With a career in industrial design spanning more than 30 years, Humberto Campana – a figure who is inseparable from his brother Fernando Campana – is probably the most widely recognised name among Latin American designers. Pieces of theirs make up part of the permanent collections in New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In recent years they have collaborated with prestigious companies such as Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, and H. Stern, and they have worked on several major projects including the comprehensive refurbishment of the Café de l’Horloge at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
From very early on, the Brazilians’ work stood out from what other designers were doing. The Campanas select existing industrial materials, discarded by consumers, from which to construct their pieces – from sections of rope, chunks of PVC plastic, cardboard and fabric cuttings to tree fibres, construction debris and wood chips – placing themselves at a remove from the in some cases sophisticated aesthetic of the leading European designs.