39 years old, Brazilian
My wheel is a video about the creative process of a chair.
This video should be projected at the height of the floor, so it looks like a virtual chair.
I will talk about the creative process and how I search to create my own language, therefore reinventing the wheel...
A Brazilian designer who has exhibited works in his home country and around the world, Rodrigo Almeida is only 39 years old but is already becoming well known in the international world of design.
He has participated in the Milan Design Week and most recently in the Stilwerk Mall & Galerie Zeitlos in Berlin.
His works, which consist mostly in furniture pieces, are famous for being expressions of the true, complex nature of Brazilian culture, which borrows elements from many other countries.
Almeida is able to combine these elements into a unique piece of work.
He is passionate about the study of cultural evolution as an inspiration for the creation of new concepts and objects.
He has been called the brightest of the rising stars of Brazilian design.
Rodrigo is fascinated by the past, and spoke to me about how he struggles to bring history into the present, without it seeming, or looking anachronistic or incongruous.
He wants to find a way of updating artifacts, and creating a newer version of what has gone before.
Much of his work is totemic furniture, blending materials that reflect the melting pot of cultures in Brazil, many of these 'upcycled' materials taken from simple hardware stores or the streets of Sao Paulo.
There is an element of scavenging in this, of mud-raking the past, but in so doing Rodrigo is harnessing the power of cultural legacy, which not only informs his work but actively participates in it through the very materials he is using.
He is a self-taught artist, as many of us are, and his ability to re-use and to inculcate the past makes his work unique, and each piece truly individual – which to my mind is a pure talent.
Rodrigo described himself to me as an artisan.
He is unconcerned whether his work is sellable, he is interested in what is produced, for its own sake..
Rodrigo and I spoke at length about how much he has struggled to become the artist that he is today, and how hard he had to work to get where he was going, without any formal training or contacts.
Do you consider your talent a gift or a burden?
Both, but discipline is what moves talent forward.
What you would do if one day you woke up and discovered you had lost your talent?
I would go back to the farm where I was born because either way that is where I will go one day.
Who is the living talent you most admire?
Andrea Branzi and Campanas.
What do you like about your talent and what don't you like?
I like the feeling of freedom given by creating. I don't like having to convince people to understand a new aesthetic proposal.
When or where does your talent make you happy?
When it translates the rational or emotional desires of my personality, like a mirror.
If you could change your talent, how you would change it?
Maybe I would like to make it less but more concentrated.