(jiří macek) The iconic Mole chair from 1961 represents the highlight of a collection made by the Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues, presented by the German company ClassiCon at Design Post in Cologne. However, this chair, which harkens back to the throbbing era of Oscar Niemeyer, is not the only crown jewel in this collection.
Architect Sergio Rodrigues (b.1927) ranks among the personalities that have defined Brazilian design. When the capital city of Brasilia was being built – i.e. in the years when design and architecture turned into instruments for building the identity of Brazil – he had just finished his studies of architecture in Rio de Janeiro, where he implemented several interior designs in buildings by Oscar Niemeyer, Lucio Costa, and others. At that time, everybody in Brazil utilized imported furniture in the colonial style, which caused Rodrigues to think about designing his own furniture. One of the first implementations of the Oca Industries studio, which he founded in 1958, was the Mole chair. It won an award at the Milan Fair in 1961 and can be found in the design collection of the MOMA Gallery in New York. Since then, Sergio Rodrigues has implemented approximately 1,200 furniture samples. His current collection, made under the flag of ClassiCon, presents a cross-section of his work, focusing on seating furniture in particular. The oldest piece in the collection, the Mucho stool, was designed in 1954; the youngest piece, the Diz chair, in 2002. Despite a lengthy span of 48 years between each work, one can still find a link amongst the pieces that is characteristic of his work – developing traditional elements and materials with a very personal emphasis on the spirituality of objects. His passion for wood is reflected in the selected forms and in the choice of extraordinary woods such as eucalyptus and jacaranda. For this reason, wood has become the basic material in a whole range of architectural projects featured in his portfolio, which includes important implementations in structures such as the National Theatre in Brasilia, the Brazilian embassy in Rome, and the University of Brasilia.
Thus, Sergio Rodrigues becomes the fourth great figure of world design in the ClassiCon catalogue, next to Eileen Gray, Otto Bluemel, and Eckart Mathesius. The catalogue also features a contemporary face of design, represented by Konstantin Grcic, Alexander Taylor, Norway Says, and the designer duo of Barber – Osgerby. A very exquisite company, indeed.
Křeslo Diz, 2002