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interview: humberto campana opens solo exhibition 'on the road' at friedman benda

Humberto Campana on New Beginnings at friedman benda

 

Friedman Benda presents On the Road, a new exhibition by the renowned Brazilian design studio Estúdio Campana. This marks the studio’s fifth solo show at the gallery and the first with the studio’s co-founder Humberto Campana as the sole principal designer following the passing of his brother Fernando in November 2022. The exhibition opens a new chapter for both the studio and Campana himself, signifying the 40th anniversary of Estúdio Campana. designboom met with Humberto Campana at Friedman Benda’s New York gallery during the opening of On the Road. Estudio Campana’s co-founder discussed his new directions and inspirations during this transition in his life, along with his larger project in Brazil.

interview: humberto campana opens solo exhibition 'on the road' at friedman benda
portrait of Humberto Campana, courtesy Friedman Benda

 

 

reflection through design

 

The Brazilian designer describes On the Road at Friedman Benda as a reflection during a period of significant change for both Estúdio Campana and for himself personally. ‘The inspiration behind the [exhibition] title means I’m still on the road,’ Campana tells designboom. ‘You know, my brother went away, but he’s still here. When you lose someone, another door opens, and this door has opened very wide in my mind. I’ve been so inspired since that. I keep moving all the time, it’s a way to not remember that he’s not here.’ The exhibition embodies this sentiment, showcasing a renewed focus on nature, spirituality, and the potential for creation and beauty found in unexpected places. interview: humberto campana opens solo exhibition 'on the road' at friedman benda
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana

 

 

estúdio campana Celebrates Craft and Local Materials

 

Still, Estúdio Campana remains dedicated to exploring and elevating traditional Brazilian craft techniques, which can be seen at the Friedman Benda exhibition. The works presented in ‘On the Road’ feature a variety of local and recycled materials, including adobe, repurposed aluminum scraps, and Jequitibá wood. Campana explains, ‘I’m still keeping the best ideas… from materials, reusing. But bringing maturity with that.’ This commitment to sustainability and honoring heritage is a hallmark of Estúdio Campana’s design philosophy.

 

On the Road exemplifies Estúdio Campana’s signature approach of imbuing everyday materials with a sense of wonder and emotional resonance. Campana explains, ‘Since the beginning, our work has had this connection with spirituality. They are handmade, tailored objects where you put emotion, love.’ The resulting works are more than just furniture — they are artistic expressions that tell stories and evoke feelings.

friedman benda humberto campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana

 

 

Humberto Campana’s dedication to the environment extends beyond his design practice. He describes his ongoing reforestation project, which includes the establishment of a school and nature preserve in his hometown outside São Paulo. ‘We heritage a piece of land from my family. And we already planted 20,000 native trees, I love to plant trees… We are creating a foundation with twelve green pavilions made with cacti and bamboo.’ This initiative reflects Campana’s belief in the interconnectedness of art, education, and environmental responsibility.

interview: humberto campana opens solo exhibition 'on the road' at friedman benda
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Jalapão Chair (Branca), 2024

 

 

Estúdio Camapana’s Friedman Benda exhibition On the Road serves as a homage to the late Fernando Campana. ‘There are the memories of Fernando, my brother,’ says Humberto. ‘This show is an homage to him. Because he’s still here, inspiring me all the time.’ The exhibition features new works inspired by dreams and conversations with Fernando, showcasing the enduring impact of their creative partnership. These especially include the pieces made with aluminum scraps, an idea which was spearheaded by Fernando, and which Humberto was reluctant at first to embrace.

interview: humberto campana opens solo exhibition 'on the road' at friedman benda
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Paisagem Console, 2024

 

 

Humberto Campana describes himself as constantly ‘on the road,’ always seeking inspiration and pushing creative boundaries. ‘I guess it’s a moment of maturity,’ he reflects. ‘After his passing, a lot of things changed in my life. I’m seventy-one. And I try to be inspired all the time, you know, on the road. Get out of the comfort zone. For me, to get inspired I need to get out. Go to the other side. On the Road embodies this spirit of exploration and the transformative power of artistic expression.

humberto-campana-friedman-benda-on-the-road-designboom-06a

installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana

interview: humberto campana opens solo exhibition 'on the road' at friedman benda
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana

humberto-campana-friedman-benda-on-the-road-designboom-08a

installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana

 

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installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
installation view | photography by Timothy Doyon, courtesy Friedman Benda, Estúdio Campana
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Jalapão Chair (Branca), 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Jalapão Chair (Branca), 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Mont San-Michele Ceiling Lamp, 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Mont San-Michele Ceiling Lamp, 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Mont San-Michele Ceiling Lamp, 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Mont San-Michele Ceiling Lamp, 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Ofidia Chandelier (Sphere), 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Ofidia Chandelier (Sphere), 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Ofidia Chandelier (Sphere), 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Ofidia Chandelier (Sphere), 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Paisagem Console, 2024
Fernando and Humberto Campana, Paisagem Console, 2024

project info:

 

exhibition title: On the Road

studio: Estúdio Campana | @estudiocampana

designer: Humberto Campana

gallery: Friedman Benda@friedman_benda

location: 515 W 26th St. New York, NY

on view: March 7th — April 20th, 2024

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