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Design Through Making

Lia Raquel Marques

Lia Raquel Marques is an Angolan-Portuguese designer, with a BA in Textile and Surface Design. Lia works across multiple disciplines while analysing the cultural and socio-economic landscape of Angola as the source for developing concepts around the significance of objects as cultural artefacts.

My work explores the historic and contemporary landscape of Angola through objects as the protagonists of cultural life. These objects sit within a broader context of an ever changing Angola and reflect a dialogue between function and forgotten cultural narratives. The aim of my practice is to create a material and descriptive language while investigating craft, other fabrication methods and how these relate to the past, the present and how the future can be imagined.

An Object Archive - Textural Mapping of Traditional and Modern Angolan Life collects photographs of people and objects, drawings, prototypes and 5 ceramic artefacts. for more on the An Object Archive project.

Mortar and pestle
Object type: mortar and pestle Archive number: D1002 Dimensions H: 19cm W: 13.5cm D: 13.5cm
Serving bowl
Object type: serving bowl Archive number: D1001 Dimensions H: 14cm W: 33cm D: 33cm
Object type: plate Archive number: D1003 Dimensions H: 3cm W: 25cm D: 25cm
Object type: plate Archive number: D1004 Dimensions H: 6cm W: 28cm D: 28cm
Object type: plate Archive number: D1005 Dimensions H: 5cm W: 25cm D: 25cm

An Object Archive

A Textural Mapping of Traditional and Modern Angolan Life

A group of household object that sit between the past and the present in a changing domestic landscape.

The objects collected in the conception of this project are from Angola, a country with a plethora of people, languages, traditions, as well as vast natural resources. The people have a wealthy cultural heritage regarding music, crafts, rituals and intangible elements.

What is considered wealthy, the diamond mines in which labour is undervalued or the knowledge passed through generations in developing a craft practice? As it happens the craft skills of the area are being lost and the traditional objects made by hand are now being substituted by modern cheap plastic ones. How can a society thrive when its cultural identity is being lost?

Kitchenware as an instrument for communicating cultural identity, multiculturalism and globalisation.

A plastic basin and a raffia basket. A mono-bloc chair and a wooden seat. A plastic sieve and a filter made of palm leaves. The ingenuity of crafted objects made from natural material and local resources against objects made of synthetic materials with no connection to its users and its place of use.

This project imagines the act of a plastic basin and its counterparts colonising the traditional objects as a projection of the current social, economic and environmental landscape. Both objects merge into a representation of the relationship between the traditional and moderns objects. It results in each object being a conglomerate of distinct aspects of both the handmade and machine made objects. The texture is extracted from the basketry and carving techniques to achieve the tactility found in handmade objects and a sense of familiarity.

The artefacts created in this project are a collection of five objects, a serving bowl, three plates and a mortar and pestle.


Ceramic, earthenware and stoneware


sizes vary
Road in Chitato, Lunda Norte, Angola (plastic basin 1)
Road in Chitato, Lunda Norte, Angola (plastic basin 2)
Road in Chitato, Lunda Norte, Angola (plastic basin 3)
House in Chitato, Lunda Norte, Angola (plastic basin 4)
Market in the border of Kamako, DRC and Chitato, Lunda Norte, Angola (plastic basin 5)
A filter made of reed, dyed using local plant
Room in the Dundo Museum, Dundo, Lunda Norte, Angola
João making a chair

An Object Archive


Images collected during a research trip to Lunda Norte, where I visited several villages, towns, crossed the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo and visited the Dundo Museum.