I went to Brazil. Invited to attend a design week and conference I took the opportunity to see a bit of Sao Paulo and Rio. Here is my story.
Interprint was the company to invite me for their design week and conference. Every year they invite press and clients for an event where they share thoughts and ideas. And this year they wanted me to do a presentation…
A nice trend installation.
Me and creative director Maurizio Burrato and one of Brazils most important influencers Katja Lopes.
But lets talk about Sao Paulo. This is one of the biggest cities in South America with offically slightly over 14 million people. A big, big city. Someone said that Sao Paulo is like Los Angeles and Rio is like New York. I could agree. I would say Sao Paulo is a very modern city with large houses and modernistic architecture here and there. But a lot of focus on newness. It’s fairly green and this is the place people go to for shopping or eating out.
It’s a fairly expensive city and when I talked to my new friends here, they say that a mid management salary is around 10 000 euro per month. So a lunch in this city is about 10 euro. Which is fine, but it’s not like 2 euros… And wine is pretty expensive.
Being a big city – just like LA – expect to spend a lot of time in cars. I think we spent at least two hours per day in cars. And we were just visiting.
You could say that the whole city is like a canvas because you have street art everywhere. It’s nice. But a bit boring to be stuck in cars…
I would have expected a stronger influence from Portuguese history in Sao Paulo. Like houses with tiles or something… But actually not so much. As said before – Sao Paulo actually feels a lot more like LA.
You could argue and say that the cobble stones are inspirered by Portugal and that is very much so.
(here you actually see Copacabana in the background)
So what to see and do in Sao Paulo? The country has two architects of major interest – Lina Bo Bardi and Oscar Niemeyer. Both are modernists. The house of Lina is a must stop.
Bo Bardi also made the big art museum of the city. MASP.
Niemeyer made an impressive house in the park Ibirapuera.
The park itself is wonderful, and absolutely worth a visit.
A lot of hidden gems.
One way to approach Sao Paulo is to start with one could call the “old town”. Here you have the cathedral but also a lot of nice building from the Art Deco period.
Close to this neighbourhood you also have the market.
Food and selfies
And about ten minutes walk you have the old museum Pinacoteca.
But Sao Paulo is also a colourful city. Look for wonderful colour combinations.
The big shopping street in the city is called Avenida Paulista, but who is shopping nowadays anyway??
Here you find the new photography museum called IMS.
Ending my story on Sao Paulo with some pictures of Japanese neighbourhood of Liberdade. Apparently Sao Paulo has the largest community of Japanese people, outside of Japan. It’s like a Chinatown but Japanese… Strange and interesting.
When in Brazil, we had to make a stop over in Rio. Only 24 hours and way too short. The city has a much older atmosphere than Sao Paolo. Slightly more dangerous. Saw a robbery in bright daylight. Here I stand with Copabacabana in the background and the beaches are breathtaking.
And Ipanema by night.
Our second day in Rio started cloudy but got better. But just as with Sao Paulo – prepare yourself for long car rides. Just as an example. From hotel to pickup point to where there are transfers to the statue of Christ – 15 minutes. From pickup point to base – 60 minutes. From base to top (by car) – 15 minutes. Then back again. So the tour to the statue and back was in total 3 hours. And then we absolutely wanted to the art museum by Niemeyer called MAC. Another hour there and back. That sums the day up as being five hours in a car. This day was extreme but expect a lot of sitting, regardless if you are in Sao Paulo or Rio.
Cloudy day, but we had to see it.
The art museum by Oscar Niemeyer (MAC) is absolutely breathtaking.
I leave you with pictures of lovelly Brazilian food – one of the best reasons to actually go there. Here fish from the Amazons. These are actually the ribs of the fish. Like spareribs.
And of course we had a capirinha or two. Or five… Hope to come back soon.