The spon­tane­ity of Brazil­ian tra­di­tion

Domus - - RASSEGNA - Edited by Gi­u­lia Guzzini

Hum­berto and Fer­nando Cam­pana have made sal­vage and safe­guard­ing tra­di­tional Brazil­ian crafts the mis­sion of the foun­da­tion bear­ing their name. Since 2009, with the Cam­pana In­sti­tute, the two Brazil­ian broth­ers have been us­ing de­sign as a tool for trans­for­ma­tion through so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes.

Fa­mous for their use of rough, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and for mak­ing the re­use of ma­te­ri­als a fea­ture of their de­sign, the Cam­pana broth­ers en­tered the world of de­sign in the 1990s with their first chair, Favela — now held in the de­sign col­lec­tions of im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions and since 2002 pro­duced by the Ital­ian brand Edra. While ev­ery­one knows that the term 'favela' refers to the pre­car­i­ous set­tle­ments that char­ac­terise large Brazil­ian ci­ties, per­haps not ev­ery­one knows that these shanty towns were the ac­tual in­spi­ra­tion for the Favela chair: “the idea for the Favela chair came from look­ing at how part of the pop­u­la­tion in Brazil dealt with their lives and built their own homes”, re­calls Hum­berto Cam­pana, the older of the two with le­gal train­ing be­hind, “we used glue and nails to as­sem­ble small pieces of sal­vaged wood by hand, fol­low­ing a very sim­ple lay­out with no ra­tio­nal de­sign”. At the time though we didn’t re­alise the re­al­ity of the lives of peo­ple who lived in these places, we didn’t re­alise what it means for chil­dren to grow up in an en­vi­ron­ment that doesn’t teach them self-es­teem”, con­tin­ues Hum­berto. “Years later, I went back to a favela and started work­ing with these kids and re­alised that their re­al­ity was a vi­o­lent one, so much so that when I sug­gested they make art ob­jects, they built weapons, pis­tols and bombs.” Feel­ing grate­ful for what life had given them, Fer­nando and Hum­berto de­cided to put their ex­pe­ri­ence and cre­ativ­ity back into cir­cu­la­tion and in 2009 set up a foun­da­tion in Sao Paolo, the Cam­pana In­sti­tute. “We work with kids and young peo­ple from the fave­las, from drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tres and pris­ons,” con­tin­ues Hum­berto, “with the aim of en­gag­ing them and stim­u­lat­ing them with our ex­am­ple of cre­at­ing with your own hands and with your imag­i­na­tion, work­ing with sim­ple ma­te­ri­als like ter­ra­cotta, straw, leather, PVC bot­tle, cot­ton string, card­board or wood from crates. And once a week an ed­u­ca­tor vis­its the com­mu­ni­ties to in­tro­duce an al­ter­na­tive view into the heavy at­mos­phere that the kids breathe in each day”. In ad­di­tion to us­ing de­sign as a tool for trans­for­ma­tion through so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes with the Cam­pana In­sti­tute, the two Brazil­ian broth­ers seek to pre­serve the her­itage not yet touched by glob­al­i­sa­tion and the value of Brazil­ian folk cul­ture. Tra­di­tional tech­niques that are dis­ap­pear­ing are be­ing re­vived through de­sign and the two broth­ers cre­ate new prod­ucts and op­por­tu­ni­ties to keep those tra­di­tions alive within these out­ly­ing com­mu­ni­ties. The chal­lenge of the Cam­pana In­sti­tute is man­i­fested in the rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the cul­tural iden­tity of their coun­try, of the ex­tra­or­di­nary in­ven­tive­ness in re­cy­cling car­ried out by the street cul­ture of the fave­las on the one hand and on the other by lo­cal craft tra­di­tions that are trans­lated into orig­i­nal de­signs that em­body the spon­ta­neous and in­stinc­tive aes­thetic qual­ity found in the Brazil­ian tra­di­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.