Humberto and Fernando Campana (a.k.a. the Campana Brothers) are likely the world's most famous Brazilian designers, if not the most famous Southern American designers. Born to the same parents, they were partners from the start, but went their separate ways in school. Humberto graduated in 1977 with a law degree, and four years later Fernando graduated with an architecture degree. Then, in 1983, Humberto ditched the law books to team up with Fernando at the drawing board, and they began to develop furniture from indigenous, ready-made, ordinary materials be it waste products or industrial goods. By the early '90s, their designs had already received international acclaim, and in 1998, an exhibition alongside German lighting designer Ingo Maurer at New York's MoMA truly put them on the map. To hear about and see their designs, read more.
Their eccentric and wildly original designs (manufactured by the likes of manufactured by Edra and Cappellini), like the chair made entirely of stuffed teddy bears, the decorative stool made of unwanted remnants of table cloths, carpet underlay, and plastic, and the chair built from small scraps of wood named after Rio's squatter settlements (of the same construction), not only challenge international notions of what a piece of furniture should look like and be constructed of, but have redefined where designers source their materials. For example, the product description for the Multidao Chair, which is made of cotton dolls and stainless steel, reads:
The brothers Campana sourced the traditional fabric dolls in northeastern Brazil to create this chair. Not coincidentally, many people from the northeast of Brazil come to Sao Paulo looking for a better opportunity. More than 15 million people live in Sao Paulo nowadays. In Portuguese, Multidao means crowd.
You once sounded off saying you hated their Alligator chair (made of stuffed animal alligators), but hopefully now you'll appreciate its design with a fresh perspective — even if you'll never set it beside your coffee table.