Brazilian Benches

Brazilian Design

     Commencing in the 1940s and '50s, a group of architects and designers transformed the local cultural landscape, merging the modernist vernacular popular in Europe and the United States with traditional Brazilian techniques and indigenous materials.

     Key influencers during the mid-20th century include natives Oscar Niemeyer, Sérgio Rodrigues and José Zanine Caldas as well as such European immigrants as Joaquim Tenreiro, Jean Gillon and Jorge Zalszupin. These creators frequently collaborated; for instance, Niemeyer, an internationally acclaimed architect, commissioned many of them to furnish his residential and institutional buildings.

     Hallmarks of Brazilian design from that period include smooth, sculptural forms and the use of native woods like rosewood, jacaranda and pequi. The work of designers today exhibits many of the same qualities, though with a marked interest in exploring new materials (witness the Campana Brothers stuffed-animal chairs) and an emphasis on looking inward rather than to other countries for inspiration.

Slatted Rosewood Bench

Slatted Rosewood Bench

By Sergio Rodrigues
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