Drawing inspiration from Brazilian street life and carnival culture, the brothers FERNANDO AND HUMBERTO CAMPANA combine found objects – such as scraps of wood and fabric off-cuts – with advanced technologies to create a vibrant, energetic and definitively Brazilian approach to design.
Taking their cue from everyday scenarios and using unexpected combinations of found materials – such as rubber hose, tissue paper, string or furry toys –Fernando and Humberto Campana transform modest materials into objects that celebrate the discarded and mundane and are instilled with the spirit of contemporary Brazil that they describe as “zest for life”.
Neither brother intended to be a designer. Humberto, born in the Rio Claro area of São Paulo in 1953, originally studied law, but began to design furniture in the mid 1980s after Fernando, born in Brotas in 1961, had completed his architectural degree.
Central to their practice is the importance of materials. The challenge, as the Campanas see it, is to transform something poor into something decadent and opulent. In the Vermelha chair, the brothers tie and weave an abundance of brilliantly coloured cord through a metal frame. Their Sushi chair transforms strips of brightly coloured plastic and carpet underlay into decorative rolls which then ‘upholster’ a basic frame. This process of transformation has injected a new energy into contemporary design by presenting a bold, vibrant alternative to the rationalist ideals of the long dominant European modern movement.
The material tradition of Brazil is based on craftsmanship and economy of means. By experimenting with high and low tech materials and using artisanal techniques, the Campanas are able to harness the energies of their inherited tradition while defining a new aesthetic based on experimentation and advanced technologies. They have also created a fresh and surprising way of looking at things. By weaving the fabric of São Paulo into their objects, the brothers present a very personal portrait of their city. “Our designs were born in the street, from the urban kitsch of the popular quarters and contact with nature,” they say. “Whenever we can, we go back to our farm. Nature revitalises our ideas.”

Cipria, covered sofa by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Edra

Cadeira Jacare (Alligator) Chair 2005  Stainless steel legs and frame, covered with soft toys.
Anemone chair, 2001, for Edra.

Favela Chair, 1991 Fernando + Humberto Campan Manufactured by Edra (from 2003)

Ideal Home
Fernando + Humberto Campana
Cologne, 2004
Banquete Chair, 2002
Fernando + Humberto Campana
Corallo Chair, 2003/2004
Fernando + Humberto Campana
Manufactured by Edra
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