How Brazilian Furniture Designers Carved Out Their Distinctly Modern Aesthetic
   Corda Lamps  by Guilherme Wentz

 Corda Lamps by Guilherme Wentz

Interior Design
June 29, 2018
by Laura Fisher Kaiser

“You are all pioneers,” diplomat Sérgio Amaral exclaimed on a recent spring afternoon in Washington. Standing in the grand drawing room of his official residence, a neoclassical mansion on Embassy Row by John Russell Pope, the soft-spoken Brazilian ambassador to the U.S. was surrounded by furniture designers, importers, gallery owners, and scholars, who had all gathered for Brazilian Design Week, kicked off with a keynote speech by Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen. What Amaral meant was that after almost a century, the world is finally catching up to these champions of Brazilian design, a movement that is now claiming its place in the Modernist pantheon. Read more...

Jonathan Durling, Founder and Managing Director of Sossego Receives Interior Design’s Rising Star HiP Award #NeoCon50
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Born in the US but raised in Brazil with dual citizenships, by age five Jonathan exhibited an eye for design which propelled his first career as an international photojournalist, initially training, at 14, under National Geographic photographer Anthony Boccaccio. At 15, sponsored by Nikon, he traveled to seven countries across Africa to document a return of the diaspora, “Meet Me in Africa.” 

Following a serendipitous meeting of award-winning Brazilian furniture designer Aristeu Pires in Ann Arbor, Jonathan dreamt of pioneering a new category in North America: Modern Brazilian Design. In 2015 he formed Sossego (means “tranquility” in Portuguese) and since added two international award-winning designers to the firm’s roster, Domingos Tótora and Guilherme Wentz. The young firm was awarded Best in Show: Furniture at the March 2018 Architectural Digest Design Show by ASID NY Metro. 

Observing the trend toward casual, welcomed comfort in contract settings, Sossego has elevated its furniture, lighting, and accessories lines that bring Brazil’s distinct warm and curvy, but globally-influenced vibe to workspaces, hospitality venues, and architecturally significant homes from New York to Los Angeles. Sossego’s flagship showroom is at the Merchandise Mart, presented by 14 rep groups across the US. 

all, mediaSarah Baker
Brazilian Embassy Event, Washington DC
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Sérgio Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to the US, hosted select design industry leaders at a luncheon in his private residence followed by lectures, panelists, and an exhibition of Brazilian design. Initiated by Jonathan Durling, the even enabled cultural and design historians, noted designers, specifiers, a gallery owner, and Interior Design Editor-in-Chief Cindy Allen to discuss the elevation of a new category in the US: Modern Brazilian Design. 

Sossego was the exclusive distributor at the week-long exhibit of works by its three artists, two of whom were in attendance: Aristeu Pires, known among his contemporaries in Brazil’s A&D community as “king of chairs,” as his infamous seating designs are installed in a global coffee retailer’s nearly 100 locations across Brazil, and emerging designer Guilherme Wentz, who was named Rising Talent at MAISON&OBJET and Talent on the Rise and finalist at the first Casa Vogue Design Awards. 

The goal was congruous with Sossego’s mission: to present a new category in the US and share its distinct cultural story of Brasilidade while reflecting a global influence. 

allSarah Baker