Fernando and Humberto Campana began their design practice in São Paulo in 1983. Many of their works present a commentary on the precarious living conditions of low-income city-dwellers in their native Brazil. Sometimes re-appropriating and transforming the kinds of inexpensive objects and materials that see daily use (and re-use) in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods of São Paulo and other cities, they take inspiration from the adaptability and resourcefulness of these communities. The studio often employs local labor and makes creative use of traditional textile and basketry techniques, attempting to turn the production process into a means of income and skill-building for marginalised groups.
Una Famiglia (Italian for ‘a family’) is a part of Estudio Campana’s TransPlastic series, a collection of work that drew attention to the worldwide phenomenon of plastic waste. The series comments on the broader global effects of cheap, mass-produced objects (and the wasteful industrial processes that create them), which many perceive to be hastening the disappearance of traditional craft skills and the loss of distinctive local cultures. Una Famiglia imagines an inversion of this scenario, with traditionally woven wicker overtaking three mass-produced plastic garden chairs. The resulting organic form is a characteristic expression of the Campana brothers’ interest in creating hybrids between global and local, industry and craft, and luxury goods and everyday objects.