Sergio Rodrigues was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1927 and passed in 2014. He has been dubbed the father of Brazilian furniture. Indeed, he was responsible for establishing a new paradigm in design, setting himself apart with his very own language in his quest for a clearly recognizable Brazilian identity. He became notorious for his use of robust woods like jacaranda, peroba and imbuia to create quintessential icons. His iconic Mole armchair was an immediate success, comprised of jacaranda and upholstered cushions supported by leather straps. The piece informed by Rodrigues’ playfulness and wit, readily became associated with a typically relaxed Brazilian attitude and lifestyle.
The designer graduated from the Faculdade Nacional de Arquitetura in 1952, and shortly after founded one of the first modern furniture and art stores in Curitiba. In 1955, Rodrigues opened the more established company 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. Rodrigues later set out on his own designing furniture, hotels, residences and notorious pre-fabricated dwellings. His work represents Brazil in many ways – relaxed, comfortable, sensual and humorous, yet sophisticated and contemporary.
Amongst his well-known works are pieces of furniture designed for the Brazilian Embassy in Rome, for the UNB (Brasília University) and the Teatro Nacional (National Theater in Brasília). The designer has worked closely with Oscar Niemeyer, as the latter's interior designer of choice for his buildings in Brasilia.