Boom SP Design
. Tuesday 07 Aug 2012

"BRAZIL DESIGN: BoomSPdesign will bring together best of new Brazilian furniture designers at conference in Sao Paulo"

Last year I had the honor of being a guest speaker at the creative forum BoomSPdesign, the multi-discipline conference that happens once a year in Sao Paulo. I talked about the confluence of photography, architecture and art, coming together to create expression. It couldn't have been a better topic, since confluence (from local to global) seemed to be the common thread from speakers to audience members alike.

" We are constantly travelling the world over, going from design fair and schools to private visits to established studios, searching for the guests to our forum", says Beto Cocenza, founder and curator of BoomSPdesign. "We want to offer as varied as possible view on the latest design philosophies and the people developing them".

I was happy then to again be invited to join the event's 2012 edition (this time as an exhibiting artist at the renown COD showroom ) and while talking to Cocenza about the other guests it was most contagious to hear of his excitement on his research for this year's guest designers, in particular the Brazilian ones. Given the relevance Brazil's design has today achieved, from Campana Brothers to Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, I thought interesting to share here some of his highlights:

1.      Flavia Pagotti Silva: "Flavia came late into design, falling in love with the medium while accompanying her husband studying abroad. An architect by training and with a masters in product design at the London College of Arts, she fell in love with the medium of expressing herself through design and once she got started she quickly establish herself in the Brazilian design scene and even internationally, her creations even appearing at the prestigious MoMa design shop. With her ‘Sao Luis' chair she combines the material flexibility of Corian technology with a nod to one of Brazil's most traditional element, the tile design inherited from the colonial Portuguese times. This chair so successfully combines tradition and future, Brazil and the world, that it was a natural to include on the BoomSPdesign exhibit selection."                    

2.     Lattoog Design : "Composed by Leonardo Lattavo and Pedro Moog, this dynamic duo from Rio de Janeiro brings to design some of the special flavor that that city is known for. Inspiration for their piece came from the work of celebrated Brazilian landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx and is thus appropriately named   ‘Burle Armchair". It has a simple base with visible wood joints cut by a digital router. The cuts create a pattern akin to that found in many of the designs by Burle Marx, as if the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema sidewalks become actual objects. Another example of tradition being re-interpreted in a very Brazilian way and with an appeal that cross borders - it had to most certainly be part of my exhibit."

3. ESTUDIO CIPO (composed by Rafael Dias, Ricardo Bueno and Lucas Blat): "This trio has a special place on the selection. Volunteer interns at last year's BoomSPdesign, they saw an opportunity to apply what they had absorbed in terms of professional practice and knowledge and through design share it with other students, teachers and the market. They bring a fresh new energy to their craft and it is thrilling to see the development process this trio has embarked on less than a year ago. The Red Chair" has an unmistakable modernistic character, yet very contemporary. Students still at the Centro Universitario Belas Artes, in Sao Paulo, they signal what is to come ahead and that the future is here and now. Since BoomSPdesign also aims at future trends and professional development, to include them was just natural. They are ones to watch!

4.     Rodrigo Ohtake: "Coming from an established Brazilian artistic dynasty

(his grandmother the acclaimed painter/sculptor Tomie Ohtake, his father famous architect Ruy Ohtake), Rodrigo was never fazed by his impressive parentage and went right ahead to create his own reputation. His designs are sensual and curvaceous, whether a residential project or furniture design, pushing function to the limits of seduction. The "Fita" Table/Sofa is a great example: a wood structure that starts as a desk/table and through twists and turns becomes seating. It is at once sculpture, art and function. Rodrigo represents the maturing design of today in Brazil and I look forward his presentation at the conference."

5. Carol Gay: "Although in person Carol is personable and very sweet, her work is edgy, fierce and make no apologies. Her chair ‘No Ar' (In the Air) is a reference in contemporary Brazilian design. It combines airplane tyres inner tubes with steel. But to these dry industrial materials she brings a lightness and grace giving it a unique beauty and sensuality. It's no surprise Carol is a favourite of the Campana Brothers. We are very happy to count her as one of our former guest speakers and look forward seeing her again this year."  

Beto's enthusiasm with the quality of Brazilian design has helped make this a very special conference. " When you see what is being developed, created and ‘dreamed' out there in studios from Sao Paulo to Rio and the Northeast, you realise that the design scene in this country has matured, and reached a level of high and original sophistication", Cocenza exalts. "We've arrived at an interesting point in terms of design here: we are still injecting that certain unique flavor Brazil is renown for, but also now keeping up with trends and successfully placing our creations in the international market", he continues. And he knows a thing or two about that market dynamic, having consulted for both international designers producing in Brazil and Brazilians producing abroad. "Brazil design is not a novelty anymore, but a established presence and player in the world of design."

The forum's format and pace allows for very thorough presentations, followed by educational, informative casual talks. This friendly atmosphere gave the event a very distinctive quality, very Brazilian indeed, without the stiffness of sound bites and pretense usually found in such gatherings. Thus I look forward inspired chats with these designers and Centro Universitario Belas Artes learning from their talents and passion.   

Paul Clemence

TAGS: Sao Paulo, Brazil, Boomspdesign, Boomspdesign 2012, Beto Cocenza, Campana Brothers, Franscisco Costa, Calvin Klein, Flavia Pagotti Silva, London College of Arts, MoMa, Corian, Sao Luis Armchair, Lattoog  Design, Leonardo Lattavo, Pedro Moog, Rio de Janeiro, Roberto Burle Marx, Burle Armchair, Copacabana, Ipanema, Brazilian, Estudio Cipo, Rafael Dias, Ricardo Bueno,Lucas Blat, Centro Universitario Belas Artes, Rodrigo Ohtake, Ruy Ohtake, Tomie Ohtake, Carol Gay, COD Showroom.

All images by Paul Clemence or courtesy of the designer