SERGIO RODRIGUES : Beautifully Brazilian Seating

Born in Rio de Janeiro into a family of prominent Brazilian artists and intellectuals, Architect / Designer Sergio Rodrigues (1927-2014) is considered one of the most important influential Brazilian designers. As a contemporary of modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer and Brasilia, with whom he also worked, he pioneered Brazilian industrial design, making his work known worldwide. With Bauhaus principles in mind he created pieces of furniture from a strictly Brazilian context. Rodrigues’ materials of choice were rich tropical woods- jacaranda, peroba and imbuia, along with leather and rattan, combining these luxe raw materials to create designs celebrating his birth culture.

After graduating in 1952 from the Faculdade Nacional de Arquitectura, Sergio Rodrigues opened the first modern art and furniture store in Curitiba, Brazil. Shortly thereafter in 1955, he founded Oca, which he referred to as ‘a laboratory for Brazilian furniture and handicrafts and became one of the most critical components in the evolution of furniture in Brazil. His furniture pieces were utilized in a large scale throughout the construction of Brazil’s capital Brasilia. Rodrigues designed many pieces of furniture, hotels, residences and prefabricated dwelling systems. His work represents the Brazilian spirit and a relaxed attitude – comfortable, sensual, humorous, yet smart and sophisticated. His pieces are highly sought after today in the auction circuit and with collectors.

Sergio Rodrigues Kilin chair

The “Kilin” chair, designed in 1973 consists of a solid tauari wood frame with a leather back and seat. Known for its comfort, as one sits suspended in air. Available in several colors of leather, the chair can be easily disassembled for easy transport.

Sergio Rodrigues Mole chair

One of Rodrigues’ most well-known pieces, the “Mole” (soft in Portuguese) chair, designed in 1961, this chair sparked an international design trend that favored comfort and a new attention to scale. The “Mole” is an inviting easy chair, with a floppy overstuffed leather cushion that offers comfort reminiscent of a hammock. The piece was awarded first prize at the IV Furniture Biennale in Italy.

Read More » »


Swiss architect and designer Pierre Jeanneret (1896 – 1967) collaborated with his well-known cousin Charles Edouard Jeanneret (aka Le Corbusier) for about twenty years. Pierre Jeanneret was brought on to design the furniture for India’s city of Chandigarh, at the urging of Le Corbusier (who was the project’s architect). Chandigarh was a new modern model of a city conceived by Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. Nehru’s intention for Chandigarh (named for Chandi, Hindu goddess of power) was to create a city that would “be a new town, symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past.” Le Corbusier was hired to create a master plan for the city, and it was to become his largest and most ambitious project, involving residential, commercial, industrial areas, parks and a complex of government buildings. Jeanneret designed furniture for the entire project, using inexpensive locally-sourced bug and humidity resistant teak. During his partnership with Corbusier, Jeanneret also worked with Charlotte Perriand and they joined forces with Jean Prouvé in 1940 to research the potential of prefabricated housing. Jeanneret, sympathizing with the Communists, joined the French resistance, while Corbusier’s authoritarian leanings let him to elicit work from the Vichy Government and Italian Fascists. Jeanneret, inspired by the local traditional craftsmanship “cobbled together” rudimentary, yet ingenious furniture with bamboo sticks, iron rods, rope, can and straps. Eventually, he created more evolved “low-cost” furniture pieces, classified according to their leg shape, “V, X, Y and Z.” Most pieces were held together with two screws, and sometimes no screws at all. Jeanneret developed pieces for Knoll International, however, it was his time in Chandigarh that most profoundly affected him.

Pierre Jeanneret Office Chairs

Jeanneret’s Office Chairs c. 1956, showcase his upside down “V” leg design. The chair is constructed of teak with a cane seat and backrest that seems to float in space.

The Committee Armchair, c. 1953, a more elegant chair in teak and leather with detached armrests and rounded cuffs and “V” leg design. All the leather used in the Chandigarh project was from cows that died of natural causes.

Read More » »