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8 Rio Design Golds

With all eyes fixed firmly on Rio’s Olympic Games, it would seem an opportune moment to highlight a number of the region’s best contemporary designers and design studios. It may be argued that Brazilian design remains relatively unknown outside of the country, especially in Europe. And yet Brazil, and more specifically Rio, has a prodigious design talent. For example, it is in Rio that Senhor Sergio Rodrigues, one of Brazil’s greatest designers, had his roots. Many of Rodrigues’ designs are icons of midcentury modernism.

Time to check out 8 of Rio’s design golds:

Sergio Rodrigues

A 20th century figure (and strictly speaking not contemporary), Sergio Rodrigues (1927 – 2014) was an acclaimed Brazilian architect and designer; he was also a man who helped introduce Brazilian design to the world stage. Dubbed the father of Brazilian furniture, Rodrigues designed with the identity of his country evidently in mind. Making use of woods such as jacaranda and peroba, Rodrigues created many curious, playful and much-loved furniture designs.

Sergio Rodrigues seated on his 1962 Chifruda armchair.
Sergio Rodrigues seated on his 1962 Chifruda armchair.
Influenced by a traditional milking stool, the 1954 Mocho stool was the first piece of furniture designed by Sergio Rodrigues.
Influenced by a traditional milking stool, the 1954 Mocho stool was the first piece of furniture designed by Sergio Rodrigues.
The 1961 Mole armchair by Sergio Rodrigues is considered his most iconic piece.
The 1961 Mole armchair by Sergio Rodrigues is considered his most iconic piece.

Images © 2016 Espasso, Inc.

Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt

Rio-Born Gustavo Bittencourt is an industrial design graduate whose deftness in handling and manipulating materials has inspired a number of exciting forms. Based in Petrópolis, a city north-east of Rio, Gustavo Bittencourt embraces a hands-on approach to his craft, creating unique pieces imbued with passion and feeling.

Poltrona NONÔ by Gustavo Bittencourt.
Poltrona NONÔ by Gustavo Bittencourt.
A work of parts. Poltrona NONÔ, by Gustavo Bittencourt, is assembled with little effort.
A work of parts. Poltrona NONÔ, by Gustavo Bittencourt, is assembled with little effort.
Estante EQUILÍBRIO by Gustavo Bittencourt, is a simple and balanced shelving unit.
Estante EQUILÍBRIO by Gustavo Bittencourt is a simple and balanced shelving unit.
Cadeira IAIÁ by Gustavo Bittencourt draws inspiration from Brazilian modernism. Appearing feminine in shape, the chair is made using copper, solid wood, straw (for the seat) and fabric (for the backrest).
Cadeira IAIÁ by Gustavo Bittencourt draws inspiration from Brazilian modernism. Appearing feminine in shape, the chair is made using copper, solid wood, straw (for the seat) and fabric (for the backrest).

All images © 2016 Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt.

Bolei

Bolei is a Rio-based design studio with a creative ethos fixed firmly in sustainability and longevity.

The Plamp Z desk lamp by Bolei comprises a 100% cotton paper shade and a pine wood base from reforested trees.
The Plamp Z desk lamp by Bolei comprises a 100% cotton paper shade and a pine wood base from reforested trees.
Japonei by Bolei amalgamates Japanese woodcrafting techniques with a nomadic vision of furniture design. Lightweight and easily assembled/disassembled, Japonei is made using upcycled materials.
Japonei by Bolei amalgamates Japanese woodcrafting techniques with a nomadic vision of furniture design. Lightweight and easily assembled/disassembled, Japonei is made using upcycled materials.
Japonei by Bolei
Japonei by Bolei

Images courtesy of Bolei.

Jahara Studio

Bruno Jahara‘s São Paulo-based studio creates organic and sustainable designs with a clear Brazilian influence.

The Batucada Collection comprises a series of vases, lamps and trays, made using 100% aluminium that is hand-hammered and anodised. Owing to Brazil’s large network of ‘catadores’ – people searching through rubbish for recyclable materials – ninety-eight percent of the country’s aluminium is recycled.

The Batucada Collection by Jahara Studio. Image © Jahara Studio.
The Batucada Collection by Jahara Studio. Image © Jahara Studio.
The Batucada task lamp in hand-hammered and anodised aluminium. Image © Jahara Studio.
The Batucada task lamp in hand-hammered and anodised aluminium. Image © Jahara Studio.
The Frame sofa intentionally exposes the frame, making it a prominent design feature. The frame is made using FSC certified pinus wood and the sofa is available in various configurations. Image © Jahara Studio.
The Frame sofa intentionally exposes the frame, making it a prominent design feature. The frame is made using FSC certified pinus wood and the sofa is available in various configurations. Image © Jahara Studio.
Tuju is a collection of gold-finished stainless steel tools. The collection is a collaboration between Jahara Studio and chef Ivan Ralston for Wallpaper* Handmade 2015. Image © 2015 WallpaperSTORE*.
Tuju is a collection of gold-finished stainless steel tools. The collection is a collaboration between Jahara Studio and chef Ivan Ralston for Wallpaper* Handmade 2015. Image © 2015 WallpaperSTORE*.

