Daciano da Costa

Biography

“Shape is always a social construction, interactive, emotional, and is strategically beyond the common places. The objects are the traces of the ways of life in each era and each society. That is why the good objects are always familiar and unexpected”.

Daciano da Costa

1930 - 2005

Daciano Monteiro da Costa

Daciano da Costa began to work in the design field still during the 1950s. Portugal lived under an authoritarian and conservative political regime that promoted traditional values - the mythic past, the supposed popular roots, reluctant to change, progress, modernity and isolated regarding the international context.

The outcome of World War II had been to provide an environment of relative openness and availability, both in the public authorities and in the private sector, but the absence of a continuous and solid modern chain continued to be felt. There was no modern teaching of architecture, and training in "decorative arts", what was later to be called design; the experiences of modern tendency were punctual, dependent on personal initiatives and solitary talents.

Professional
Biography

Daciano received his initial training at the School of Decorative Arts António Arroio, in Lisbon, which he completed with the course of painting at the School of Fine Arts of this city. He collaborated in Frederico George's studio - an architect and also a painter - where he cultivated a growing sensitivity for the systematic and rational processes of the project, not forgetting the poetry contained in the subjective approach to problems.

Once established with his own studio, Daciano decided to abandon painting. With an ethical imperative of social intervention, he indulged in industrial design and interior design - without losing sight of corporate design - in a gradually deeper approach to the universe of architecture, industrial production and the market.

He has played, at various levels, a reference role for the institutionalization of design in Portugal, as a discipline and as a profession.
On the one hand, Daciano was one of the authors who contributed to create a modern landscape in Portugal, to make the country participate in the international trends of each moment, sharing the conceptual and formal principles of the modern movement.

Daciano approached the main references of his time (Italian, French, Scandinavian, American, Japanese ...) and incorporated them into his work, adapting them to the local resources and conditions, in a production both eclectic and with a secure copyright, which combines knowledge of the history of the discipline and an intention of contemporaneity.

He knew the right moment to design an ordinary or exceptional object, combining them without being excluded, contributing both to the characterization and the differentiation of the environments. And always with a good dose of pragmatism, that is, of realism and common sense, with a particular attention to proportion, detail, materials, colors and textures, he sought balance, harmony of forms, the right combination of sensory stimuli.

On the other hand, Daciano was a militant advocate of design, committed to clarifying the nature and responsibilities of this emerging activity and, as a teacher, developed a structuring work of teaching the profession.

He was born in Lisbon in 1930.

Completed the Course of Decorative Painting at the School of Decorative Arts António Arroio (1943-1948) and the Superior Course of Painting at the Superior School of Fine Arts of Lisbon (1950-1961).

He received the Constantino Fernandes prize, from the National Academy of Fine Arts and the Ferreira Chaves School Prize from the Superior School of Fine Arts in Lisbon (1962).

Collaborator of the atelier of painting and architecture of Frederico George (1947-1959).

He established his own studio in Lisbon in 1959, developing since then his activity in the project of Architecture of Interiors, Equipment and Furniture, Design of Exhibitions and Design of Products.

He began his collaboration with Metalúrgica da Longra in 1962 with the first line of office furniture, Linha Cortez, which would last for almost thirty years.

In 1974 he founded the company Risco, oriented to the development of projects of Industrial Design, Exhibition Design and Graphic Design.

Founding partner of the Portuguese Association of Designers (APD).

By proposal of the Portuguese Association of Designers (APD), he is enrolled in the Bureau of European Designers Associations (1990).

Chairman of the International Congress Icograda '95, organized by the Portuguese Association of Designers (APD) (Lisbon, 1995).

Member of the Advisory Board of the Portuguese Design Center. Corresponding partner of the National Academy of Fine Arts.

1st Prize of the Design Contest SPAL (1970).

Appointed by the national jury for the European Community Design Prize (1990).

Received the National Design Award from the Portuguese Design Center (1991).

1st place in the competition Art and Design in the City - Montras Barclays, promoted by Barclays Bank, with management of the National Center of Culture (1996).

He was honored by the Presidency of the Republic with the rank of Grand Officer of the Order of Merit (1995) and with the rank of Commander of the Order of the Infant D. Henrique (2001).

Has developed pedagogical activity in the area of ​​Design since 1954 at various levels of official and private education.

Since 1977, he has been a guest lecturer at the Department of Architecture of the Superior School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, now at the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon (FA-UTL).

Elaborated and implemented the curriculum and programs of the fundamental disciplines of the Degree in Design Architecture, created in 1992 at FA-UTL, of which he is coordinator.

He is appointed full professor of the Department of Art and Design at FA-UTL in 1998. Since September 2000 he has been a retired full professor at FA-UTL.

Retrospective Exhibition Daciano da Costa, Designer, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2001).

He published the books Croquis de Viagem (1994) and Design e Mal-estar (1998; anthology of interventions, texts and interviews published in the press.

He has developed pedagogical activity in the Design field since 1954 at various levels of official and private education.

Since 1977, he has been a guest lecturer at the Architecture Department of the Superior School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, now Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon (FA-UTL).

Elaborated and implemented the curriculum and programs of the fundamental disciplines of the Degree in Design Architecture, created in 1992 at FA-UTL, of which he is coordinator.

He was appointed full professor of the Department of Art and Design of FA-UTL in 1998. Invited Professor of the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon. Since September 2000 he has been a retired professor at FA-UTL.

He was one of the scientific coordinators of the first Master's Degree in Design of the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon, started in 2002.

Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Aveiro (2003) and the Technical University of Lisbon (2004).

Under the guidance of Frederick George he began the design activity (1947-1959).

He established his own studio in Lisbon in 1959, developing since then his activity in the project of Architecture of Interiors, Equipment and Furniture, Design of Exhibitions and Design of Products. He began his collaboration with Metalúrgica da Longra in 1962.

In 1974 he founded the company Risco, oriented to the development of Industrial Design projects, exhibition design and graphic design.

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