In Petropolis, the mountain region behind Rio de Janeiro, Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt develops, produces, and exhibits its designs. Bittencourt is a Brazilian Industrial Designer. He studied at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the Politecnico di Torino in Italy, and won the Movelsul award in 2008 and 2010, and the Mercosul award in 2009.
“Nono Topo” armchairs
Inspiration or Experience?
I try to take inspiration from wherever it comes, I try not to limit myself. I look for many references in architecture, plastic arts, evolution, industry, and crafts. But also in histories, in cultures, in nature… I believe that we all have a peculiar look, a different point of view, and my furniture tries to exactly interpret my own. My creations, my drawings, are my interpretations, my gaze on something. This perspective comes from an experience: the places we inhabit, the people that surround us, etc. I believe we absorb these experiences, knowledge, references, shapes, architectures, designs, natures. This reflects in the work. Also, I was, and am very influenced by Brazilian modernist architecture, art, and design from the 50s, 60s, 70s because of the elegance, materials, shapes, and comfort.
There are several ways to develop a product, I don’t stick to a single methodology that spans from the first stages to the final product. Sometimes the steps are reversed. Whether the process starts with a specific briefing or I’m creatively free, what the product becomes is adaptable. Sometimes a shape incites functionality, but other times it can be the opposite.
I have a penchant for wood, for everything it represents in our culture, for having countless possibilities, for its warmth, for the great diversity of tones, touches, odors. But I also really like using other materials and combining them with wood. Each material has different characteristics and knowing how to use them has incredible results: the lightness, plasticity, and resistance of the metal; the comfort of the upholstery; the texture and transparency of the straw.
Interaction or Display?
I don’t think of furniture as collections, fads, something fleeting, or disposable. I like to develop my furniture differently by creating links to people and developing an interaction. My goal is to create timeless furniture, which lasts a lifetime. Therefore, these objects end up becoming not only furniture but an immaterial, irreplaceable asset, which ends up being part of the family, of its history and configuration. I believe that when we use our hands, as artisans, we transfer our feelings to the furniture, which animates it and makes it unique.
Since I was a child, I have been immersed in architecture. As my mother is an architect, construction, interiors, design furniture, Le Corbusier, Bertoia, Saarinen, Sergio Rodrigues, Janete Costa, Ricardo Fasanello, among others, have always been around. I love drawing too, creating, and as the years went by I ended up falling in love with industrial design.