19 June 2011
by Vicky Richardson
The Young Creative Entrepreneur Award has been running for several years in Brazil. The winner three years ago was social designer Paula Dib of Transforma Design (pictured with Beatrice Pembroke). Since winning the award, Paula's career has really taken off and she is now regularly invited to speak at conferences and to work around the world. She has pioneered approaches to working with poor communities in rural parts of Brazil, encouraging them to work with local skills and materials.
We meet at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, an arts centre devoted to the work of Ohtake who was a prominent abstract painter. The building, designed by her son Ruy Ohtake, is an exuberant coloured glass tower built between 1995 and 2004. Also by him is the Hotel Unique (2002) which looks like a giant boat or slice of water melon (as described by Richard J Williams in his book Brazil).
in the afternoon we visit the architect Isay Weinfeld at his studio closeby. Best known for the Fasano Hotel, Weinfeld also designed a wonderful bookshop - Livraria di Cultura- and the Havaianas shop, both on Rua Oscar Freire (Sao Paulo's Rodeo Drive).