Influenced by various creators, Sergio also left his mark on many Brazilian designers
The first contact Sergio had with modern furniture, while yet a college student, was with the creations of Joaquim Tenreiro, the Portuguese craftsman, carpenter, painter and sculptor who became famous in the furniture design field. Architect José Zanine Caldas' industrialized furniture also caught his attention. Over and above being a landscape architect, Zanine was a furniture maker and sculptor. He used to make airplane plywood furniture that could be disassembled and was extremely simple, made in São Jose dos Campos, and Sergio had great admiration for him.
There were also models made by members of the so-call Italian artistic mission - for whom he had great admiration, such as Lina Bo Bardi, Giancarlo Palanti, Dominici, in lighting, and Carlo Hauner, with whom he had his first store, Móveis Artesanal Paranaense. Burle Marx was a major influence on prints and Lili Correia de Araújo, with her handmade fabrics.
In his early career, Sergio got mad when he was compared to some other designer. "I gradually became aware of things and realized that the influences of this or that architect were often portrayed," he said in an interview to Casa e Jardim, in 1985.
During his São Paulo stage, surrounded by Italian partners, designers, and publications, those became his models. But the more he studied Scandinavian furniture, the more he realized that they had "more to do with our way of being." "They were purer, and had not slid into superfluous fads." In the same interview he said: "Today, I humbly realize the influence of Carlo Molino, from Turin, in the first desk I designed, although I never saw anything made by this architect. There is also something of Hans Wegner and Vito Latis in the little couch with a straw seat and back."
But just as he was influenced by various creators, Sergio also left his mark on many Brazilian designers. The journalist Adélia Borges points a few out. "Sergio is very special, a very important figure in the Brazilian scenario, and was fortunate to have followers." She says Sergio's first followers started emerging in the 1980s, among whom Carlos Motta, in São Paulo, the designers of the Baraúna Joinery (Marcelo Ferraz and Francisco Fanucci, architects in SP), Claudia Moreira Salles (from Rio, but living in SP), and Mauricio Azeredo, in Goiás. It was a generation that emerged in the 1980s using a language that continued valuing wood as a Brazilian material par excellence and giving continuity to the research into what Brazilian furniture would be. Sergio led the way and planted the seeds for things that others followed. Fernando Mendes de Almeida is an important name as a follower, as is Zanini de Zanine.