Since Brazil’s favelas are a hot topic these days, (Funky do Morro, Cidade de Deus, uhhh…Nike’s advertising?) I thought now would be a good time to reintroduce the designers who first brought attention to Brazilian street culture back in the early 90s, with their design classic: the Favela Chair.
Fernando & Humberto Campana are a dynamic designing duo hailing from S?o Paulo, Brazil. I was first introduced to their work a couple years ago when I was looking for designers who made furniture with recycled materials. It was love at first sight. These two – one a trained architect and the other a lawyer cum sculptor – use ordinary household materials like as scrapwood, string and stuffed animals to create funny, thought-provoking furniture. They first hit it big in the 90’s with the release of the Favela scrap wood chair.
?Favela? refers to the ad-hoc slums from mud, scraps of wood, bricks and stones in the hills surrounding Brazil’s major urban areas. The Campanas were inspired by the “spontaneous architecture” they encountered in the streets of S?o Paulo, and decided to incorporate bits of vernacular Brazilian streetlife into their designs. The Favela chair is constructed piece-by-piece from the same wood used to build the favelas, and every piece is hand-glued and nailed.
Since then, the Campana brothers have produced many more designs (mainly chairs from reappropriated materials), and have had several major exhibits in museums such as the NYC MOMA, and the London Design Museum. Their products can be purchased online through Moss, and there are a couple interesting interviews with them on Designboom and the Design Museum’s website.
I love these guys, but I have to admit I am more infatuated with the IDEA of a stuffed animal chair, than the thought of actually having one in my living room. But I suppose just seeing these objects is the point. Just knowing they are out there helps me sleep at night. Thank you Campanas.