First Stone

Events and Programs — Artistic Director
Portugal, 2022

Conception and artistic direction of First Stone, a 6 years programme of experimental research exploring the potentialities of the Portuguese stone.

Originated from Assimagra’s invitation, GMG conceived the programme First Stone, entirely centred on the Portuguese stone. Developed by experimentadesign and thoroughly produced in Portugal, the project was initiated in 2016 and ended in January 2022.

From 2016 to 2017, First Stone materialised three substantial research and development projects – Resistance, Still Motion and Common Sense. These were presented as exhibitions that took place in Venice, Milan, Weil am Rhein, São Paulo, London and New York.

Between 2018 and 2019, the programme promoted three new projects: Mint Street, a permanent installation for the London Borough of Southwark; Expanded, the second exhibition presented in Venice during the 58th Venice Biennale; and A Bench For a Tower, which allowed a permanent installation at a lobby tower in New York City. 

Inviting and collaborating with some 36 of the most well-regarded national and international names in the areas of design, architecture and the visual arts, these projects positioned themselves as a tribute to the extraordinary versatility of this timeless, sustainable natural resource.  

Finally, two more projects were developed in 2022: Fragile Mode Fragile and a retrospective exhibition taking place in Lisbon, showcasing every work from all the projects in the National Coach Museum.

Additionally, 4 documentaries, 3 apps, a website and a book were published alongside these projects. 

Focusing on all steps and dimensions of this material and its impact on the environment, unconventional approaches were explored with the intention to reinvent the Portuguese stone. This was achieved through the conceptualisation of different approaches, in which the key components were creativity and culture. GMG commissioned the work of 36 creators, from architects to designers and visual artists, having had produced over 70 original works, all showcased in various points of the world:



Álvaro Siza

Amanda Levete

Bijoy Jain

Carla Juaçaba  

Eduardo Souto de Moura


João Luís Carrilho da Graça

Manuel Aires Mateus

Mia Hägg

Michel Rojkind

Paulo David

Studio MK27 / Márcio Kogan

Vladimir Djurovic



Ai Weiwei

Carsten Höller

Fernanda Fragateiro

Julião Sarmento

Marina Abramović




Claudia Moreira Salles

Estudio Campana

Fernando Brízio

Frith Kerr

Ian Anderson

Jasper Morrison

Jonathan Barnbrook

Jonathan Olivares

Jorge Silva

Michael Anastassiades

Miguel Vieira Baptista

Pedro Falcão

Peter Saville

Philippe Starck


Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

Sagmeister & Walsh


Under the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic, Prof. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

Project co-funded by the European Union through FEDER, within the scope of Support System for Collective Actions (Internationalisation) in the context of PORTUGAL 2020.