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Guess This Is The Point Where We Crown Paper Pulp the “It” Material of 2020

Brazilian designer Humberto da Mata was born and raised in Brasília — which, with its swooping, Oscar Niemeyer–designed reinforced concrete buildings, could be considered the international seat of organic architecture. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that da Mata creates freeform work from easily moldable materials like hand-stitched upholstery, ceramics, and, most recently, papier-mâché (which, in case you missed it, appears to be *the* it material of 2020).
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Get to Know Sao Paulo’s Newest Breakout Talents, From Their Youth in Brasilia to Their Latest Collection

With barely a woodgrain in sight, the work of São Paulo duo Ricardo Innecco and Mariana Ramos doesn't look all that Brazilian. And yet even in just the four years since they began working together as Estudio Rain, they've seen a surge in the Brazilian market's interest in their brand of conceptual minimalism, allowing them to push their practice in an even more experimental direction. We recently spoke with them about that shift, as well as about their formative years in Brasilia, and what inspired their latest collection.
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An Up-and-Coming Brazilian Designer On Lightness, Gravity, and the Future

“Before studying product design, I almost graduated with a business degree,” says Guilherme Wentz, the São Paulo–based designer who, in 2016, partnered with entrepreneur Rafael Gehrke to form WENTZ, a new line of furnishings, lighting, and accessories. “But at the time, I was not happy with the job and life I had. I realized I wanted to live in a simpler and maybe more disruptive way.” Since then, the up-and-coming Brazilian designer has become a serious talent to watch, what with his spare, nature-infused creations blurring the boundary between old and new.
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The Campana Brothers at Friedman Benda

If you’re a longtime reader of Sight Unseen, you know it’s rare that we write about a big-name designer. In part, it’s a question of access — it’s far easier to get an RCA grad on the phone than, say, Hella Jongerius. But it’s also a question of ubiquity: If you read a bunch of design blogs, you’re going to hear about something like Yves Behar’s new Smart Lock until your face falls off. But the Campana Brothers — despite being one of the biggest names in design — have somehow always eluded that extreme ubiquity.
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What inspired your Batucada series? “Music and cans. In Brazil, people in the favelas play instruments made of tin and aluminum pots, and ‘batucada’ is the percussion sound made by beating them. The process interested me in general because Brazil recycles 98% of its aluminum — it’s a record. The cans are collected by hand by people who collect trash in the street. It’s a crazy system but it works very well. The factory that spins the aluminum for me uses recycled metal.”

Brunno Jahara, Product Designer

If you think about it in the context of design, Brazil is a lot like America: A vast, relatively young country with a tiny cadre of contemporary designers struggling both to step out of the long shadow of their mid-century forebears, and to create objects in a near-industrial vacuum. But you won’t hear Brazilian designer Brunno Jahara complaining — having lived in dozens of European countries, worked under Jaime Hayon at Fabrica, and run a freelance business from Amsterdam before moving back to São Paulo a few years ago, he credits his native country as being the catalyst for his newfound success. “In Brazil I have all the freedom I didn’t have in Europe, because there’s a whole historical background over there that holds you to making things in a certain way,” says the 32-year-old.
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