Artists & Designers

Campana Brothers, Fernando (b. 1961) and Humberto (b. 1953)

Trained in architecture (Fernando) and law (Humberto), the Campana brothers began to collaborate on small designs and “ready-mades” in the mid-1980s before developing a series of spiral-form metal chairs in 1988. In 1994, inspired by a visit to the Milan furniture fair, the brothers expanded their efforts to carry their work beyond their native Brazil and developed a series of chair designs which reflected local themes and, occasionally, materials. Among their earliest successes, the Favela chair (2003), hand-made of odd lengths of Brazilian pine nailed together in seemingly haphazard fashion, was intended to reflect the construction and material of shanties (“Favela”) which surround Rio de Janeiro. The irony of a “high-style” design object wrought from images of shacks provides the chair with a disquieting stance bridging the international commercial realm which made possible the great and continued success of such a work to the impoverished conditions from which the original design arose. In 1998 the brothers’ work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as part of Project 66 with Ingo Maurer, the first international presentation of their career. Since that date, exhibitions in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Switzerland have followed. The Campanas have been the recipient of Interiors George Nelson Design prize and, more recently, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum 2008 Designer of the Year Award.

Adapted from

Kevin Tucker, DMA unpublished material, 2009.

Fun Facts

The brothers did not intend to be designers; Humberto trained as a lawyer, Fernando as an architect.

Web Resources
Visit the Campana brothers' design website.