Indio da Costa A.U.D.T

For forty years, the Rio-based creative consultancy Indio da Costa A.U.D.T has developed projects across a number of creative disciplines: Architecture, Urbanism, Design and Transportation (hence A.U.D.T). Indio da Costa graduated as an architect in the 1960s and today works alongside his son, Guto Indio da Costa.

A contemporary modular storage system, Carrapixxxo by Indio da Costa is fully customisable and available in either MDF or certified Lyptus wood.
A contemporary modular storage system, Carrapixxxo by Indio da Costa is fully customisable and available in either MDF or certified Lyptus wood.

Safe parking for bikes is often a forgotten amenity in many cities. Bicicletário is a sculptural bike rack designed by Indio da Costa with the help of the Sports Incentive Law. Made using 100% recyclable materials, Bicicletário’s aim is to encourage more two-wheel modes of travel.

Bicicletário
Bicicletário by Indio da Costa
The ICZERO1 chair by Indio da Costa is made from a single piece of highly resistant polypropylene and reinforced with fibreglass. Cool and contemporary, the chair is available in a range of colours.
The ICZERO1 chair by Indio da Costa is made from a single piece of highly resistant polypropylene, reinforced with fibreglass. Cool and contemporary, the chair is available in a range of colours.

Images © Indio da Costa AUDT.

Lattoog

Lattoog is a derivation of the names of its proprietors, architect Leonardo Lattavo and self-taught designer Pedro Moog. A creative design studio, Lattoog works to align the rationalism of technology with the more subjective nature of various artistic endeavours. The result is a series of objects that are both utilitarian and aesthetically designed.

Pirulito floor lamp by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog.
Pirulito floor lamp by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog.
Afos by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog is a space-saving bookcase designed to fit with a sofa.
Afos by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog is a space-saving bookcase designed to fit with a sofa.
Casulo by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog is a chair that affords the sitter a sense of intimacy and privacy.
Casulo by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog is a chair that affords the sitter both intimacy and privacy.

Images © Lattoog Design.

Oficinaethos

Based in Rio, Oficinaethos was founded by craftsman Rodrigo Calixto, a designer who enjoys creating contemporary design the old-fashioned way: by working with wood, hand tools, presses and benches.

Gangorra Momento by Guilherme Sass and Rodrigo Calixto, is a playful solid wood see-saw.
Gangorra Momento by Guilherme Sass and Rodrigo Calixto is a playful solid wood see-saw.
Gangorra Momento by Guilherme Sass and Rodrigo Calixto.
Gangorra Momento by Guilherme Sass and Rodrigo Calixto.
Mesa Baobá by Rodrigo Calixto, is a minimal and sturdy solid wood and iron outdoor table and bench.
Mesa Baobá by Rodrigo Calixto is a minimal and sturdy outdoor table and bench, made with solid wood and iron.
Mesa Baobá by Rodrigo Calixto.
Mesa Baobá by Rodrigo Calixto.
Perhaps a gardener's best friend, the solid wood Herbarium by Rodrigo Calixto is perfect for manicuring and maintaining potted plants.
Perhaps a gardener’s best friend, the solid wood Herbarium by Rodrigo Calixto is perfect for manicuring and maintaining potted plants.
Herbarium by Rodrigo Calixto
Herbarium by Rodrigo Calixto.

Images courtesy of Oficinaethos.

Studio Zanini

Born in Rio, Zanini de Zanine apprenticed with the aforementioned Sergio Rodrigues, where he produced his first piece of furniture. His father, Jose Zanine Caldas, was a Brazilian architect and designer and doubtless a source of inspiration for Zanini. Zanini De Zanine’s approach to design is technically-minded, inventive and original.

The Serfa armchair by Zanini de Zanine is a handsome tribute to Sergio Rodrigues.
The Serfa armchair by Zanini de Zanine is a handsome tribute to Sergio Rodrigues.
Tablete by Zanini de Zanine is a limited edition bench, handcrafted from reclaimed peroba timber.
Tablete by Zanini de Zanine is a limited edition bench, handcrafted from reclaimed peroba timber.
Balanço by Zanini de Zanine is an ergonomic and sculptural chaise longue made using reclaimed Ipê wood.
Balanço by Zanini de Zanine is an ergonomic and sculptural chaise longue made using reclaimed Ipê wood.

Images © 2016 Espasso, Inc.

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