Fernando Campana, Provocateur of Furniture Design, Is Dead at 61

And its homemade culture, using whatever comes to hand, often leads to humorous scenes in settings like museums. They once sent their Bubble Wrap chair, packaged in a Bubble Wrap box, to a show in Rio. As they told Wallpaper magazine in 2020, “When we arrived to inspect the exhibit, the chair was completely destroyed. Any crew that receives it, just peel off the gas and find a chair! Luckily, it was an easy fix, as all we had to do was run to the office supply store and replace the plastic panels.”

Two symbiotic brothers, completing each other’s thoughts, if not each other’s sentences. Interviewers often quote them speaking as one.

“A remarkable ‘last name’,” says Murray Moss, design boss who for years sold the Campana brothers’ work from his gallery-like store in New York City. “My experience with them as people is that they’re not designing anything, they’re jumping off the cliff.”

He describes an adventure with the brothers at Venini, the centuries-old glass factory in Murano, Italy, to make a series of exquisite bells, one of many commissions he has assigned to them, despite though they haven’t decided exactly what they’re going to do. design until they are in the factory.

“Factories are groups of people around a fire,” Mr. Moss continued. “The two brothers came in basically wearing bathing suits. They thought it would be hot. They don’t realize that they have to protect themselves. Fernando fainted on the first day. But then the next day they started designing, which was basically an improvisation of sketching and shouting: Classic bell shape, go! Add two handles, let’s get started! We made 150 bells. I am very proud to be with them.”

Fernando Piva Campana was born on May 19, 1961 in Brotas, a small town on the outskirts of São Paulo, the youngest of three brothers. His father, Alberto, was an agronomist; His mother, Célia (Piva) Campana, is a teacher. Fernando studied architecture at the University of São Paulo Fine Arts Center. In addition to Humberto, Fernando is survived by another brother, José.


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