More than being simply functional, design has the power to assemble history, memories and affective ties. It is this approach to design that guides Sérgio Matos, a 41-year-old designer from the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. He develops furniture and decoration pieces that are inspired by Brazilian culture and heritage, such as cultural identity, memory and time-honoured traditions.
Traditional craft techniques help to bring cultural heritage to life through tables, armchairs or lamps. A wide range of narratives, collected at Brazilian landscapes, folk manifestations, street fairs, sacred and profane rites of popular religious celebrations, provide inspirational creative aesthetics.
Having completed a product design degree at the Federal University of Campina Grande in 2005, Sérgio Matos’ has an important and affective link to North-eastern Brazil. Since then, the city, in the state of Paraíba, has been both his residential and professional address. Sérgio opened his current studio seven years ago and has, since then, accumulated many prizes and awards for his designs such as: Design Excellence Brazil (Balaio Armchair, Xique-Xique stove and Carambola puff in 2011); If Product Design Award (Carambola puff, Germany in 2012) and Be Open (2014), for the studio's creative performance. At the recent edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF New York 2018), Sérgio received the award for the best ‘Foreign Area Furniture’ ahead of all other exhibitors who attended the global fair. Sérgio’s success and expertise is part of Projeto Raiz, an initiative from the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and the Furniture Industry Association of Bento Gonçalves (Sindmóveis).
Outside the studio, Sérgio drives his consultancy to traditional Brazilian artisan communities, from some of the most remote areas of the country, and provide an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences. The fusion of innovative design and traditional craftsmanship results in unique pieces which embody belonging, inherited knowledge of ancestors and appreciation of original raw materials taken from the surroundings.