Guest Contribution by Pascal Panagiotidis
Every aspect of the Brazilian culture can be easily traced to Rodrigo Almeida’s projects. Cultural evolution but also its origins are highly marked in his creations bringing to light the possible ways that various and apparently different elements can be used in order to give birth to new ideas.
There are only few spots around the globe where cultures of different continents get together in a successful way. Brazil is one of these places where Asian, European and American culture co exist harmonically for many years now. Although a relatively young culture, it has been developed through time incorporating various influences from different sources. As a result Brazil bears the mark of a multicultural influence in every aspect of its life, a real blessing for all the people who come to this land seeking for inspiration through a multicultural stimulating network.
Rodrigo Almeida is a Brazilian designer who believes in the exploration of the culture itself, a process that helps him discover objects and ideas and transform them to new ones. This is not about a simple reproduction or improvement of the already existing concepts. This is more about a deep understanding of what they represent first and used as an inspiration later on; this way Almeida achives the cultural elements’ transmission to a brand new concept through a personalized manufacturing process.
According to Almeida’s point of view there is a lack of good industrial decorative culture in Brazil but luckily there is a richness of craftsmanship and cultural influence that needs to be placed in sight. In order to do so it is important to discover and embrace the spirit and the soul of these concepts.
Through this perspective Almeida starts his journey of inspiration before he ends up to a new concept. He avoids to put any separating lines between Art and Design and he tries to set new aesthetic standards by breaking the rules and turning the whole process upside down - metaphorically speaking. If there is a way for the designer to come even closer to his creation this is possible through the manufacturing process and Rodrigo seems to know that very well. Building the prototypes himself he manages to be part of a mystical procedure in which Man and Material discover each other and a strong emotional bond is born through this exploration.
One of the main characteristics of Almeida as a designer is that he places any possible imperfections under his microscope and uses them to his advantage. As a real hunter of the imperfect he always seeks for defects that can be converted to craftsmanship objects. Starting a dialogue between the conventional and the imperfect he likes to dive into the culture's profundity and come up to the surface with recycled new ideas.
Culture is present in rituals, symbols and myths and perhaps Rodrigo Almeida’s creations is where all these elements meet. Just like his birthplace Brazil, his creations are also a crossroad of different cultures where old, traditional elements are grouped and transformed to new modern ones. Concepts where not only the past is present but also the imperfections are used as a valuable asset leading to new cultural dimensions.
on going exhibitions of Rodrigo Almeida:
Passado Composto Século XX gallery
showcase of new projects at Passado Composto Século XX gallery, Oct 23 Nov 29- 2009
Boom SP Design 2009
showcase of new projects at Boom SP Design International Architecture, Design and Art Forum., Oct 23 Nov 29- 2009