Fablab Buinho Makers-in-Residency

Buinho is a place where artists, makers, researchers, and other creatives can work on their projects in a unique rural environment. What started in 2016 as one of the first rural fablabs with a residency program, is now becoming a network of creative spaces within the historic town Messejana. All makers are invited!

2 weeks to 3 months

Messejana, Portugal

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NOTE: Portugal has eased Covid-19 lockdown measures and we reopened our residency program in August. We adapted our program in full compliance to COVID19 safety recommendations. 

A makers residency program in rural area of Messejana

Buinho residency program started in 2016, pioneering for being a fablab located in a rural village, and offering a full residency program. Since then our Residency program has been successfully growing the number of applications, and today Buinho is a European reference, enabling the merging of Art and Technology, or Art and Digital Fabrication. 

The Buinho Residency program is directed at makers, creatives and researchers from different backgrounds. The makers in residency program encourage exchange, dialogue, and experimentation. The residencies are process-based, allowing visiting makers and 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.

The residency program also includes:

  • free weekly tutorials and workshops about 3D printing, 3D modeling, CNC and laser cutting, robotics, and plastic recycling
  • weekly contacts with the locals from Messejana where we explore traditional practices as goat cheese or bread making, or visits to traditional artisans’ workshops
  • special programs and workshops for residents, such as the Precious Plastic Workshop (for recycling plastic: https://preciousplastic.com/), or our special education branch called Buinho Education (digital empowerment of local children and seniors).


Residency duration

The minimum period of stay is 2 weeks, and the maximum is 3 months. Residencies should start either on the 1st or on the 15th of each month.

We accept makers 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 to improve the quality of the residency (research, production, experience).


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 equipped with tools and machines.

Both houses are fully equipped and they include:
• working studios • private desk space • free Wi-Fi access in all interior and exterior spaces • equipped  kitchens • individual storage space and a fridge • cleaning service once a week 


Fees for accommodation

In Buinho the value of the residency fees are differentiated according to the characteristics of the accommodation. By differentiating the fees they are establishing a more fair criterion between residents, and also enabling those with fewer incomes to come to Buinho.
For 2020 the monthly fee is the following:
  1. São João larger bedroom with private bathroom – 700€;
  2. São João other two bedrooms – 650€;
  3. Buinho bedroom with private studio – 700€;
  4. Buinho bedroom with shared studio – 600€


Fees include the private bedroom, use of all shared spaces, the studio and workshop facilities and all of the available equipment.

For more information please download the Buinho Residency Guidelines or visit the Buinho Residency webpage.

Makers interested in participating should send on email info@buinho.pt the following info:

  • short CV
  • portfolio, and
  • description of the project/ work to be developed during the residency


Applications will be evaluated by a curatorial committee and will take into consideration the  following parameters:

  • creative and artistic quality
  • social relevance of the project
  • degree of innovation
  • motivation of the candidate


Buinho’s residency program values multidisciplinarity, so we expect the acceptance of creatives from different backgrounds, media, and experience.  We also try to support emerging artists that seek opportunities for international visibility and curriculum. The level of scrutiny of the portfolio’s quality is proportionate to the artist’s experience. Although Buinho residency program is self-funded in order to cover the operational expenses, we can offer special conditions to struggling artists, depending on the availability of spaces and relevance of the proposed project.

Fablab in a rural environment

Buinho Fablab 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. Our residency program started in 2016, pioneering for being a fablab located in a rural village, and offering a full residency program. Since then our Residency program has been successfully growing the number of applications, and today Buinho is a European reference, enabling the merging of Art and Technology, or Art and Digital Fabrication. 

Living in a rural environment is nowadays an advantage. But Buinho offers more than just a safe place. We are located in the historic town of Messejana, Southern Portugal. Besides the surrounding natural landscape and heritage, our fablab and studios are equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment’s to enhance the possibilities of experimentation of our residents. Besides access to lasercut, 3D printing and other technologies, Buinho also provides support and production assistance.

Facilities and studios in Buinho

Today Buinho has:

  • two houses, offering private accommodation
  • shared and individual studios
  • a digital fabrication workshop, and
  • exhibition spaces

Besides Buinho’s own properties and equipment, they also run together with the local municipality a Precious Plastic Workshop, where resident 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.

To know more about Messejana please access the two videos we prepared by clicking on the links:

Messejana village of Makers – https://vimeo.com/250777448

Messejana Dança dos Pássaros – https://vimeo.com/443880245 


Different activities and studios in offer

Each house mentioned in « About the space » has its own dedicated studio space. 

Studios at Buinho differ in the nature and propose, and some of them are dedicated to:

  • painting, drawing, and large scale projects, as they have easels, plenty of natural light, and big white walls
  • design activities, offering access to iMacs, PC´s, 3D printers, electronics bench, among other equipment
  • construction and building activities, 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

More information about available equipment you can download following the link: https://buinho.pt/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/List-of-equipment-Buinho.pdf


City Messejana
Country Portugal
Name of the hosting space Fablab Buinho
Duration 2 weeks - 3 months
Granted No
Accomodation Yes
Food No