Fazer Bem underlines Terrafoundation's interest in social and educational issues, as well as environmental sustainability.
Its main objective is to promote the social inclusion of women through educational processes in the areas of design, craftsmanship and visual arts, contributing to their sustainability and economic independence, aiming at gender equality and female empowerment. Fazer Bem also proposes the introduction of contemporary design and creativity as a vector for innovation in handicrafts, and stimulates the creation of products with their own cultural identity and values through the use of natural and sustainable materials.
It was initiated in June 2022 as part of an international project, FORWARD: Fashion, Design and Crafts for Women Empowerment. Portugal, Italy and Romania joined forces as partner-nations in this social impact project, winning an application to the Erasmus+ programme to bring the force of fashion, design and crafts in service of the empowerment of women. The initiative promoted social and cultural integration for women from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as movement toward economic stability on the basis of their own skill, talent and ingenuity. Although the projects in the three countries shared the same goals and were focused on adult education, they were completely independent and took different paths.
In Portugal, designers and craftswomen came together with a group of eight women from Grândola, Melides and Carvalhal, selected and invited with the support of local institutions. For three weeks the participants, designers and artisans worked together, and the women received free training in project design, strategic design, social design, communication design, and in two specific types of handicraft: bulrush and reed. From June to August 2023 the workshops for the women continued in a rhythm of one day per week.
Fazer Bem was also born as a programme for the innovation of handicrafts. In this sense, for this first project, we brought together the creativity of a contemporary product designer, Yves Béhar, and the artisanal expertise of craftswomen, Dília Silva and Cristina Fonseca, in a collaboration for the creation of new pieces.
The fruits of these first months of labour in Carvalhal were presented in the
Doing Well exhibition, which integrated the cultural programme of Terrafoundation Warm Up.
Doing Good Fazer Bem Doing Well was also published on this occasion. Journalist and author Susana Moreira Marques weaves together the individual stories that make up the history of this first project; Austrian photographer Renate Graf’s photo essay captures a glimpse of context, of raw materials, and of a place beyond time. The limited-edition print run of 1000 bilingual (English / Portuguese) copies will be distributed in 69 countries in partnership with the Portuguese publisher AMAG, available online at www.amagpublisher.com
The proceeds from the book’s sales will support the project Fazer Bem.
Given our impact so far, we are working to make Fazer Bem evolve to become a permanent creative and social hub dedicated to women's empowerment through design and crafts, operating in the geographical arc between Tróia and Sines, with a base in the village of Carvalhal. It will be a permanent laboratory and training space where artisans, designers and other creative professionals can explore the confluences between tradition and innovation, between local and global, and between economy and culture.