Canadian Curator Leads A+D Insider’s Tour of Portugal


Esther Shipman, former curator of architecture and design for Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario, is leading a first-of-its-kind architectural tour of Portugal this September.

From Lisbon to Porto and points in between, the eight-day tour includes rare factory and studio visits, exclusive tours of private buildings, trips to museums and artisan’s workshops, exploring neighbourhoods off the beaten path, and regional wine and cuisine.

The tour aims to offer new sources and inspiration to A+D professionals, according to Shipman. Her personal highlights include a visit to the world’s largest and most innovative cork company; a trip to a restored century-old textile mill that has brought a village and region back to viability through design; and a visit to the manufacturer that provides top European architects, artists and designers with custom ceramic tiles, glazes and mural fabrication.

The tour also includes a visit to one of Europe’s leading glass and furniture designer at his atelier, and a tour of the design incubator he funds to mentor young designers. Participants will meet the entrepreneur behind a Porto-based project where international designers are invited to work with Portuguese fabricators on limited edition series.


Shipman founded her tour company, Culture Viewfinder, to offer unique, innovative cultural journeys “for design travelers who never thought they would take a tour,” she says.

The company also offers a wine, architecture and gastronomy tour of Portugal, centred on the country’s Douro Valley.

For more information and to register, visit this link.