The 1950s marked the development of the product and furniture design areas in Brazil and it was technical innovations and the use of materials that evoked the concept of Brazilianness in national furniture, as we see represented in the works of designers like Joaquim Tenreiro, Sérgio Rodrigues and Lina Bo Bardi.
Posteriorly, contemporary design is presented as a carrier of elements and factors that contrast with modernism: innovation and experimentation with alternative materials, new relations of use, multifunctionalities, sustainability, fun, among other aspects that define a new way of ” wider use “of the furniture.
Nowadays we see more and more architects and designers investing in the brazilian design of signed furniture and in the mixture of materials that create unique pieces, since there are infinite possibilities of combinations in the idealization of a piece. Below we see some materials that are used a lot in these creations.
Brazilian designers have been experimenting with native stones on tables, benches, lamps and trays. The type of rock is not a limiting factor. Exotic stones in their appearance are great to work with, but turning a simple and commercial stone into a valuable object is a challenge. These textures are so complex that they can be applied to furniture with simple and neutral shapes and will still be the center of attention. You can also mix materials, such as stone, wood and glass, contrasting elements, but which complement each other without overshadowing the beauty of natural stone.
The use of wood with other materials is one of the strong trends in furniture and shows that it is here to stay. The union with carbon steel, for example, the use of burnt cement, leather, straw and iron reveals a harmonious interaction with several tons of wood and a strong tendency for high decoration. One of the advantages of using wood is that it can also be recycled from another piece that was not created as furniture – pallets and crates, for example, can be taken apart or used entirely to create furniture. As in demolition wood, the reuse of the material can be the great slogan of the idea of sustainability incorporated into the decoration.
Paper pieces have the advantage of being lighter and easier to transport. In addition, there is an ease of assembly, as everything is done by folding and adjusting the paper most of the time using only glue. In addition to the traditional use of paper, there is another very common process, that of recycling, in which the paper is chopped into small pieces, soaked in water and transformed into a hard paste for handling.
The advantage of this type of material is, besides being sustainable for the planet, it can be personalized, stimulating the user’s creativity. Artisan and fashion designer, Domingos Tótora creates furniture from paper recycling in Maria da Fé, Minas Gerais, his hometown in Brazil. Originally from wood, the paper returns to its original shape in the hands of Domingos; when broken, it is treated with glue and agglutination compounds, transformed into a moldable cellulose mass. This mass of paper enters the creation process and is molded into a free gesture to make something new, be it a bench, a vase, a support or just parts of a whole to be created.
Published on: Dec 3, 2020
Updated for: Apr 18, 2021