About the Designer: Hugo França

Brazilian designer Hugo França was born in Porto Alegre, in 1954. After earning his degree in Engineering and in search of a life closer to nature, he moved to Trancoso, Bahia in the early 80s, where he lived for 15 years. He was impressed by the forest fires and amount of waste caused by the wood extraction taking place in that area of the Brazilian coast’s tropical forest, called Mata Atlântica. This experience made him change focus and consider a new ecologically oriented professional occupation – creating “sculptural furnitures” by reusing and recycling forest and urban debris.
Observing the Pataxó indigenous tribe and the handcraft techniques used in their canoe production, Hugo found a way of turning his ideas into reality. He started creating unique pieces from discarded canoes and wood debris, keeping the wood natural features to maintain the memory of the trees alive and make a statement about the importance of the relation between man and raw nature. The pieces created by the designer come from a creative dialogue with the raw material: everything begins and ends in the tree.
It is his inspiration; its forms, holes, cracks, burn and time marks moves his sensitivity and lead him to a carefully chosen design, a minimal intervention that generates unique pieces.

About the Products:

Hugo França sculptural furniture has a very unique production process. It results from handcraft virtuosity of his team and from his sensitivity in seeing functional shapes in the forms suggested by Nature, in a kind of creative and ecological dialogue. The process aligns itself with the central concept of Hugo França work: his concern with wasting wood and the belief that there is a possibility of full reusing this noble material.
Finding wood left behind by deforestation requires constant search in forests and fields of Trancoso, Bahia. In these endeavours, he relies on his team, the locals and on his own knowledge of coastal southern Bahia, which he acquired during the fifteen years he lived there. As long as the wood has not suffered irreversible damage, almost all parts of the tree can be used. Unearthed roots, hollow trunks, massive logs – everything can be transformed into unique pieces by the vision and design of Hugo França. Due to the difficulty in handling and transporting the monumental blocks of wood, the first cuts are executed where the trees are found. And so begins the first signs of tables, benches, chairs and consoles. After that, the design is defined and its finish is executed.
Throughout the process, the forms and natural textures are highlighted so that the furniture always refers back to where it came from: the tree, Hugo França’s main inspiration.