‘São Paulo is a beautiful monster,’ architect and designer Marko Brajovic told Lucas Verweij and Jurgen Bey when they visited Brajovic’ studio while in São Paulo for WDCD. ‘This city gives you so much information of how things can change. Here you find the best mix of modernism and nature.’

In the wake of WDCD Live São Paulo moderator Lucas Verweij and designer Jurgen Bey visited Marko Brajovic in his atelier in the Perdizes area. Brajovic, who is very much inspired by nature and biomimicry, showed his visitors around in the small studio, where he shared some projects the studio is currently working on. These include public urban objects as part of Coca-Cola’s presence at the World Cup Football in Russia next year, and a small village of pavilions for a fair presentation of faucets producer Docol. Another interesting project is a holiday house the atelier is designing on the basis of a briefing by the 10-year old daughter of the principal.

Next, Bey and Verweij were invited to climb the special stairs with unequal steps – ‘right foot first, then left’, Brajovic instructs – to the meeting room upstairs. Here Brajovic explained how he, coming from Montenegro, via Venice, Barcelona and Costa Rica ended up in São Paulo. ‘I want to be close to the forest, because it is a laboratory for me,’ he explained his decision to stay in the mega-city. Love had something to do with it too.

Ancestral crafts

During the meeting, Brajovic talked about his interest in nature – ‘nature is a 3,8 billion-year old designer’ –, in vernacular architecture and ancestral crafts and how instead of drawing his designs, he likes to see them grow by themselves using software like Grasshopper. ‘I’m also interested to see how we can connect ancestral crafts with the digital world,’ Brajovic said. ‘There are similarities in the sense that you give an assignment or a recipe so to say to either a craftsman or to digital software and that you must await what comes out of it.’

From everything he said it was understood that Brajovic doesn’t want to limit himself to one approach or discipline. ‘I want to work with many different disciplines, and I like to have many outputs, whether it is a theatre scene, furniture, a house, urban objects or research into growing new materials,’ the designer said. ‘In fact, I see it as my duty to make the instruments, both intellectual and physical, for the next generation to make a difference.’

Other encounters

In the context of WDCD Live Jurgen Bey also visited architect Guto Requena in his studio (see picture below)  and Pete Hellicar was taken on a nightly tour through the city by famous São Paulo graffiti artist Alexandre Orion.

Top image, left to right:  Jurgen Bey, Lucas Verweij, Marko Brajovic / first three photos José de Holanda