Environmentally friendly furniture and traditional handmade craftwork—all with an obvious Brazilian identity—made the inauguration of the High Design Home & Office Expo an instant success.
Among the more than a hundred individual events incorporated in the fifth Design Weekend in São Paulo between August 10 and 14, a new exhibition, High Design Home & Office Expo, was included for the first time with the aim of becoming the main event of the whole program. High Design was created by the Furniture Industry Association of Bento Gonçalves in the south of Brazil, gathering architects, interior designers, retailers, builders, buyers, investors, specialized press and experts to show the current highlights of what is called high decoration.
Genuine Sustainability and Wood
The strong ecological emphasis at High Design wasn’t just theoretical. In a dedicated area inside the exhibition venue, visitors had the chance to see activities concentrating on environmental sustainability, such as those of the Ministry of Environment as well as several companies focused on varied environmental solutions—in fields such as solar energy, urban gardens for buildings, water treatment, smart irrigation systems and efficient use of water.
A further example of this green appeal is the Acre Project. Created by the government of this northern state and with the collaboration of the local industry association and the Italian POLI.Design, this new brand uses woods such as cedar, cherry, cumarú-ferro, cumarú-cetim, itaúba, jatobá, jequitibá, roxinho and tauarí from forests managed by small farmers and communities.
Another sustainably sourced collection was shown by company Amata, which produces furniture and supplies wood to other manufacturers.
Another strong trend increasingly evident at other Brazilian exhibitions is the celebration of the arts and traditions from the northeast of the country apparent in many original examples. Designer Sérgio J. Matos is currently one of the biggest names in this style that enchants visitors from all over the world.
Among these trends that represent a new “Brazilianness,” there are still works that recall and pay tribute to the country’s most important past masters of design. Such is the case with José Zanine Caldas, whose work is being recreated by his designer son Zanini de Zanine (read interview). The first six examples of this work were exhibited for the first time at High Design Home & Office Expo.