In your book »Linha do Tempo«, you mention the influx of designers from all over the world to Brazil who then left their mark on graphic design here …
Yes, that’s a phenomenon with an impact that even I was not truly aware of until I did the research for this book! In the course of the two centuries in which design in Brazil really flourished, there were many masters working in the country, and among them were many from abroad. Portuguese, of course, but also Italians, Germans, Austrians, Spanish, Argentinians, French, Japanese, Hungarians, Danes – a large and heterogeneous group of masters of design and the visual arts. And they did not come to Brazil on a short-term basis to complete a commission or to work with one or the other institution – they were independent people, masters of their craft and wanting to live and work here long term.
Do you think that design here has been significantly influenced by what’s happening in design abroad?
Well, you have to make a distinction here: When you say foreign influences, most people automatically think of institutional educational opportunities, of university exchange programes or the travels of Brazilian designers abroad, and of the publications to which these experts have access – books, magazines and recently the digital media. All that is important, but I do not mean these forms of influence. What I mean are the day-to-day achievements of creative and independent designers who have set themselves up in Brazil and have built up a kind of contact which, for want of a better expression, I call organic. In my opinion that is the deeper and more lasting influence. My conclusion is that we have been very fortunate with the foreigners who have come to us. The best that has been produced in Brazilian design over the last two centuries, goes back to these people. We are a diverse nation, that is without doubt.
To find out more about Brazilian design, take a look at our February issue: novum 02.17