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Wed 15 Oct 2008 05:06 PM

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Campana Brothers win designer of the year award at Design Miami

Diamantina piece to evoke traditions of central Brazil.

Brazilian designers Humberto and Fernando Campana is set to receive the prestigious Designer of the Year Award at this year’s Design Miami/.

“Their joyful and exuberant work incorporates discarded and repurposed objects, numerous references to culture both sophisticated and street, and a loving yet frank social commentary on their native Brazil. They have opened the door for a new generation of designers by creating a language that questions received ideas about Modernism and design.” said Ambra Medda, director, Design Miami/.

The installation, entitled Diamantina, designed exclusively for the December show will represent an evolution of their TransPlastic series, which was unveiled at Albion Gallery in London in 2007.

Using the native Brazilian plant Apuí, which grows on and eventually chokes rainforest trees, TransPlastic designs feature this rattan-like fiber woven around ready-made plastic garden chairs and other plastic objects, such as discarded toys, dolls, flip-flops and tires. Like the rainforest trees, the manmade objects are almost entirely swallowed up by the organic material, symbolizing nature’s triumph over the synthetic world.

The Campana brothers will expand on this concept at Design Miami/, introducing native Brazilian amethyst crystals into the weave-structure, creating a series of biomorphic islands that visitors will be encouraged to sit on and explore. Brazil represents one of the most abundant and vital sources of amethyst quartz, and the combination of the colourful crystals and woven grass fiber will celebrate nature as an essential building block and touchstone of design.

“This project grows out of the TransPlastic series, where we have sought the purity of form inspired by grottos and caves. It is our own journey to the center of earth, like Jules Verne's book. Complementing this idea, Diamantina is built in a way that the seats are sculpted along the form creating a new mode of comfort and interaction. Proposing a more subtle connection, it is a more meditative kind of experiment” said the brothers.

“The inspiration for the name alludes to the precious stones incrusted into the piece, and is also the name of a small town in the central part of Brazil. There, all different kinds of stones and crystals are sold like candy on the street markets. By its mixture of materials, both poor by the wicker and precious by the combination with the natural amethyst, the Diamantina piece evokes the same sensation of long forgotten poetry.”

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