José Cruz de Carvalho (1931 - 2015)

Designed for Altamira, 1959
Solid walnut wood and velvet upholstery
165cm (W) x 78cm (D) x 76cm (H)


José Maria Cruz de Carvalho is one of the Portuguese Design History's names. Cruz de Carvalho's career is long and fruitful, working as a painter, decorator, sketcher, arquitect, teacher, foreman and woodworker, however, it was as a designer that he stood out and became notable. In the field of design he got mixed with, mostly interior design, furniture design and exhibition design, and in some way with design management, graphic design and design philosofy as well as teaching. Cruz de Carvalho is the creator of the Altamira furniture brand, in 1957, designing new facilities, stores, serial models and general conception of the brand's product public presentations, putting in practice, for the first time in Portugal, a corporate design integrated policy. In 1967, creates the Interforma brand, establishing with success new production and design philosophies, in Portugal and abroad. In another aspect, throughout his career, designs and manages the assembly of exhibitions at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Museu Nacional do Traje, Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa, and others. Cruz de Carvalho, together with João Constantino, laid the foundation for the 1st Portuguese Design Exhibition, in 1971. With a relevant, pioneer and awarded work in the national scene, the designer was a member of the APD, ICOM and APOM, and contemporary of Daciano da Costa, António Garcia, Nuno Portas, Eduardo Afonso Dias, Hélder Batista and Conceição Silva. Through the study and careful analysis of his trajectory, we intend to bring more solid data to the making of the Portuguese Design History and contribute to the enrichment of the Portuguese Design Identity.

Diogo Rocha dos Santos Coelho
“O contributo de Cruz de Carvalho para a história do design em Portugal”