São Paulo-based Bruno Simoes has been the curator of the MADE Art Fair (Market. Art. Design) since its founding, in 2013, by his colleague Waldick Jatobá, and in 2016, Simoes was invited to become the interim curator of Galeria Nicoli. While he initially trained in photography, his interest in capturing the physical world transformed over time to accommodate three-dimensionality, and he embarked upon a secondary training in Architecture and Urbanism, working from 2007-2011 as Architect-Coordinator at the French-Brazilian firm, Triptyque Architecture. Eventually, he decided to combine his two career paths, and he became a journalist, working for three years as the Editor of Casa Vogue magazine. Today, he continues to unite all of his interests and experiences, working to bridge the worlds of architecture, design and art.
What are the special characteristics of the contemporary design community you are a part of?
Extremely collaborative. That’s the key aspect of Brazilian designers, as an understanding of how new our country is and even more our design tradition. We are very open to discuss new ways to improve and promote our creations here and abroad, never forgetting our relaxed style — mixing in a little bit of naivety and optimism.
Any special traditions/materials/techniques/historical events in your region that you believe have inspired designers in your region?
For obvious reasons, our main material and source of inspiration since the 1940s has been our great variety of wood, and this material has shaped the landscape of Brazilian design for generations. But at the moment, we’re also taking a closer look at other natural resources that are native to and abundant in our country, and also exploring our cultural roots, applying our folklore habits and traditional techniques to contemporary design.
Describe the vision that shapes your curated portfolio?
This portfolio was designed as an overview of the many different materials being experimented with in Brazil at the moment, all with great ingenuity in terms of forms and proportions.
What defines your work as a curator?
The constant search for a good story.
How are the different designers currently represented in your gallery connected to this?
All the design pieces I have selected are connected to a narrative with many layers for appreciation. The creators are all interested in something else besides the creation itself — take the Amarelo Luminoso collection, from Cultivado em Casa. Here, it is not just the use of gold leaf or the shapes that are important, but the research on new textures, reflections and perceptions.
Name one or more pieces from your portfolio that embodies this?
The “Terrão” bench, from Domingos Tótora, is the perfect example, as he was one of the first in Brazil to explore recycled cardboard, which was at the time a new material, and to experiment with its potential to create a signature style. This piece is also bold, almost raw, in terms of how brutal the shape is and its representation of our natural textures.
See the curated collection from Sao Paulo:
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