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Brazilian Design 101

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Don’t know your Tonico from your Mole? Fear not, as today we offer a Cliffs Notes of basic Brazilian furniture design, including the top names associated with Brazil and the pieces they are known for. Let us know what your favorites are. Viva Brasilia!
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  We’ll start with the captain: Sergio Rodrigues, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1927, sits in his Mole chair, designed in 1961 and identifiable by its generous arm padding.

    We’ll start with the captain: Sergio Rodrigues, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1927, sits in his Mole chair, designed in 1961 and identifiable by its generous arm padding.

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  Still designing strong at age 86, Rodrigues has just re-released the Tajá line from 1978.Photo courtesy Espasso.

    Still designing strong at age 86, Rodrigues has just re-released the Tajá line from 1978.

    Photo courtesy Espasso.

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  A pair of Rodrigues Tonico chairs in situ, at right, at a residence/gallery in Belgium.  Photo by: Chris Tubbs

    A pair of Rodrigues Tonico chairs in situ, at right, at a residence/gallery in Belgium.

    Photo by: Chris Tubbs

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  Among Rodrigues’s more eccentric works is the Aspas, or Chifruda, chair.

    Among Rodrigues’s more eccentric works is the Aspas, or Chifruda, chair.

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  Designed in 1959, and the most recognized and iconic piece from Polish-born design master Jorge Zalszupin, the Dinamarquesa chair takes cues from Danish design (dinamarquesa meaning Danish in Portuguese), with its elegant and clean lines.

    Designed in 1959, and the most recognized and iconic piece from Polish-born design master Jorge Zalszupin, the Dinamarquesa chair takes cues from Danish design (dinamarquesa meaning Danish in Portuguese), with its elegant and clean lines.

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  Jose Zanine Caldas is said to have attempted to plant a new tree every time one was taken down for one of his projects—a good thing, considering the amount of wood used for this exotic, one-of-a-kind bench.

    Jose Zanine Caldas is said to have attempted to plant a new tree every time one was taken down for one of his projects—a good thing, considering the amount of wood used for this exotic, one-of-a-kind bench.

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  Zanini de Zanine Caldas is indeed a chip off the old block: The son of Jose Zanine Caldas works mainly in wood, and occasionally in metal, such as in the steel Moeda chair.

    Zanini de Zanine Caldas is indeed a chip off the old block: The son of Jose Zanine Caldas works mainly in wood, and occasionally in metal, such as in the steel Moeda chair.

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  Surfer, woodworker, and designer Carlos Motta collaborated with the popular flip-flop company Havaianas on this side chair from 2010.

    Surfer, woodworker, and designer Carlos Motta collaborated with the popular flip-flop company Havaianas on this side chair from 2010.

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  Lina Bo Bardi, born Achillina Bo in Italy before emigrating to Brazil, designed the Tripé, or Tripod, armchair, around 1948. (Shown at Glass House, her home in Brazil.)

    Lina Bo Bardi, born Achillina Bo in Italy before emigrating to Brazil, designed the Tripé, or Tripod, armchair, around 1948. (Shown at Glass House, her home in Brazil.)

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  The 1947 three-legged chair by Joaquim Tenreiro, who was born in Portugal, was produced by Tenreiro Móveis e Decorações, Brazil.

    The 1947 three-legged chair by Joaquim Tenreiro, who was born in Portugal, was produced by Tenreiro Móveis e Decorações, Brazil.

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  The Camareiro bench was designed by Etel Carmona in 1993. Carmona is the head of Etel Marcenaria in Brazil.Photo courtesy Espasso.

    The Camareiro bench was designed by Etel Carmona in 1993. Carmona is the head of Etel Marcenaria in Brazil.

    Photo courtesy Espasso.

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  This is one of the very few prototypes of Oscar Niemeyer's Rio chaise longue made in imbuia wood.

    This is one of the very few prototypes of Oscar Niemeyer's Rio chaise longue made in imbuia wood.

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