Pirkko’s back story.

The Pirkko vase was the first product I designed for Oiti, fresh from Architecture School, back in 2003. Its super simple shape hides a functional solution that consumed months of my obsessive twenties.

I was determined to make the inside of the wooden vase impermeable, without having any removable piece. For that, I added a plastic tube to the construction and had to try out – a million times – a way to permanently attach plastic to wood in a system which would allow both materials to contract and expand from temperature variation.

Brazil is a very interesting country when it comes to observing materials react to our powerful weather. Climate conditions – temperature, humidity, sunlight incidence – can vary drastically within a day. I remember leaving the office full of Pirkkos filled with water over night and arriving to a bunch of cracked pieces in the morning. I had already sold a few and had to organize a recall.

But what does Pirkko mean? Pirkko is a Finnish name, a girl’s name to be precise. I named it after a very special friend, Pirkko Kasanen, my host Finnish mother whose family welcomed me in their home when I was a 19 year-old exchange student in Helsinki.

Mother’s day is just around the corner, so if you have a mother figure in your life, Pirkko is a good option for a gift. They are on sale at Oiti’s shop in Belo Horizonte, with very special prices.



Out of focus picture, back in the day. Studding proportions, with long hair and a nice tan, before the Finnish winter entered my life.


Filed under Finland, Products

Guto Lacaz

In the beginning of this year, Oiti’s Lagoinha Cup was featured in the Brazilian magazine WishReport. Since I am living in Finland I kindly asked  Lili Carneiro, the lovely journalist who edited the spread to send me its  PDF file. At the moment I opened it I could tell there was a special eye behind the art direction. I searched for the names credited and there he was: Guto Lacaz.

I have been a long time admirer of Guto Lacaz, a Brazilian graphic designer – though architect by education  – and legend. Guto is that rare kind of professional, who seems to genuinely master a wide range of disciplines. To the international readers of this journal who are not familiar with Guto’s work I would seriously recommend a look at his website.

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In love with Bill Cunningham

I am fascinated by stories of people whose work I admire. There is somenthing about them that gives me the silly impression that I would learn their secret of excellency by discovering how they do it or why they do it. Realistically, this osmotic way of learning is not very effective, besides a little energy boost and an extra encouragement to work hard, myself. The commonality I usually find in every great talent whose story I come to know is hard work. So far, hard work has been the only secret.

Sunday night, after a day dedicated to thesis writing, I indulged myself with the story of Bill Cunningham, the ninety-year-old fashion photographer for the New York Times. I was very  touched by his obsession and humbleness. Bill Cunningham’s story gave me a bit of  hope that, perhaps, great work will always be recognized, even if the worker could not care less about the latest technology, for being too busy doing his own thing. I have been giving this potential conflict of interest a lot of thought, lately. But this would be,  alone, a whole other discussion, so let’s skip it for now.

This documentary is about an obsessive charismatic professional  with unshakable work ethics. Even if you are not at all interested in fashion, I would still recommend a trip to Bill Cunningham’s world.

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The best of Finnish fashion: Samuji.

As I had previously promised , I will post the selection of my ten favorite places in Helsinki. This list was specially  compiled  for an article I wrote about the lovely city of Helsinki, my current geographic location, for Wish Casa magazine in May 2012.  The original text in the picture is in Portuguese, but the translation to english is found right below, on the post.  Specially for my fellow Brazilian friends who also share a thing for the nordic aesthetics, my favorite Finnish fashion brand:  Samuji.


“Samuji’s clothes are full of Finnish identity. Their values comprise functionality, the love for necessary things and kindness. The collections are composed by a few items, which are aesthetically timeless. Alongside the seasonal collections, there is also a permanent collection called “Samuji Classics”, consisted of strategic pieces, which are thought to survive trends . Their first shop is charmingly small, but located in a very noble spot in Helsinki. Its architecture is as elegant as the clothes found inside.”

In 1’16”, the short-film below summarizes my love for Samuji and, specially, my love for Helsinki. Samu-Jussi Koski, Samuji’s designer and director of this film, has the rare ability to make everything look effortlessly sophisticated. The frugal, though disturbingly beautiful ride of a carefree girl on her blue bike around Helsinki made me emotional, probably because I have already lost a piece of my heart to this land, where moments like the one in the film can really happen on a sunny day. Preferably  all dolled up in Samuji, from head to toe.

Last June, Samu-Jussi gave me the kindest, most honest interview for my Master’s research. I’ll must certainly be writing about it, here, as soon as I find the time.


Filed under Finland, Travel

Oiti at Droog!

