19 June 2011
by Vicky Richardson
I've come to Brazil for several reasons: to visit a new design fair, Design Sao Paulo, and Sao Paulo Fashion Week; to attend the launch of the BC's Young Creative Entrepreneur, and to begin to plan a design programme for the next few years. I'm travelling with Beatrice Pembroke, BC's Director of Creative and Cultural Economy.
Our Brazil office has several new staff, including Arts manager Luiz Coradazzi, so it's also a great opportunity to meet everyone.
We spend the first day at Design Sao Paulo, which is located within the beautiful OCA building in Ibirapuera Park - the park and most of the buildings in it were designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s. The OCA was originally designed as a planetarium, but makes a great venue for a design fair and a series of ramps connect three floors of exhibits.
Most of the stands are taken by galleries specialising in vintage design: the fair is very much aiming to attract collectors, and several seminar seasons explore 'design-arte'. Nigel Coates is one of the speakers, along with the Campana Brothers and Gijs Bakker.
Five minutes walk away is the Bienal Pavilion, the venue for Sao Paulo Fashion Week. This twice a year event is massive: more than 100,000 people visit over 4 days and there are 39 catwalk shows as well as a huge exhibition of fashion photography by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Most of the shows are by Brazilian designers and 95% of what they show is aimed at the domestic market.