In A Period When, By Force, Teleworking Prevails, The Quality Of The Place Where We Live And Work Has Never Been More Important Than Now.- José Rui Marcelino, CEO, Almadesign
From an early age, I was fascinated with the possibility of materializing, through images or objects, what is created by our imagination and which, without the proper communication tools, exists only in our heads: whether to satisfy a need, solve a problem or just because its beauty inspires us. It was only a few years later that I realized that this ability to communicate underlies the definition of “Design”.
Obstinate in following this course, and after a solid background in engineering, I moved to Italy – the El Dorado of Product Design from the 60s and 70s – and ended up making my dream come true, as an intern designer at Alfa Romeo in Milan.
Suddenly, I discovered something that changed the path of my life: even doing what I always dreamed of, I was happier in the place where I lived before. Not only for the proximity of family and friends, but also for the nature of the location: the sunny village of Oeiras, close to the sea and the beach, but also close to Lisbon, with all that culture, entertainment and cosmopolitanism to offer. Therefore, I returned to the maritime periphery of Lisbon – long before this region became a popular place to visit and live – without knowing if I could be a Designer there. But with the certainty of being in the right place.
And this is why Almadesign was founded in Oeiras 25 years ago.
It was only later that I learned that this is the municipality with the highest concentration of R&D in the country, with many technology-based companies and a relevant contribution to Portugal’s GDP. These factors and the local quality of life have unequivocally contributed to the company’s sustainable growth: economically, emotionally and culturally. It was also in Oeiras that we started the network of relationships that led me to the foundation of PEMAS and AED associations.
Today, Almadesign’s work leaves Oeiras for the rest of the world. In a period when, by force, teleworking prevails, the quality of the place where we live and work has never been more important than now – to inspire and motivate. All other distances are increasingly overcome by technology, but the space and the people around us have yet to be real.
Finally, at Almadesign it is a huge privilege to know that we managed, from the place we choose to live, to create products and solutions that can improve people’s lives anywhere in the world.
Rui Marcelino has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master in Transportation Design and a PhD in Design. He founded Almadesign in 1997. Besides the studio management, he participates in the development of cooperation networks such as PEMAS, AED and PFP. He is also responsible for the Master in Product Design at FAUD, U. Lisbon.