Reblogged article from Archinect

Working out of the Box is a series of features presenting architects who have applied their architecture backgrounds to alternative career paths.

In this installment, we’re talking with Jader Almeida, a Brazilian furniture and product designer.

 

Brazil occupies a special place in the history of modernism. Brasília, the federal capital of the country, perhaps best exemplifies modernist principles of urban planning. And influential figures like Lino Bo Bardi and Oscar Niemeyer designed some of the most iconic buildings of the era, introducing organic forms and regional influences into the typically-spare vocabulary of the International Style.

An armchair by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

An armchair by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

If modernism – or its aesthetic – largely faded from popularity during the second half of the 20th century in many parts of the world, in Brazil, its legacy still persists today. Or at least that’s the case for designers like Jader Almeida, whose furniture both recalls and furthers the aesthetics of Brazilian modernism.

Originally trained as an architect, Almeida primarily works as a product designer today – although he maintains an interest in returning to the profession. His formally-elegant and minimal designs speak to midcentury aesthetics, but involve contemporary manufacturing and design processes.

I exchanged a few emails with Almeida to learn a bit about his background and current work.

An armchair by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

An armchair by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

 

Side tables by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

Side tables by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

Where did you study architecture?

I studied in Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil. My degree was very rich in information. In that period I worked primarily as a product designer because of some technical courses, work experiences and trips.

“I chose architecture for the range of possibilities that the profession offers.”

 

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue architecture?

I often say since I was a kid. I always wanted to do, study or work with something that was related to projects, design, creation, etc. It was always fascinating to me.

As a teen, I went to a technical school, training professionals. There I could understand how things worked in practice. This immersion led me naturally to the choice of my degree. I chose architecture for the range of possibilities that the profession offers – of course, my fascination with architecture also helped with the decision.

A coat hanger by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A coat hanger by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A table by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A table by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

When did you decide to stop pursuing architecture? Why?

Actually, I never stopped. Architecture can be classified by different scales and performances. At this time, my practice in architecture is focused on commercial interior architecture.

 

Describe your current profession.

I divide my time between product design (furniture, lighting, small accessories, faucets, etc.), interior design for stores, and selling points and commercial strategies. I have an intense travel routine, whether for research or visiting clients.

A chair by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A chair by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A buffet by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A buffet by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

What skills did you gain from architecture school, or working in the architecture industry, that have contributed to your success in your current career?

I learned early on that the entire project is part of a single principle. What changes is the scale: it could be [anything from] a pen to a city. I learned that when there is a consistent basis any design succeeds. So, that was a good lesson learned and it turned into a skill.

 

Do you have an interest in returning to architecture?

Absolutely.

A lamp by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

A lamp by Almeida. Image courtesy the designer.

Want to see more elegant furniture designs? Check out the rest of Archinect’s special February theme, Furniture.

 

 

 

View the original post on Archinect.com