The Instituto Sergio Rodrigues organizes Sergio's collection and disseminates the master's work
Throughout his life, Sergio Rodrigues had never organized his work-related projects and documents. There was stuff scattered everywhere in the house at the Conde de Irajá Street, and in a few other places. Veronica, Sergio's daughter, felt it was important to collect all the material and organize it somehow. The exhibition held at the Mauá Pier, in January 2012, curated by Mari Stockler, lit the wick: Why not create an institute to preserve the memory of Sergio?
Soon after the exhibition, Sergio and his wife Vera Beatriz invited cultural manager Renata Aragão to coordinate the project. In October 2012, the Instituto Sergio Rodrigues was born, based in Rio de Janeiro, the land where the designer was born and lived most of his life, in the same house at Conde do Irajá street, where his office already worked. The goal was to preserve the master's collection and make it available in order for the public at large, but mainly students and researchers from Brazil and the world, to be able to get to know the whole of his work. Moreover, the idea was to promote and encourage knowledge and dialog about Brazilian architecture and design.
A non-profit organization, the Institute had Sergio as its honorary president until his death. Under the presidency of Vera Beatriz Rodrigues and the executive management of Renata Aragão, the Institute also has a trustee council composed of important names in the dissemination of Brazilian culture, among whom the journalist Adélia Borges, the critic and researcher Afonso Luz, and art director Mari Stockler, in addition to an advisory council which has among its members the architect Bel Lobo and designers Freddy van Camp and Tulio Mariante.
Several projects were carried out in 2014. The Institute has been organizing the master's entire collection, handling, cataloging, and digitizing drawings, projects and documents of his life, with sponsorship from Itaú Cultural. About 30,000 items have been inventoried of a collection that also includes work that is still unknown, little known sketches, and many references that explain his work to the Brazilian and international audiences. All of this material, taken from drawers and rolled out of tubes, will be available on the Institute's website and by means of a database intended for researchers.
In the year of its inception, the Institute celebrated six decades of Sergio's design launching the brand new Benjamin armchair, 60 units of which were made by hand at the Fernando Mendes workshop, in Rio de Janeiro. Two other events helped celebrate the master's work: Lin Brasil launched a special numbered and certified edition of the Mocho stool made of cabreúva wood, and a miniature Mocho stool pendant made of gold was conceived in partnership with the jeweler Antonio Bernardo.
The milestone of six decades of Sergio Rodrigues design was but the pretext for the creation of the Instituto Sergio Rodrigues, where he is still present in all of his vitality through the projects that have been stored and cataloged. Just as he is present in every piece and in every admirer of his work. His work is more than revealing of our culture, it is our culture itself translated into furniture and housing elements.