Category Archives: Rio de Janeiro

A Material World


A few days before I arrived in Rio, Zoë Melo, who since we met in New York in 2009 became a good friend and one of my project’s “godmothers”, suggested I should meet the guys from Fibra Design Sustentável. I did, if only had a chance to talk with one of them, Bruno Temer. I immediately knew they were something else; we had lunch on one of the very last days of my 1-month research trip – by then I had met and interviewed a ton of people and was starting to get an idea of what I was interested in finding out more about Brazilian product and furniture design, but nothing prepared me for the frankness, fairness and ambition both Bruno and his other partners have shared with me over transatlantic email and skype conversations. Continue reading A Material World

A vote for South America’s design capital


I only saw the sun for three hours during the six days I spent in Rio de Janeiro last August. My one and only stroll down Copacabana beach took place under a rain storm, while three-meter waves pounded the shore. I was lucky to even get a view of the city (above) from the top of the Corcovado. The last week of my one-month research trip in Brazil may have been anything but sun-kissed, but I didn’t need to get a tan to think Rio de Janeiro is today in a great place to become South America’s main design destination. Continue reading A vote for South America’s design capital

Alvorada leaves the country


After 31 days, seven cities and over 25 interviews and many, many hours of observations, conversations and reflections on Brazilian design, I left Rio at dusk on August 26th.

I will keep updating from Lisbon and – as of September 14th – from New York, with more mini-profiles, stories and other findings.

I intend on returning to São Paulo for a week (October 19th to 25th) for some more interviews – if I can work out the necessary funding.


The Apple Tree


When asked about why he writes, Portuguese writer Antonio Lobo Antunes once answered: “Ask an apple tree why it bears apples”. During our conversation at his studio/showroom in Humaitá, Sérgio Rodrigues used this very quote to describe his own work, an analogy he uses to answer the people who question him about “not following trends” or designing today things that seem to have been designed 40 years ago. Continue reading The Apple Tree