New York designer Harry Allen has recently become more involved with the Brazilian design community than he ever imagined he might be. “I was invited to speak in Brazil twice in the past year,” he says, explaining the innocent beginnings. While there, he began talking with Brazilian manufacturers and, before he knew it, he was designing a line of wooden furniture for NDT and a separate collection of gorgeous spun aluminum pendant lamps for Vialight.
Realizing that neither company had much distribution in North America, he decided to host a selling exhibition of the pieces in his studio in the East Village during ICFF. In addition to his own creations, he’s showing the work of Brunno Jahara, a talented Sao Paulo-based designer who has been working with the same two companies. Jahara’s pieces include multicoloured Neorustica cabinets and tables, which have wooden slats that are inspired by the haphazard construction of favelas, and hammered aluminum Batucada desk lamps, which recall vessels that Jahara makes by hand in his studio.
For Allen, “Brazil is one of the most vital places on the planet these days.” And, he’s very happy to be part of the action.