Shops We Love: Modern Design from Brazil by Sossego
We are determined to showcase modern design from around the world here on IAMTHELAB, so it thrills us to introduce you to Sossego. This Chicago-based company brings the best modern designs of Brazil to North America and we are better for it. Learn more about this unique company below as well as the story behind two of its featured artists, Domingos Tótora and Aristeu Pires.
Sossego distributes modern Brazilian design and is the exclusive distributor of award-winning designers Aristeu Pires and Domingos Tótora in the United States. Sossego [so-SAY-go] is the Portuguese word for tranquility. Sossego’s designs reflect the Brazilian lifestyle of warm, relaxed, and welcomed comfort.
Aristeu Pires’ fine furnishings, installed in architecturally significant homes across South America, are now in the U.S., from Helmut Jahn’s newest luxury residential tower in Manhattan to beach homes in Santa Monica.
Sossego was formed after a serendipitous meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan of two native Brazilians: former engineering executive, now award-winning furniture designer Aristeu Pires and entrepreneur Jonathan Durling. The two connected over their mutual love of modern design and Brazilian culture. Jonathan, an artist and businessman with dual Brazilian and US citizenships, was enthralled with Aristeu’s complete oeuvre. Compelled to bring authentic Brazilian design, its warm and modern aesthetic, and the way of life it represents to North America, Jonathan, along with several US and Brazilian partners, formed Sossego. The company is selectively reviewing more Brazilian designers to complement its curated offerings as it aims to lead the category of Modern Brazilian Design in North America.
Sossego’s flagship US showroom is located in the Design Center at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
There may be no artist who demonstrates sustainability as wholly as Domingos Tótora. Born in a mountainous region of Brazil, he studied design in São Paulo before returning to his home city of Maria da Fé where undulating landscapes, waterways, and rock formations inspire his life’s work as a sculptor of curvilinear furniture and objects of art.
Domingos’ passion for nature and authenticity compelled him to conceive a fascinating and laborious process that emulates the cycle of life. He begins with cardboard near the end of its functional purpose, reducing it to pulp. The material is then blended with soil and water, hand sculpted into new forms, and baked in natural sunlight. The sculptures, vessels, and furniture are both inspired and formed from earth, water, and sun. Domingos’ masterworks have journeyed full circle, narrating the story of a sustainable earth without uttering a single word.
About the artist: Aristeu Pires
Aristeu Pires is an award-winning furniture designer and manufacturer. After an eminently successful career in computer engineering, he began designing furniture, launching an eponymous line that brought immediate acclaim. In 2007 the Gisele lounge chair won first place in Brazil’s prestigious “Museu da Casa Brasileira” award in the furniture category. Aristeu’s pieces are individually manufactured in southern Brazil, fusing style and ease for enthusiastic clients around the globe.
Aristeu Pires furniture pairs contemporary design sensibility with warm Brazilian wood. His pieces combine form and function, bringing timeless beauty and everyday comfort to architecturally significant homes, fine restaurants and executive office settings. Crafted from sustainably harvested wood, each piece has its own personality and Brazilian charm. To own an Aristeu Pires design is to inherit a modern masterpiece and make a new friend.