Lobsters, burgers, shoes, whole kitchens and even a giant beanstalk bursting from the floor of the Lello Bookstore. All on paper. In the center of Porto, the studio Oupas! (which is like who says “come on” in Porto) transforms flat matter into three-dimensional objects. These may not be the noblest resources in the world, but it was with them that Joana Croft, Sofia Farinha Gomes and Cidália Abreu built their own language.
“We never really planned to do paper and card stuff, we just wanted to get together to develop something. We didn’t have much money and these were cheap materials that were easy to work with,” says Sofia, one of the studio’s founders.
We were in 2010 and the three friends had finished the course of Design at the School of Industrial Studies and Management, in Vila do Conde. More than being in front of a computer, the college had taught them how to use their hands. The early days were spent working on the school’s facilities and early productions, especially posters and flyers, far less spectacular than the pieces we see today. But the case changed when they were invited to make an artistic showcase at the Bombarda Shopping Center in Porto. “That’s when we introduced ourselves to the city. It was a more three-dimensional work, a kind of manifesto with large letters. We thought it was going to be punctual, but a lot of people saw it and found it funny precisely because it was different.”