credit Andre Klotz (portrait) words Christopher Turner
We knock on the metal grill of a nondescript shuttered frontage in the Santa Cecília district of São Paulo, a vibrant Italian neighbourhood full of supply shops, building stores and cantinas. The one-storey building is painted bright yellow and is connected to the grid by a messy umbilical cord of electrical wiring. A small door opens and, stooping through it, we enter the Campana brothers’ studio. “This is their universe,” gestures my guide Waldick Jatobá, creative director of Firma Casa, a design gallery for which Fernando and Humberto Campana designed a green facade of tropical foliage sprouting from 3,500 bent aluminium vases.
Inside there is a sweet smell of burning as welders work in a cloud of smoke on a bench for a Camper shoe store, a frame into which cheap plastic chairs will be inserted and then buried in woven straw. Nailed to the wall above them are prototypes of the Corallo chair, made from a messy continuous squiggle of red wire; Piranesi-like collages burst out of their frames; a leather alligator-print hammock is slung over a bannister. “I love coming here,” Jatobá says. “There’s this inspiration in the air.”
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