The Research Unit VICARTE – Vidro e Cerâmica para as Artes (Glass and Ceramic for the Arts) is devoted to the promotion of transdisciplinary research applied to glass and ceramics, focusing on the intersections between art and science, stimulating sharing of knowledge, experiences and methodologies. The mission of VICARTE is to promote excellence in glass and ceramics studies at national and international level.

The research at VICARTE connects the present and the past, by studying traditional and historical practices, by developing new materials and by exploring different artistic concepts. We are committed to uphold and surpass VICARTE’s reputation as an RU that leads worldwide cross-disciplinary research, innovation and creativity in glass and ceramics studies applied to science, art, design and cultural heritage.

VICARTE is a partnership between the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon, and the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, with members from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Oporto, the School of Arts and Design, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, and Cultural Institutions.

To achieve the stated objectives, VICARTE links experts on glass and ceramic from art, design, sciences, history, archaeology and conservation. VICARTE connects and collaborates with an international community of researchers in many fields to extend skills and generate cutting-edge investigation, ensuring that our research has a global impact. VICARTE’s innovative interfacing of know-how in such different areas has captured the attention and recognition of artists, designers and scientists throughout the world.

Education is also one of the important activities in VICARTE. In 2009 the Master in Glass Art and Science was founded by this RU as one of the newest and most innovative concepts in glass education anywhere, evolving into the new Master in Glass and Ceramic Art and Science. VICARTE is responsible for the supervision of Master and PhD theses in Conservation and Chemistry involving glass and ceramic at FCT-NOVA, and in Art and Design at FBAUL and FBAUP. VICARTE is a member of the PhD Course in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage – CORES, sponsored by FCT-MCTES.

The investigation at VICARTE is based on two interconnecting pillars: Glass and Ceramics in Contemporaneity and in Cultural Heritage.

Within the first pillar VICARTE aims to investigate and expand, both practically and theoretically, the ways in which artists and scientists think about and work with glass and ceramic. VICARTE fosters an effective and structural dialogue between art and science. The results of our research activities generate new creative paths and original thought for artistic and scientific production, raising consciousness of the importance of glass and ceramics in art, science, history, design and industry.

The second pillar supports cutting-edge research with a strong impact on the history, preservation and appreciation of our cultural heritage. VICARTE proposes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of ceramics and glass in the framework of archaeometry and conservation sciences.  Throughout several pioneer studies VICARTE contributes with a new prospect on the history of glass and ceramics. Not only will the created knowledge serves museums and other institutions responsible for the care of this cultural heritage, it reaches the general public by presenting innovative narratives and suggesting different readings around glass and ceramic objects.

VICARTE is designed to weave together diverse strands of expertise in glass and ceramic, to create a web of knowledge by connecting creative minds across disciplines, encouraging experimentation, risk taking and highly imaginative problem solving.