In Praise of Diversity is a Brazilian Design Exhibition curated by the most respected Brazilian Design journalist, writer and curator, Adélia Borges, taking place at Droog, in Amsterdam.  I am very honored and grateful to be chosen, with the Tonton Stool to be one of the Brazilian representatives on such fertile soil of contemporary design: Droog.

Tonton stool

Anyone who has had the opportunity to experience Brazilian culture, knows that diversity is our most valuable asset and this exhibition is an attempt to create a glimpse of it.

In the curator’s words:

“The decision to present benches together, side by side, aims to explore the idea of how the same function – to sit – can bring about totally different objects. Therefore, it may be seen that indeed form follows function, but it goes even further, expressing the culture of the place where the objects are designed and crafted.”

In Praise of Diversity: Brazilian benches at Droog

Adélia Borges points out that the content of the exhibition reflect the multiculturalism of Brazil, “a fundamental value of Brazilian culture and design”.

In Praise of Diversity: benches from Brazil  [Set. 16th – Oct. 21st]                           Droog: Staalstraat 7B – 1011  JJ – Amsterdam


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For WishCasa: To/From Helsinki with love.

I had the pleasure to collaborate with WishCasa Magazine on their one-year anniversary issue. I was invited to write about the wonderful city I have been calling home for the past two years: Helsinki.

WhishCasa is a breath of fresh air in the Brazilian design scene.  It was a pleasure to work with them. Congratulation and thank you! Long live WishCasa!

Below is the first part of the original article in Portuguese as well as a rough English version, so our international friends and partners wouldn’t feel left out. The entire article consisted of my ten favorite places in Helsinki, which I promise to gradually post, one by one, along with its English translation.

To/From Helsinki with love!

My love story with Helsinki began in 1998, when I went on a three-month exchange programme to Finland, soon after starting architecture school. The city greeted me covered in snow, with endless nights,  warm hand shakes, candlelight and in the most peculiar language I have ever heard.

From this time, I left with friends for life, an obsession with the work of architect Alvar Aalto and the certainty I would be back. In 2010, I started a Master’s Programme at the Aalto University School of Arts Design and Architecture. Helsinki has not changed much, it has remained a lovely slow paced place which has gained a cosmopolitan charm over the years.

The difference between winter and summer is remarkable. The experience of the Finnish cold weather is surreal, especially for tropical souls. In the winter, the word sisu, is easier to understand.  Lacking a precise translation to English, its meaning would be a compilation of perseverance, credibility, efficiency and honesty, characteristic of Finns. Relying on a lot of sisu, the infrastructure of Helsinki runs smoothly, even under piles of snow. There are no excuses for not enjoying the exotic pleasures of low temperatures.

The sauna experience is indispensable. In a nation of small social disparity, everybody goes to the public saunas. There bathing suits are optional, however this is one of the rare moments when you feel more naked if dressed. Walking over the frozen Baltic Sea is at the top of my favourite activities. In the winter, the perception of the city is altered. The functionalist architecture seems to be even more discrete in the dark days. Helsinki becomes a white town, framed in a grey-reddish horizon that resembles the Nordic expressionist paintings.

In the summer, snow-free and under the irreplaceable sunlight, the city reveals itself. The perception of the urban plan becomes clearer and I find myself discovering new-old buildings everyday. The city is mostly flat, composed by short building and wide sidewalks, perfect to be explored on foot. The transportation system does not disappoint. The trams are punctual, confortable, safe and a great option to see a lot in little time.

Helsinki slows down in the summer. Schools and universities close their doors and companies work with limited workforce. Helsinki taught me that efficiency requires leisure time. Perhaps, this is one of the secrets of the Finnish well fair state, of which, more than the architecture of Aalto, Finland and its capital are most proud.


Filed under Finland, Press, Travel

Café Caneli – Helsinki

It is thesis term and alongside all the academic writing that comes with it, I decided to indulge in a class called “writing inspirations”.  As first assignment I was asked to choose a picture and write about it – freestyle.

Since I am not having time to write in here, I thought I might take the opportunity to choose something I wanted to talk about in the blog.

In 2011, during one of my “exploring Helsinki” days I came across Café Caneli.  Helsinki is a lovely city in many aspects, but I have to say good coffee is definitely not one of them. So whenever I discover a place that serves high quality coffee, I become a regular. Caneli is small, simple and charmingly roughly finished. Repetition is its main decorative trick: black cans and brown paper sacks are neatly displayed on the walls, giving your eyes something to look at while enjoying your coffee. If you are the rare kind of person who doesn’t drink coffee, tea and smoothies are the other house specialties.


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