Sergio broke away from paradigms by inventing a language of his own in search of the Brazilian identity
Sergio Rodrigues left us in September 2014, when revisiting his life and career. Always with great humor and precision, he chronicled much of his childhood and adolescence, his college days, and the opening of OCA, a store he created and that heralded a new phase in the production of Brazilian furniture. Sergio is one of those Brazilians who leave behind a large void in the country's life when they go. He is an icon, not only of design and architecture, rather of the Brazilian culture. His deliberate, relentless pursuit of modern Brazilian furniture was one of his great contributions to the story of creativity in Brazil. The Delta Larousse Encyclopedia defines him as "the creator of the Brazilian furniture."
Born in 1927, in Rio de Janeiro, he graduated as an architect in 1952 and went out in a "frantic search," as he himself put it, for a type of design that could represent the spirit "of our people." In architecture, his designs were made in order for "life to happen in there." Sergio broke away from paradigms to invent his own language in search of the Brazilian identity and harmoniously integrated the three areas in which he militated: architecture, design, and drawing.
His creations came at a time when Brazil was investing in a new federal capital, and the Brazilian people were breathing an atmosphere of invention and of Brazilianness in fine arts, music - with Bossa Nova - and architecture, with the construction of Brasília. Sergio sensed that modern Brazilian architecture lacked contemporary furniture to keep up with this. Sergio's creations, aimed to make modern, comfortable furniture suited for the Brazilian tropical climate, making great use of wood and leather, soon led him to the new capital: His furniture was ordered in large scale and taken to Brasília.
An expert designer, a talent inherited from his father Roberto Rodrigues, Sergio collected not only drawings of his projects, but also humorous illustrations of his furniture, of everyday scenes and of himself. The words of the designer Fernando Mendes de Almeida about his teacher, friend and cousin, highlight the importance of the creator: "Sergio Rodrigues' dimensions as an artist and public figure become eternal and blend in with our life history and with the history of the nation itself. Few Brazilian artists defended our culture, our way of life, and the way we are for so long and with such determination. Few designers had such a long productive life."