Written by scholar Aric Chen for The Monacelli Press, the book surveys the history of Brazil’s iconic designers by exploring the innovations in material, form, and technique achieved during this period in time. Native hardwoods and craft traditions combined with European influences resulted in the signature style of Brazilian design. The Bowl Chair was originally designed in 1951 for Arper by Lina Bo Bardi. A limited edition of 500 was created in partnership with the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi in São Paulo.
Widely consider the first modern master of Brazilian design, Joaquim Tenreiro created many timeless classics. His contribution to Brazilian design is evident by his designs that made hardwood furniture sleeker and lighter. Tenreiro’s 1947 Three-Legged chair was laminated in multiple woods that included native species such as imbuia, roxinho, jacaranda, ivory, and cabreúa. In this example, the chair is made in five different types of hard wood, with bonded laminated. The chair celebrates the material with its inventive form and combinations of wood.
Architect Lina Bo Bardi embraced the vernacular design traditions while pushing new forms forward. Her use of not only wood but fabrics and leathers stand out in several of her designs. Her furniture was often designed only for her buildings. This group of chairs was created between the 1950s and the 1980s.
Where as many designers and architects created highly handcrafted pieces of furniture, Martin Eisler and Carlo Hauner developed Brazilian design by venturing into mass-production with their company Forma. These lounge chairs were produced by Forma in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s.
With signature materials like leather and wood, Sergio Rodrigues injected warmth and softness into his version of modernism. Here is a set of three-legged milking stools in Brazilian hardwood designed for Oca in 1954.