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Brazilian Design at the MoMA Store

The Museum of Modern Art's Design Store has been running regionally-sourced collections in their retails shops and online. Currently they've got an excellent array of products from Korea, and next up they'll be bringing work from Brazil.

 

During a visit to New York last week, I attended a preview of the Brazilian collection, which was absolutely as vibrant and beautiful as you'd expect from a country known for brilliant color and breathtaking natural habitats. I wanted to buy a few of the items on the spot, but I'll be eagerly awaiting their May release.

These cylindrical nesting vases are inspired by the shape of bamboo. Though made from ceramic, the surfaces have a roughness that evokes forests or jungles. They come as a set of three and can be stacked and used as a single vase, or separated and arranged as a trio. Made by hand in Brazil. 5 ½” h x 3 1/3” diam. $80.00

The collection focuses on locally sourced materials—many of them environmentally-minded—like coconut, eucalyptus, and Brazilian white clay. The objects range in scale from small jewelry and vases to stools and even a large lounge chair designed by the Campana Brothers. A short preview of the collection follows (or you can view it as a slideshow by clicking in the upper right corner of this post), and you'll be able to see the rest on the MoMA site soon.

Mocho Stool, by Sergio Rodrigues, 1954

This was one of my favorite pieces in the collection—eye-catching for its simplicity and the pleasing shape of the seat. The stool, made from Brazilian Eucalyptus, is inspired by the traditional milkmaid's stool used throughout Brazil, with three legs and a single-lathed hollow seat. The handle is a functional detail but it also makes for a beautiful visual embellishment. 15 ¾” h x 17 ¾” diam. $550.00

Bambu Stacking Vases, by Kimi Nii, 2003

These cylindrical nesting vases are inspired by the shape of bamboo. Though made from ceramic, the surfaces have a roughness that evokes forests or jungles. They come as a set of three and can be stacked and used as a single vase, or separated and arranged as a trio. Made by hand in Brazil. 5 ½” h x 3 1/3” diam. $80.00

Corallo Chair, by Humberto and Fernando Campana, 2004

Certainly the most striking of the lot, for its size, color, and form, the Corallo Chair is classic Campana brothers. The bent steel wire is meant to recall the random dynamism of coral branches, and when coated with bright epoxy paint, it also references the colors of many undersea reefs. Because these chairs are bent and finished by hand, no two are alike. 39 1/3"h x 55" x, seat height 35 1/2 $8910

Corallo Bag, by Humberto and Fernando Campana, 2008

For those who love the Corallo Chair but can't undertake the commitment (or the shipping), the Campana brothers developed this bag in partnership with rising Brazilian shoe star, Melissa. Made from plastic in Brazil, it's an easily giftable small item for those who don't mind showing off their loot. 18"h x 11"w x 21/2"d. $80

Wooden Block Robot, by Alberto Pretel, 2008

Since robots are definitely not just for kids, this charismatic tabletop robot could appeal to just about anyone. The colorful illustration is painted onto a block of reclaimed wood from Brazil. A MoMA Exclusive. 8 1/8" h x 3 3/4"w x 1 3/4"d $65

Chalkboard Bud Vase, by Ricardo Saint-Clair, 2005

This dual-purpose design is both a single-stem vase and a mini chalkboard. The black surfaces can be used for messages or drawings, or left alone for a more sophisticated look. A small glass beaker sits in the top of the plywood block to hold the water for the flower, and another small cavity in the side of the vase stores the chalk. Another MoMA Exclusive. 8" h x 8" w x 4.5" d. $75

White Clay Candleholders, by Svanja Kalteich, 2008

These intricately detailed oval-shaped candleholders are made by hand from Brazilian white clay. When a tea light is lit inside, the openings in the surface of the candleholder cast patterns and shadows on the wall round it. MoMA Exclusive. Small Oval: 2 ½” h x 3 ½” diam., $45 Small Vase: 3 ½” h x 1 1/3” diam. $48 Large Oval: 3 ½” h x 4” diam. $65

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