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!

Modern home with Living Room and Chair. 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. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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.

Modern home with Living Room, Bench, and Chair. Still designing strong at age 86, Rodrigues has just re-released the Tajá line from 1978.

Photo courtesy Espasso. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

Photo courtesy Espasso.

Modern home with Living Room, Standard Layout Fireplace, Lamps, Table, Coffee Tables, Chair, End Tables, Table Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Rug Floor. The drawing room, the couple’s principal entertaining space, contains many highlights of the exhibition, including two Tonico lounge chairs by Sergio Rodrigues; a jacaranda bench by Alberto Reis; a leather-and-rosewood sling chair fabricated by Liceu de Artes e Oficios de São Paulo; and drawings by the contemporary Brazilian artist Paulo Climachauska. "Furniture is more beautiful with a patina—and this comes from years of careful and loving use." —Kathryn Smith Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

Modern home with Living Room and Chair. In 2009 Rodrigues reproduced a limited edition of 40 Aspas, also known as the Chifruda, of imbuia and freijó wood frame and leather, through Espasso. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

Modern home with Living Room and Chair. 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. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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.

Modern home with Living Room and 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. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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.

Modern home with Living Room and 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. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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.

Modern home with Living Room and Chair. The Havaianas dining chair is the result of Motta’s recent collaboration with the popular Brazilian flip-flop company, which commissioned the chair, in freijó wood covered in the same grippy rubber used for the shoes, with a rubber handle in the back. It makes its United States debut at the Espasso exhibition. Photo courtesy Espasso. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

Modern home with Windows. Bo Bardi designed the Tripé, or Tripod, armchair, around 1948. Made of painted tubular metal and hand-stitched leather and possessing the same design principles as the hammock, several examples existed throughout the Glass House. Photo courtesy Espasso. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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.)

Modern home with Living Room and Chair. The 1947 three-legged chair by Joaquim Tenreiro, who was born in Portugal, was produced by Tenreiro Móveis e Decorações, Brazil. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

Modern home with Living Room and Bench. The Camareiro bench was designed by Etel Carmona in 1993. Carmona is the head of Etel Marcenaria in Brazil.

Photo courtesy Espasso. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

Photo courtesy Espasso.

Modern home with Living Room and Recliner. This is one of the very few prototypes of Oscar Niemeyer's Rio chaise longue made in imbuia wood. Photo  of Brazilian Design 101

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

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