Carlos Motta

Carlos Motta

(b. 1952)

Literature: Carlos Motta, ed Tok and Stok, DBA, 2004.


Born in Brazil on 1952, Motta was a former surfer, who began creating furniture using the wood that the ocean brought to the shore at Southern Sao Paulo in the 1970s. After receiving a Degree in Architecture in 1976, Motta relocated to California, but he never abandoned his studies on woodwork. He returned to his native Sao Paulo in 1978, and opened his atelier

Motta personally executes every step of his creations, from the initial design to the finishing details. The work he produces is characterized by stark simplicity and ergonomic sophistication. The designer is passionate about Brazil, especially the country’s natural wealth. He is involved with environmental conservation, making use of raw materials from renewable sources and chooses sustainable options with ecologically certified or reclaimed wood. The result is strong, durable furniture that is elegantly conceived and carefully built. Motta is especially enamored with the region of Ubatuba, and uses the woods of the tropical forest, taking into consideration both the aesthetics and ecological concerns. For Motta, functionalism and aestheticism are equally considered when he is designing a piece of furniture.

Motta graduated with a degree in architecture in São Paulo, 1976. He worked as a designer and cabinetmaker in Santa Cruz, California, while attending classes in building techniques at Cabrillo College. Later, Motta studied and did research in Finland on molded and rolled wood. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, including Brazil Faz Design, in Milan, Italy; International Biennial of Design, in Saint Etienne, France; and Object Brazil – 500 Years of Design, at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil. Motta has been awarded many important prizes, most notably the Hors Concours Award at the IX Prêmio do Museu da Casa Brasileira; First Place, Aluizio Magalhães Prize, at the V Competition of Industrial Design; and First Place, Best Furniture Design, at II Prêmio do Museu da Casa Brasileira. He is a professor of Planning at FAAP University in São Paulo.

According to the designer, from the beginning, his main goal was to make furniture “with the lesser environmental impact,” so he decided to work with recycled wood, demolition residues, pieces coming from shores and rivers and FSC certified wood. He now has eleven collections of furniture that include benches, chairs, chaise longue, tables, easy chairs, sofas, and special projects done by request.

Motta’s works are available in different States of Brazil, New York, Los Angeles, Utrecht (Netherlands), and Paris.

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