In 1951, Sergio Rodrigues graduated from the National School of Architecture in Rio de Janeiro. He started his career as a designer and within the same decade – time when Brazilian modernist architecture consolidated – he became one of the most important designers in Brazil.
Rodrigues is an exceptional connoisseur of wood and the potentials presented by this material in furniture making. It is his favourite raw material, which he sometimes combines with leather, woven cane or upholstery to create designs, which, despite being of a modernist style, carry a touch of, traditional.
In 1955, Rodrigues started, along with other partners, the Oca Store, in Rio de Janeiro. The Oca Store was also used as an art gallery and it became an important meeting point for intellectuals and artists. Several art and furniture exhibitions were displayed in its space, which helped promoting modernist furniture in Brazil. In the beginning of the 1960’s Rodrigues left Oca. The international recognition of his career came in 1961. The richly upholstered armchair Mole [known as ‘Sheriff’ in English] was awarded the first prize on the International Furniture Competition in Cantu, Italy.
At the age of 84 and still active, Rodrigues work is extensive and has an important meaning for modernist and contemporary design. In the 1950’s he designed furniture for government buildings in Brasília. In 1987, he was awarded, for the ensemble of his work, the Lapiz de Plata [Silver Pencil Prize] at the Buenos Aires Architecture Biennial. In 2006, his chair ‘Diz’ was awarded the first prize in the furniture category at the Brazilian House Museum in São Paulo. His works were displayed in several exhibitions in Brazil and abroad including the 2009 Milan International Furniture Fair with the series ‘Sergio’.