< Architect and designer Sérgio Rodrigues died on Monday (September 1st) in Rio de Janeiro, at the age of 86. He is regarded as one of the most important names in Brazilian design from the 20th century.
He was at home when he passed away, and the cause of his death has not been disclosed by his family.
Sérgio Rodrigues started to work as a furniture designer in the 1950’s, following the modernist style adopted by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa.
His furniture reflects an attempt to show national identity through both the design and the materials chosen, like Brazilian woods, leather and straw.
Sérgio Rodrigues’s most famous work is his armchair known as “mole” (Portuguese for “soft”, or “pliant), also known as Sheriff’s chair released in 1957 and esteemed among the world’s classic chair designs to this day.
The piece is manufactured with its leather upholstery creatively fitted to the wooden framework. Along with Rodrigues’s other creations, his “mole” armchair is still produced today.
Aside from its home use, Rodrigues’s furniture can be found in public buildings in Brasília as well as embassies of the country abroad.
President Dilma Rousseff said in a statement that “Sérgio Rodrigues raised our furniture design to the highest international standards of creativity and quality, without ever having lost a profound feeling for Brazilianness.”