Sergio wanted to exhibit more than furniture: He wanted to showcase the author's face too
The existence of Oca and the way products were presented there, with the designer's name and the material used, paved the way for the author to gain a leading role in his product's creation. When Sergio started designing furniture there was no recognition of the author in Brazil. "The first moment of Brazilian design is marked by a design that has no author. This shift in paradigm is a very recent thing in history, beginning perhaps some time about twenty years ago," says researcher and art critic Afonso Luz. The author started emerging as a central element in design from Sergio's creations, but also very much so due to a practice he adopted at Oca, where each piece showed the author's name and the material used. This trend was even more evident in the exhibitions he organized at the store. "I intended to showcase more than the furniture," said Sergio, who wanted to show much more than the product.
From the moment we opened our doors, the store started innovating. They soon began to use Oca's space to exhibit works of plastic artists, but also to experiment in design. One of them was the famous Furniture as an Object of Art exhibition Sergio invented and coordinated.
To Afonso Luz, this exhibition "is one of the most important historical references to the idea of author design, even internationally, an exhibition that greatly anticipated this contemporary trend, (...) that look that sees design as art." To him, the Chifruda armchair, which appeared at the exhibition and was born and baptized as "Aspas", and is a milestone of that.
The exhibition was born from a disquietude of Sergio. The year was 1962. At that time, the Mole armchair was already in production, although Sergio thought it had not gotten adequate commercial support. Something that happened long after with all of his work. Sergio believed furniture creation used to be taken for granted, unlike what happened with someone who painted a picture or designed a rug. "To me, people did not consider furniture as an object of art. Magazines, the media, only discussed indoor settings. They cited the paintings, the authors of the paintings, of the rugs, they discussed the material used, spoke of everything, but never mentioned the furniture. They said nothing about the bed, the sofa, the armchair, as if such objects had not been someone's creations." They even discussed the fabrics, coating materials, but never who designed them. That bothered him. "They never gave proper attention to that. I wanted them to pay this attention."