Brasilian design, what do you know?

Please, anybody know anything.

I looked into Brazil about eight years ago when I was thinking about moving back. There were a few firms in Sao Paulo that did good work and cross between interiors, product and identity.
There is also a clothing and soft-goods industry there, but I hear it’s being swallowed up by China.
The tough issue for me was the lack of home-grown product manufacturing companies. That being said, they do have a great regional jet and an auto manufacturer. Most imported electronic good are heavily tarrifed and a few consumer electronics companies can be found.
In talking with my friends there, it seems the country has been steadier and economically healtheir for the last five-odd years now that its democracy has been stable. So things might be better.
It can be a great place to live, wonderful people, culture, and very inviting of Americans. It can also be dangerous, smoggy, and congested (Sao Paulo is a city of 33 Million people!)
It can be a great opportunity, but I think it is one where you have to make it happen, I don’t think you’ll be able to just slot into something. If you go for it, I’ll be forever jealous since it was a path I did not pursue and I’ll never know what my life would look like now if I did!

A few words about Brazil + Design:

  1. Brazilian designers are very talented people.
  2. Manufacturing companies are engineering/procurement
    oriented. Designers are treated as second step, below
    marketing (which is under the same)
  3. Unless hired by the CEO or by a major US-based brand, designers
    and consultants will have little budget to play with.
  4. Most companies have 2-3 designers on staff. Be ready to do other
    tasks such as graphic design, light engineering, marketing.
  5. A few successful companies down there are:
  • Domus Design ( - Great talent
  • Guto Indio da Costa (Rio based - Ownwer studied at Art Center in Pasadena - not sure the site though
  • Irmaos Campana (two brothers getting famous in the furniture world)

Overall, the “killing factor” in Brazil are the import rates for software and
hardware related to this profession. I’ve heard a Solidworks copy down there
can cost up to R$24K (= $8000 us dollars for basic version). Technology required to stay competitive is expensive x2.1. No wonder a lot of small firms run on illegal copies (not recommended!!!).

Good luck!