Walk through the streets of Rio and you will be accompanied by the ever present tap of the pedreiro’s hammer at work as construction in the city continues at a seemingly unstoppable pace. However, the real estate boom only serves to highlight the lack of quality, well designed furniture available on the market to bring these buildings alive. Between the over priced Tok Stok and expensive imported designs, there has been a gaping hole in the market. Son of famous Brazilian design Zanine de Castro, Zanini de Zanine may be just the person to fill it. Dehouche grabs a temaki with one of Brazil’ hottest young designers.
So, how did it all begin? I spent the first 20 year of my life living with my father, the designer Zanine de Castro and everything I know about design I learnt from him- growing up with him, I lived and learnt the rhythm of the life of someone who is creative- It wasn’t that he ever obligated me to be a designer, but growing up surrounded by it all must have affected by subconscious to the point that I couldn’t do anything else
What has been the most pivotal part of your career so far? The one year internship I did during my degree with design legend Sergio Rodrigues- that is when I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I understood to an even greater extent what it meant to be a designer.
Do you feel a responsibility to represent what it is to be Brazilian? Although it is instinctive, what I create comes from my experience of being a Brazilian and from the rhythm of this city-. Innumerable possibilities that arise out of a melting pot of different cultures, African, European, Indigenous- Brazil is like a blender and as such, full of richness.
How does this translate into your work? It is a sense of soul and informality- in the past we didn’t have technology, so we have developed through improvisation and innovation and through the need to find a solution quickly. It’s all about this moment: If you don’t have the money to do something, you find another way.
What do you feel when you create? Ah, creation is a difficult thing to describe! Every project is a different story. With some, I am not even sure at the beginning what I am going to communicate, it grows as a feeling- some ideas I already have worked out on a napkin, others need to mature like human beings.
So what are you working on at the moment? My first brand, Doiz, is all about conceptual contemporary furniture, and I am just about to launch a new brand called Punch, which will consist of furniture made out of recycled plastic with a more popular price and a greater durability to be distributed across the country. The idea is to respond to a real necessity in the market- to present pieces that are interesting, with a good design and also affordable. While in Europe there are brands like Ikea, here there is nothing that is as interesting in terms of design, quality and price- and this is what Punch is going to be. I have also been invited to designer for an international brand for the first time, a French company called Tolix. This is a special moment for Brazilian design, as the world’s curiosity about Brazil grows, so does its acknowledgement of Brazilian design on an international level.
Perfect day? A perfect day for me is a day when I work and get to go to the beach- working is everything to me, I love to lose myself in my work. I wake up early and alone and go to my studio in Santo Cristo, which is a part of Rio that is becoming really interesting- around the port area and Gamboa is a place where the real estate market is really growing. After work, I hit the beach in Leblon and hopefully surf, and then come back to Baixa Gavea where I live, have dinner and some beers and maybe head to some cool bars in Botafogo or Santa Teresa.
Is this your favourite neighbourhood? I used to live in Leblon but I recently moved to Baixa Gavea and I really like the fact you have everything here within walking distance- great bars, shopping, things to do at night, yet you are only 10 minutes walk from the beach.
What do you love about it? Its location as it is right next door to everything I need. I think that people’s homes say a lot about them- you can tell on walking into someone’ house what they are like: how it is set out, what objects they have, how messy it is…!
Favourite designers? Sergio Rodrigues, Carlos Motta, my father, Mark Neilson
Favourite restaurant? There are some great places in Baixa Gavea- Sushimar and Braseiro are particular favourites.
Inspiration? The rhythm of the city and the visual richness that you have here- whatever the problems, it is one of the most visually happy places on the planet. I am very agitated and this all helps the creative process, I get even more agitated as I go on, even when I am relaxing my head is spinning with ideas…
For stockists: http://www.doizdesign.com.br/