Casa Brasil exhibition in SoHo, New York this month brought together some of the finest artisans and designers from Brazil. To much acclaim they were able to highlight their creativity, culture and craftsmanship in the various pieces on display. The exhibit had furniture and home decor pieces from 20+ companies and 22 Brazilian designers. Many items were handcrafted using traditional materials such and wood, leather, cane and wicker. The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of Brazilian furniture with 35% of Brazil’s exports in the sector destined for the U.S. Based on the pieces in the show that percentage is destined to increase.
Featured image: A Fonte (wall hanging) by Gilvan Samico – Kamy; Graphic Sofa by Bia Rezende; Totem Cabeças (umburana wood) by Mestre Aberaldo.
ApexBrasil and ABIMÓVEL, the organizers of the exhibition, expanded the presence of Brazilian makers this year by connecting with the ICFF show and increasing exhibit space at the Casa Brasil showhouse. The house floors were arranged as lounges to give attendees an immersive experience of being in a Brazilian home. They were separated with floor to ceiling tassels creating semi-intimate spaces. Brazilian music playing in the background and videos of indigenous botanicals and wildlife projected on the walls rounded out the immersive atmosphere.
Natural elements incorporated in the design was a key refrain in almost all the items on display along with an eye to using them in a sustainable way for the environment. One of many examples was from the artisans at ArboREAL. They created the Curved Table with a live edge design that was made using wood from sustainably managed forests in Brazil. Another key trend was marrying the value of handcrafted details with new technological advances in manufacturing. This enabled producers to keep the uniqueness of Brazilian design but make it more accessible to consumers to afford by using modern production capabilities.
Brazil is a vibrant mixture of many different cultures that have meshed together to form a rich legacy of artistry and design. The Kimono Armchair by Mula Preta highlights this mixture in a modern way. It blends Japanese design influence with a nod to natural elements in Brazil. (Note San Paulo has one of the largest Japanese communities outside of Japan.) The fabric has the texture of cactus done with laser cut 3D fabrication. In the show organizers were keen to include products from multiple regions in Brazil to present a fuller view of the many diverse and innovative designs Brazilian companies have to offer. Brasilidade is the abstract concept that represents the combination of music, nature, people and culture. This embodies the diverse heritage that makes up the unique culture of Brazil. The word cannot be translated into English, but the concept is very much at the heart of all their beautiful designs.
The Show’s Organizers
ApexBasil is a Brazilian trade, promotion and investment agency. They promote Brazilian products and services worldwide and attract foreign investments to strategic sectors of the Brazilian economy. They support 12,000 companies from 80 different industries, which in turn export to 200 markets. ABIMÓVEL, the Brazilian Furniture Manufacturers Association, has been around for 35 years. Strengthening and developing the interests of the national furniture industry is the goal of the organization. So far, they have benefitted more than 18,000 companies, which generated 273, 000 jobs and counting. ABIMÓVEL is committed to the development and sustainability of the furniture sector in Brazil.