleiro (Fig. 1) which have, on the one hand, dissect his vocabulary and, secondly, to understand the possible relations between his speech and those of other artists or architects. Vieira da Silva have been essential in the abstract geometric and spatial character of the work of Cargaleiro, revealing local memories as a suspended movable bridge over the port of Marseille, the Paris metro, cable cars or iron architectures as Gare Saint-Lazare (RUSSEL, 1988, p.132). These references were intersected with their childhood memories, especially the coloured pieces of “trapologia” produced by his mother (Fig. 2).


Fig. 1 – Composition by Manuel Cargaleiro. 1970  
Fig. 2 – "A essencia da Cor”. Composition by Manuel Cargaleiro. 

Font fig.1 in:
Font fig.2: Ana Fernandes.


The design worked as a catalyst instrument of references from our imagination, of data that integrate our deep memory and which have been called to join the project-oriented answer to a specific problem. We developed the first volumetric and chromatic experiments, using key authors such as Kandinsky, Rodchenko, Itten, El Lissitsky, revisited throughout the design process to determine an entire project-imagistic construction over time. We had valorised intuition and applied composition principles based on experimentation around line, movement, repetition, rhythm, asymmetry and balance. Lines are treated as elements of a structural mesh from which geometrics emerge as squares, triangles, crosses, lozenges, lines and circles: "Both in painting as in any construction in general, line is the first and the last thing" (RODCHENKO, 1979 p.12).

Superimposed layers were defined, as if were facing seemingly endless compositions in a chaotic city regulated by vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines in the same way that geometric elements succeed one another in a patchwork sequence (Fig. 3). Certain modular forms have contours which are not always regular and orthogonal direction of this asymmetry in either the geometric shapes of Cargaleiro painting either in craft production processes. The patent repetition in succession of horizontal or vertical linear elements aims to give rhythm to the entire composition.

On the brooch with diagonal lines, initially a lozenges sequence was also equated that evoke border glazed tiles that marked certain works of Cargaleiro and that would result in a more abstract surface (Fig. 4). They indicate here pyramidal constructions, contrasts of full and empty, alternations between relief and concave shapes. The notion of spatiality that marks Cargaleiro's work has always been present along the process. We view this brooches line as a series of scenic objects that are related to space, architecture or interior design because they share principles as dialectic between interior and exterior, games of scale, chromatic contrast, textures, opposition between light and shadow, movement, rhythm, repetition of modular elements, versatility, among others. We explored the scale contrast between larger volumes that could integrate interventions in patchwork and more mimetic plans receiving monochromatic fabrics or just textures (Fig. 5). The blue colour is the protagonist in the artwork of Cargaleiro, giving to objects a spatial sense of depth, multiplied in hues. Specific surfaces in orange or white colour light up compositions while causing effects of opposition between hot-cold and contrast of quantity.


Fig. 3 – Development of first compositions and studies of the relation between brooches and covers or écharpes.

Fig. 4 – Brooch with diagonal lines.

Font: Mónica Romãozinho.


3. Experimentation and Production

The exploratory drawings was alternated with the three-dimensional modeling and 3D printing, sometimes just fragments as a way to test the fittings and consistency of linear elements and minimum section (Fig. 6). Previous experience in the design, enabled us to know appropriate thicknesses for product design, proper density and quality levels in order to achieve a perfect finish in the case of pyramidal geometries and combinations of oblique surfaces and avoiding at the same time long time printing. The central body of brooches would be conditioned by the opening recess that houses the pin. We further used prototypes with the overlay on paper in order to sketch several solutions of colour schemes (Fig. 7). The lightness of the material used, pla (biodegradable polymer of polylactic acid), contributed to the versatility of prototypes that can be positioned at different angles, depending on the desire of the target audience. The brooches were produced in a Pearl Gold colour that evokes the elegance of jewellery making (Fig. 8).


Fig. 5 – Detail of texture.                                                              Fig. 6 –Design process

Photos: Mónica Romãozinho



Fig. 7 – Volumetric trials served as basis for color parallel studies.

Fig. 8 – Prototypes made with the aim of exploring the object's scale, its composition and its relationship
to the body as well as reliefs that overlap the recess that would have to be pronounced.

Drawing/Photos: Mónica Romãozinho.


4. Concluding Summary

In the creative process underlying this design project references to the work of Cargaleiro, memories and experiences were crossed with a view to creating pieces which had their own identity to produce limited editions. Cargaleiro looks at the world in a non-nostalgic perspective that is renewed every day. And, it was in this nonconformist perspective, that we developed the project in the light of a dichotomy. On the one hand, we tried to articulate a tradition as patchwork and contemporary art of this artist which is recognized internationally. On the other hand, we wanted to make a break with previous models of accessories, in terms of scale, language and its relation to the body.



This paper was presented at Regional Helix 2016, and published exclusively at Convergences.



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Reference According to APA Style, 5th edition:
Fernandes, A. Romãozinho, M. ; (2017) Design Creative Processes Applied to Fashion Accessories from Cargaleiros’s Work Of Art. Convergências - Revista de Investigação e Ensino das Artes , VOL X (19) Retrieved from journal URL: