BY DESIGN: Guto Indio da Costa shapes Brazilian design

Brazil is known for its natural beauty but it’s also famous for producing creative people. Winner of some of the most important design awards in the world is Rio de Janeiro-born Luis Augusto “Guto” Indio da Costa.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports.

Two sculptural wings and state-of-the-art aerodynamics. A compact body that provides direct and indirect lighting. The Spirit C/Air fan was designed by award-winner Guto in 2001, won the prestigious iF Design Award and is still on the market.

“We designed this ceiling fan and the ceiling fan market looked so old-fashioned, looked so boring. There were so many different brands which had almost no differentiation between the products. So, it made a big difference in the market and people could easily recognize the change the design had made on that specific product.” he says.

Another of Guto’s big hits is the Rabbit Air purifier which won two other product design awards: Red Dot and Good design – thanks to its sleek, contemporary form and advanced technology.

“People tend to think that the future is like more technology, more complex, more automatic, more machine-like and we tend to think that the future is more human. Technology is fantastic, but it must be transformed into a very human experience, otherwise it gets so complex and nobody can really work with,” Guto said about his design philosophy.

Originally called Indio da Costa Architects, the company got its start in the 60s with Guto’s father, Luiz Eduardo. It was a small architecture studio but with its expansion into design, the name changed to Indio da Costa A.U.D.T. and business exploded.

Today, the company works with a team of approximately 30 professionals and several partners in four key areas: architecture, urban planning, design and mobility.

Among Guto’s most visible urban projects is Rio’s light rail system. Built after the city was chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, it was part of a larger effort to revitalize the city’s downtown area.

With a seamless track allowing for cars and pedestrians to easily cross and no overhead cables, the design integrates easily and aesthetically along a 28-kilometer stretch of Rio’s dense city landscape, linking it to the port.

Guto says that while his focus is on people, designs based on both beauty and functionality, he also draws inspiration from Rio, his birth city, which is a sort of laboratory for his designs.

The company recently won a bid to build more than 300 beach kiosks along Rio’s beach sidewalks. This one, called Marea, is based on the idea of a two-tier construction. Much more than a normal kiosk for snacks and drinks, it’s a full-service restaurant, Guto said.

“So, we built a complete kitchen underground, restrooms underground and the kiosks are just the tip of the iceberg. They are up here keeping the transparency, keeping the view but able to serve 150 people.”

Central to Guto’s many ideas is to help Rio live up to its name the “Marvelous City,” with creative solutions to help locals and tourists appreciate its natural beauty even more.

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