BRAZILIAN DESIGN (PART TWO)
FEB 16 2017 - MAY 11 2017
As with most national design tradition, Brazilian design has been conditioned by several factors which intersect with each other, immigration being one of the most influential. These mostly European immigrants flooded the country brining ideas and continental perspectives. In the field of design, architects such as the Italian born Lina Bo Bardi brought her Bauhaus education to Brazil. One of the country’s main cultural trends as it grew in stature helped define a very strong and binding nationalistic trajectory in furniture design, the idea is referred to as Brazilianess. This combination of European modernism and Brazilianess is what has come to define the works of many of the country’s design masters. Brazilianess entailed the abundant use of Brazil’s rich and sensually textured hardwoods, woven leathers inspired by indigenous crafts, and often a laidback from that encouraged a relaxed overall attitude.
Combined with this feature of national identity, Brazilian modernist furniture is also defined by strong references to European traditions, from classical forms to colonial-style canning, to Bauhausian geometries. This combination produced an absolutely unique design culture with an output that us among the best found anywhere in the world.
The socio-economic context within which this new wave of modernism design flourished somewhat underpins the movement and was without doubt a catalyst for the creation of modern furniture production such as that of Branco e Preto and Unilabor. In the post war years Brazil, like other Latin American countries entered a period of prosperity, far from the destruction of World War II. From an economic context an influx of European and North American investment spurred a government led modernisation of major cities with a conscious importation of the International Style. On a social level an influx of European and North American architects, designers, artists and entrepreneurs in Latin America influenced a generation of local architects and designers beginning to see themselves as active players in the creation of modern national identities. The result of economic affluence and a new wave of modernist design ideals led to the creation of transformative design such as the Barco e Preto Coffee table alongside a set of dining chair by Martin Eisler and Carlos Hauner, that were elegantly on show at Side Gallery.