EXHIBITION | BERNARDO FIGUEIREDO: BRAZILIAN DESIGNER AND ARCHITECT
Credits: Alisson Ricardo
Visitation from July 17th to December 12th, 2021
Bernardo Figueiredo’s professional trajectory is reviewed on display at the Museu da Casa Brasileira – institution of the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo – and in a book published by Editora Olhares from July 17th, entitled “Bernardo Figueiredo : Brazilian designer and architect”. Curators of the exhibition and authors of the book, Maria Cecília Loschiavo dos Santos, Professor of Design at FAUUSP, Amanda Beatriz Palma de Carvalho, Ph.D. in Design, and Karen Matsuda, Master in Design, both from the same institution, had the Bernardo Figueiredo Collection as starting point for the research.
Credits: Alisson Ricardo
“Figueiredo’s production is situated at the crossroads of architecture, urbanism, furniture design, interior design, culture and their transdisciplinary interrelationships. What motivated these crosses? Bernardo was a man of open thinking and his professional identity was always imbricated with the cultural and social conditions of Rio de Janeiro of his time. He was involved in different professional and human experiences, always with an open and positive attitude, expanding his creative practices in interdisciplinary directions and in constant flux in Brazil and abroad”, says Maria Cecilia Loschiavo.
Divided between the entrance hall and the three main rooms of the MCB, the show features a timeline with important dates and events: drawings, photos of his furniture design and architecture creations, in addition to the video Fabricando a Poltrona Milhazes, which presents the manufacture of this part at the Schuster factory in Santo Cristo, RS. There will also be original drawings of urban projects created by Figueiredo for the city of Porto Seguro, Bahia.
One of the rooms will feature 11 pieces produced in the 1960s that are part of the Bernardo Figueiredo Collection, as well as photos of settings from that time, including images of Bernardo’s residence. The showing of a video with excerpts from the movie “Girl from Ipanema” by Leon Hirzman, 1967, presents Bernardo’s second residence, which was one of the main locations of the film.
The Poltrona Carioca, developed to be assembled in a TV show of the time, will be disassembled and applied to one of the walls, showing each of its component parts. Visitors will also be able to see photos of the Porão of the Chica da Silva store, which belonged to costume designer Kalma Murtinho, a pioneer in the Brazilian craft trade in Rio de Janeiro. The place was a meeting point for intellectuals from Rio de Janeiro and sold furniture by Bernardo for several years.
Another room will be dedicated to the Itamaraty Palace, which houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Brasília. Original furniture such as the Chair of Arcos and the Poltrona Rio will share space with the re-editions produced by Schuster such as the Chair Bahia and the Poltrona Leve. These pieces are part of the Palace project. The room also has reissues of Conversadeira sofas, which can be used by visitors and the video Palácio dos Arcos, created by Angela Figueiredo with photos and images from 1967 and 2017.
In a third space, pieces reprinted by the Rio Grande do Sul factory Schuster Móveis will be presented, which, since 2011, has produced Bernardo’s furniture. The visiting public will be able to try the furniture.
“Relaunching Bernardo’s furniture means keeping alive the legacy and history of national furniture. Its difficulties, needs and solution proposals. All of this always presents a typical Brazilianness together with the discussion of the Brazilian way of being and living and its relations with nature and its own philosophy”, comments Wilson Schuster, director of the company from Rio Grande do Sul.
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Virtual book launch
About Bernardo Figueiredo
Graduated in 1957 from the Faculdade Nacional de Arquitetura (now FAUUFRJ), the native of Rio de Janeiro Bernardo Figueiredo (1934-2012) started his career designing buildings, exploring the universe of furniture design and interior architecture. Throughout his career, he designed urban projects, designed stands for national and international fairs, graphic projects and commercial ventures, being a pioneer in the creation of shopping centers in the country, such as Barra Shopping, opened in 1981 in Rio de Janeiro.
Bernardo’s career was strongly linked to Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s/70s, especially to Ipanema, the neighborhood where he was born and lived and which became one of the epicenters of Brazilian culture at that time.
“Bernardo, like his contemporaries, reflected on materiality, offering daring projects that visited different fronts, without neglecting the real functionality of each one of them, for his target audience”, explains Karen Matsuda.
Bernardo worked at the Oca store, where he had the opportunity to live directly with Sergio Rodrigues and Inge Dodel. About these experiences, he said: “Inge disciplined me, Sérgio allowed me the intimacy with the furniture and Tenreiro sharpened my style”.
He played an outstanding role in the design of the interior architecture project for the Palácio do Itamaraty, headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brasília, in 1967. He was invited to furnish the main rooms of the palace and, at the time, coexisted with names from modernism such as: Oscar Niemeyer, Burle Marx, Athos Bulcão, Bruno Giorgi and, again, Sergio Rodrigues and Joaquim Tenreiro, also called to participate in the project.
“Brazilian furniture exists when it meets the conditions of our people. That’s exactly my concern when creating a template. Provide through comfort, plastic, materials and authenticity, the finding of what is above all useful for those who seek it. It’s a question of identity”, said Bernardo Figueiredo.
Bernardo’s constant movement and his search for a way of life closer to nature led him to move to Porto Seguro, Bahia. There, he wanted to contribute to some solutions for the local population by spearheading small buildings and urban projects, as well as dedicating himself to preserving the natural and cultural wealth of the historic city.
“Since his arrival in Porto Seguro, Bernardo fought for the city to preserve all the surrounding nature and vegetation. In 1984, when he learned that alcohol plants would be built in the region, he even created and led a group in defense of the city”, tell the authors Maria Cecília, Amanda Carvalho and Karen Matsuda.
“Bernardo had a comprehensive and multiple career, and his creations remain and demonstrate the formal validity and rigor of the project responses he knew how to give to the most varied demands he faced”, according to Maria Cecília Loschiavo.
About the book
The book is an important record that expands the knowledge of the fields of architecture and design in Brazil in the second half of the 20th century by unraveling the thought of a multidisciplinary professional, who graduated at the height of the modern period and worked with pioneering and success in various types . In addition to texts by the authors and presentations by Angela Figueiredo and Adriana Figueiredo, the publication has prefaces by the MCB and diplomat Heitor Granafei, who coordinated a major research on the original furniture of Palácio dos Arcos, in addition to a photo essay by André Nazareth.
Title: Bernardo Figueiredo: Brazilian designer and architect
Publication: Editora Olhares
Organization: Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
Authors: Amanda Beatriz Palma de Carvalho, Karen Matsuda, Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
Photo essay: Andre Nazareth
Prefaces: Hector Ganafei, MCB
Project coordination: Angela Figueiredo
Sponsorship: Schuster Furniture
21x28cm format, hardcover
Number of pages: 176
Bilingual edition / English version: Adriana Figueiredo, Mark Farnen and Emily Cavelier
Cover price: R$139
The Museu da Casa Brasileira, an institution of the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo, is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the material culture of the Brazilian house, being the only museum in the country specializing in architecture and design. The MCB’s program includes temporary and long-term exhibitions, with an agenda that also includes educational service activities, debates, lectures and publications contextualizing the museum’s vocation for the formation of critical thinking on themes such as architecture, urbanism, housing, economy creative, urban mobility and sustainability. Among its numerous initiatives, the MCB Design Award, the main award in the segment in the country, held since 1986, stand out; and the Casas do Brasil project, to rescue and preserve the memory of the rich diversity of living in the country.
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