AIR program in Fablab Buinho (Portugal) – Summer edition

The Buinho Residency program is directed at creatives and researchers from different backgrounds. The artistic residencies encourage exchange, dialogue, and experimentation. The residencies are process-based, allowing visiting artists to develop projects in response to the relationship with the local environment and community, or to conduct research benefiting from Buinho’s resources, and the daily life and […]

The Buinho Residency program is directed at creatives and researchers from different backgrounds. The artistic residencies encourage exchange, dialogue, and experimentation. The residencies are process-based, allowing visiting artists to develop projects in response to the relationship with the local environment and community, or to conduct research benefiting from Buinho’s resources, and the daily life and environment of Messejana.

Buinho Creative Hub opened in Alentejo (Southern region of Portugal) with the support of a curatorial team with over ten years of experience in the organization and support of residencies programs in Portugal. We offer a unique working experience in the historic town of Messejana, located in the sunniest region of Europe, just 1 hour and a half from Lisbon and other major cities.

Since 2016, Buinho has been successfully growing the number of applications making it a sought-after artistic residency program. Today Buinho is even a European reference, being one the only artistic residencies based on a Fablab, enabling the merging of Art and Technology, or Art and Digital Fabrication. Ever since we have received visual artists, performance artists, photographers, curators, writers, sculptors, designers, media artists, from all the different continents, confirming the eclectic nature of our program.

Today Buinho has have two houses, offering private accommodation, shared and individual studios, a digital fabrication workshop, exhibition spaces. Besides our own properties and equipments, we also run together with the local municipality a Precious Plastic Workshop, where resident artists can work with metal, larger sculpture pieces or installations, or recycle plastic. Together with the local school and kindergarten, we provide support to a small network of three makerspaces dedicated to tech education from 3 to 12 years old, where artists can propose activities and workshops.

The residency program besides providing production support, and access to the equipments and spaces, also includes free weekly tutorials and workshops about 3D printing, 3D modeling, CNC and laser cutting, robotics, and plastic recycling. The program also includes weekly contacts with the locals from Messejana where we explore traditional practices as goat cheese or bread making, or visits to traditional artisans workshops. Buinho also offers some special programs and workshops to our residents, as the Precious Plastic Workshop (for recycling plastic), or our special education branch called Buinho Playground (digital empowerment of local children and seniors).

Duration of residency

The minimum period of stay is 2 weeks, and the maximum is 3 months. We accept artists that apply just for two weeks since some may have work restrictions (example professors), and we don´t want to create entry barriers to those with professional duties. Nevertheless we encourage artists to apply to a superior period of time as to improve the quality of the residency (research, production, experience).

As reference we usually receive per year around 40 artists, with an average period of stay of 1 month and a half.


The Buinho creative artist residency program provides private accommodation and shared work-spaces in two different locations:

a) Sao Joao house is a XIX century shepherd’s house, remodeled in 2019 to offer a unique charm. It is located in the street of the museum, on top of a hill, offering from its garden a unique view over Messejana. It’s studios with high white walls and quiet environment offer the perfect setting for visual artists and writers.

b) The second space, the Buinho main studio and Fablab, is also a traditional house that was entirely renovated to provide a modern studio style residence. The building is divided into three spaces so that you can generate ideas, share them in a social area and be able to materialize them in the Fablab. The Fablab is equipped with tools and machines (workstations, laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC’s, vinyl cutters, among other equipment.) to enhance the possibilities of experimentation of our residents.

Each house is fully-equipped and provides private accommodation to its residents. Buinho also supports weekly house cleaning of each house.

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance

Disciplines can vary a lot since in Buinho we privilege an eclectic selection of artists. Disciplines can include visual artists, media artists, video and sound, performance, sculpture, designers, makers, photographers, writers, researchers, of all ages and nationalities.

We provide both curatorial and production support to each artist, together with other events that compose the residency. The events include artists presentations / talks, encounters and engagement with the local community, development of workshops and tutorials in several disciplines, among other initiatives.

Buinho offers an unique opportunity to work within a fablab, meaning that artists have access to different digital fabrication technology, as laser cutter, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, CNC mills, among others. For a more detailed and complete list of equipment please consult our page

Studio / Workspace

Each house has its own dedicated studio space. Buinho offers a mix of shared and private studio spaces according to the needs and requirements of each residency project.

Our studios differ in the nature and propose
a) some are more dedicated to painting, drawing, and large scale projects, as they offer easels, plenty of natural light, and big white walls
b) other spaces are dedicated to more design activities, offering access to IMacs, PC´s, 3D printers, electronics bench, among other equipment
c) and while others are more construction and building spaces, where artists can work with different technologies and materials, as plastic, wood, or metal, offering wide working spaces with access to specialized tools and prototyping machinery

Some studios are located within the houses of Buinho, others are in partnership with local entities. This is the case of the Precious Plastic Workshop as we recently we created another working space in collaboration with the local municipality. In this workshop artists in residency, students, and local community members are invited to work within Plastic Recycling enabling transformation of garbage into new creations. We have the four machines of the Precious Plastic Machine, which are also at the disposal of our residents for experimental art projects, learning, and social sharing. To know more about the Precious Plastic please visit their website at

Fees and support

The fees for 2019-20 are 150€ per week or 600€ per month.

Unfortunately we have to apply fees in order to keep our residency open. We do not have public or private funding for the residencies, and besides the normal house bills and work consumables, we have a full time person just for production support of the residencies.

However we also try to keep the fees as low as possible because we are a non-profit and we would like to give equal opportunities for motivated applicants to be able to enjoy this unique experience.

For that reason we also include a 50% discount to couples that can share a bedroom in order to support partners in coming with the artists.

But please understand that any accepted application has to make a deposit payment to secure the spaces. We have that policy due to some commitment issues we encountered in the past that caused damage to our budget and functioning. We try to be fair and any waiver has to be communicated with a minimum of 4 months period can obtain a full refund,after that the artist can propose a new date without any penalty but subject to availability.

Expectations towards the artist

Participants are encouraged to take the opportunity to further expand the possibilities of work, taking advantage of our unique capabilities and extended support. We also aim to engage more with the local community, inviting residency artists to develop workshops and share experiences with them.

We also encourage artists in residency to present the residency results in a final open studio event for the local community.

All of these expectations are not mandatory but optional.

Related Listing

Application deadline

Residency starts

Residency ends


Link to more information