From Design to Crafts

Renato Anelli 

Lina Bo Bardi had the rare opportunity to work in fields other than architecture. Landscaping, furniture design, set design, illustration, or graphic design broaden the context in which most Brazilian architects are situated. Though her built works are not very numerous, they are balanced with the intensity of some of the projects she designed and launched, and whose performance she oversaw.

In buildings like the Museum of Art of São Paulo, the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, and the SESC Pompéia, Bo Bardi designed not only the exhibition spaces but also participated in the process of defining and setting up the uses, undertaking researches, proposing programs, and coordinating activities. These examples come to show that Lina Bo Bardi understood the project in a broad sense: not just as the mere integration of the arts, but as a strategically defined plan of action, which unfolds in the realm of culture, with full awareness of its social, political, productive, and economic role.

Her work as a designer is set within this broad context. Even before her first buildings were raised, Lina Bo Bardi worked at several Italian magazines like Lo Stile and Domus. Aside from being an excellent illustrator, she also carried out interior design projects that she usually signed with Carlo Pagani. These articles anticipated furniture designs and ways of occupying the space that would be developed and built later on in Brazil, where Lina relocated at the end of 1946, after marrying Pietro Maria Bardi. [+]

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