Brazil is today much more than an exotic destination for football fans, carnaval lovers or bossa nova aficionados.
A dynamic economy, unprecedented social mobility and increasing international political and cultural clout are turning Brazil into a 21st century superpower.
Notable examples of its global appeal range from the São Paulo Art Biennial, the world’s second oldest after Venice, to Oscar Niemeyer’s architecture and Embraer airplanes. And iftelenovelas (soap operas) and bossa nova have had an international following for decades, new Brazilian sensations such as the electro band Cansei de Ser Sexy or film directors Walter Salles and Fernando Meirelles have been making waves across the globe.
The country is also grasping the world’s attention by being the host to several international, high-profile events such the ‘Rio+20’ UN Earth Summit in 2012, the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 (a first for Latin America).
Much like its BRIC/BASIC (Brazil, Russia/South Africa, India and China) counterparts, Brazil is now at the cusp of a new, in-the-making modernity. No longer just a source of inspiration or ideas, Brazil is a privileged place to look for new social, economic and cultural models.
Alvorada, Portuguese for “dawn”, looks at this rising nation through the lives and works of its product and furniture designers. Going beyond a survey of Brazilian design, this exploration demonstrates how the thinking and making of consumer goods reflect a country in social transition.
Alvorada is also a thesis project developed for the Design Criticism MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York.