Joys from Brazil


SomosDesign is a catalogue showcasing undiscovered but exquisite artefacts from Brazil

“I’ve always loved design,” says SomosDesign founder Benjamin Schilly. “But it was still a huge eye-opener to discover the contemporary scene in Brazil, which remains relatively unknown in Europe. I’m excited to showcase and distribute the works of several Brazilian designers, each of whom brings something unique and authentic to the collection.”

SomosDesign is a catalogue collection of contemporary artefacts made by the country’s finest designers and craftspeople and expertly curated by German-born Benjamin, who moved to Sāo Paulo in 2012. He was captivated by Brazil’s indigenous design culture and launched Somos Design in 2019 with the aim of sharing his discoveries with Europe.

Featured artisans include Alva Design, masters at sculpting a significant local resource – coarse soapstone – into smooth vases. The finished pieces combine practical principles with visual pleasure in fluid forms, some of which also integrate wood, jewellery and brass to evoke ethnic ritual decoration. As with many of the people that SomosDesign works with, sustainability is an intrinsic part of the creative process. Local artisans realize these designs by hand, transforming recycled cardboard pulp into imaginative yet functional furniture, objects and sculptures. These are then dried in the sun and skilfully finished to recapture the qualities of their original wood.

The catalogue also features designs by Fellicia, which embody the international cultural fusions that have made their mark on contemporary Brazilian design. For example, Fellicia’s dried sedge and piassaba palm fibre lampshades are made by a community in northeast Brazil that receives a percentage of the income.

“Design lovers may already be aware of Brazil’s rich design history,” says Benjamin. “But what I’m particularly keen to bring to Europe is the very latest – and finest – in contemporary Brazilian design. These are new works that redefine expectations. They are made by local artisans who meticulously craft in small quantities using natural materials. Every item is completely unique and authentic, with a genuine story behind it.”

With this distinctive and ethically sound catalogue collection, Benjamin is set to imprint SomosDesign – and indeed Brazil – indelibly on the map of global contemporary design.