Born in 1978 in Rio, “only because there was no hospital at the small town of Nova Viçosa” Zanini was brought up in the shadow of his father José Zanine Caldas, an architect and self-taught designer, who was 60 years old when he was born.
Zanini was brought up in the creative universe of his father, moving from city to city: Nova Viçosa, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, and back to Rio de Janeiro where Zanini still lives.
In Zanini’s upbringing was crucial in his development, attending places such as the drawing room of Lucio Costa during talks with his father or when he witnessed the urbanization of Brasilia and the work of Oscar Niemeyer; discussions on architecture by his father with Tom Jobim in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro and opportunity to see Juarez Machado working in Paris. Zanini has also saw the sculptures of Amilcar de Castro in Minas Gerais; the informal affection exchanged between his father and Jorge Amado at the Communist Party Fair in Paris; also visits to Sergio Rodrigues’ workshop, where his father left with a dismantled Moleca chair for their living room.
Most of all, Zanini has absorbed the freedom in which he was brought up, which was fundamental for his choice of a life as a designer.
In his twenties, Zanini after the death of his father, he realized that he had been at the side of a true master of Brazilian culture. Aiming to continue the family tradition he joined the industrial design diploma at the University PUC in Rio de Janeiro, where his father’s name was cited as a reference during classes. While still a student Zanini designed his first furniture pieces winning a ticket to Milan.
During his studies he decided to intern at Sergio Rodrigues’ atelier. Zanini studied with Rodrigues closely for a year. It was a period of maturing as a designer, as well as the discovery of another master.
Later in 2002, Zanini completed his degree and chose an independent path; he decided to produce and patronize his own work, and learn from being in practice. His desire was to translate the liberty in which he was brought up into his work.
Zanini has accomplished his goals with impressive eclecticism, mirroring his work in his personality, his hometown, his routine, without any attachment to trends and fads.
Zanini soon gained new experience, meeting new people. He started to organize the production and distribution of more industrialized objects and received invitations to work with important Brazilian brands. It was at this moment that Zanini rediscovered Reduzino Vieira, his father’s right-hand man for 30 years. With this partnership, he developed limited editions objects using old demolished beams and columns that soon became part of the narrative of his work, such pieces are often auctioned in the major collector circles worldwide. Parallel to these unique pieces Zanini carries on the development of industrial projects for several brands, including a famous Italian brand. Zanini is a lover of furniture, design and Brazil, he accepted the role with motivation, determined to have it as an important chapter of his career.