The Olympic Games have ended and the media attention has shifted, leaving behind the eternal essence of Brazil: vibrant people, beautiful beaches and, maybe less well known, a great sense of design. Below are fourteen of the most exciting Brazilian product designers to keep your eye on:
1. Fun and a little retro, Ana Neute’s Guarda-chuva lamp brings to mind a cartoon character, while still luxurious with elegant gold accents. The light can be both direct and a soft ambient light from above.
2. Similarly playful, a series of red wire benches, Conjunto Parquinho, updates the classic love seat in three iterations. Rodrigo Ohtake fashioned the seating angle and recline of each bench to reflect degrees of love: friends sitting diagonally from each other, lovers sitting side by side, or two people feeling more meditative, willing to give their back to the person sitting next to them.
3. Referencing the Portuguese tradition of decorative tiles and its modern interpretation by Brazilian artist Athos Bulcão, Lurca launched a new line, Blue & Black. The ceramics can be assembled in multiple ways, creating expressive compositions out of seemingly simple geometric shapes.
4. Named after an ant hill, O Formigueiro collective has created an eye-catching furniture collection made from resin, brass and aluminum. Each piece begins with a wildly abstract shape which is made by pouring liquid recycled aluminum into the spidery network of tunnels lurking under an actual ant hill.
5. Inspired by the slow pace of tea rituals, Rahyja Afrange reimagined the tea trolley with Brazilian wood (freijó) and brass or inox. There are hidden spaces to keep cups, as well as energy outlets for electric kettles or recharging modern devices.
6. The duo behind Paelea Brasilis use woven straw to create their products. The lamp and fruit holder, designed by Brunno Jahara, will add a touch of Brazil to homes around the globe.
7. Taking the tropical fruit one step further, Carol Gay’s CaramBola lamp makes direct reference to a star fruit (“carambola” in Portuguese). Each piece is air-blown, so every lamp is unique.
8. Celebrating a material discovered in the Amazon, Andrea Bandoni’s side table, Rubber Soul, features rubber as the central design element, rather than an obscured additive. The bowed strips of natural latex give organic movement to the otherwise stable object.
9. The idea behind the Urbaneza vase was to mimic the incredibly dense built landscape of Brazilian cities and the “skyline” of the rainforest. Nicole Tomazi works with a team of artisans to create the maze of waves from polyester cord (aka tennis shoe laces).
10. A humorous reference to anyone who has hailed a taxi in hot cities, Bianca Barbato’s Taxi creates a cool and comfortable chair from the beaded covers that drivers use to keep from sticking to their seat.
11. Sundays at grandmother’s house are a Brazilian tradition, with large families packed in small places. Inspired by this ritual, Selvvva collective creates pieces such as the Garça planter. The structure makes room for two plants to pile up politely in the same area.
12. One of the most prominent young designers in Brazil right now, Jader Almeida has created the simple and timeless Clad armchair. Its lightness and delicacy is pronounced through the fluidity of the lines and the curvature and smooth surface of the solid walnut. Almeida has a shop-in-shop featuring his iconic pieces at Artefacto, a Miami based-furniture showroom opened in December 2015.
13. While not a creation from a Brazilian designer, the Louie pendant lamp nonetheless made a splash at the Olympic Games as a feature of the Italian Pavillion. The latest creation by American designer David Nosanchuk, the lamp’s shape is derived from a 3D scan of the façade of Louis Sullivan’s Bayard Condict Building skyscraper in New York. Nosanchuk picked out an ornate cornice element above the building’s entry and evolved it into a hanging lamp. The micro LED that provides light is hidden from view.
14. A literal family dynamic is behind Estúdio Prole, a father, son and daughter team. Their multifunctional Caixote side table has a magazine holder underneath. They are a warm mix of suede, copper and wood, a subtle reminder of the endless Summer of Brazil.