Isabela Milagre "Brazilian history and its culture are my main source of inspiration — from colonial architecture and artifacts to ancestral communities"

Bossa Furniture is a high-quality gallery; they are researchers, restorers, artisans, architects, retailers, designers, and creatives, but above all, we are curious and passionate about brazilian design. 

The collection comprises iconic mid-century Brazilian furniture signed by Joaquim Tenreiro, Lina Bo Bardi, Carlo Hauner, Martin Eisler, Sergio Rodrigues, and contemporary designers such as Lucas Recchia, Alva Design, Estudio Rain, Palma Palma Bruno Jahara, and other names. 

“We are committed to cultural and historical values present in Brazilian design and, above all, to originality. Therefore, we invest in iconographic and archival research, expanding our collections of images and documents. Books, records, catalogs, commercials, advertisements, and interviews are some materials that help us in our investigations. 

One of the contents we have been producing is Bossa Mag, a magazine about design, architecture, and Brazilian culture, with two online editions already published in the past years. This year, we will launch the first printed edition full of unpublished texts in partnership with several researchers, in addition to republications of projects, essays, and articles we consider highly relevant to the areas of architecture and design.

In contemporary pieces, we leave mass production aside and focus on authorial production. We value material research and Brazil’s cultural aspects, such as handcraft and African and European influences. Still, we are always interested in local solutions to develop our contemporary pieces.

As an expansion of our contemporary curated collection, we will launch the Nova collection this year, with new designs developed by promising contemporary Brazilian artists in partnership with Bossa. These objects, functional or not, result from a look into the history of making, using new approaches and materials. Nova explores different ways of using natural resources, caring about the material, and how it is transformed and circulates. “

We talk with Isabela Milagre, architect, researcher, founder and creative director of Bossa Furniture: lets discover more about her!

(©) Bossa Forniture

(©) Bossa Forniture

What are the biggest challenges you have met in your career?
As a gallerist, my biggest challenge was getting Bossa into the international market while being a young Brazilian woman.
My daily challenge is to lead and inspire my team to do our best work. We are a diverse 15 people ranging from talented researchers to artisans.

How would you describe your work?
I research historical and contemporary Brazilian furniture and objects. My goal is to curate
them and tell their story globally, focusing on the creative process, materials, and their social
and cultural relevance within Brazilian culture and history.

How is your passion for visual art and design born?
I grew up in a tiny city in the countryside of Minas Gerais. My family was not formed by
collectors and was not involved in art and design.
My first contact with art was at school; luckily, I had inspiring teachers back then. I remember being part of the “weirdos” group reading Russian literature and watching nouvelle vague movies. Since that moment, my passion for art and culture has transformed me into a lonely, critical, and self-taught person.

What is the most difficult work you have done and why?
We have been developing a collection of Bossa Fabrics for the past three years. And since
my background was quite far from this industry, everything, in the beginning, took a lot of
work, and many ideas, when transformed into reality, failed. But you know, “Try again, fail
again, fail better.”
During this process, we applied the fabrics we created on our current restorations, and we
offered them as a courtesy to clients to try, so we could hear feedback about the product and
improve it.
So after a long process this week, we are celebrating the first catalog sent to some clients.

What is your main source of inspiration?

Brazilian history and its culture are my main source of inspiration — from colonial
architecture and artifacts to ancestral communities. I’m deeply passionate about our diversity, our colors, and their meanings. I am frequently inspired by interior design projects my talented clients and partners created.

What about your next project?
I’m currently working on a special project called Nova that will be launched in November. I
invited five distinctive Brazilian artists and designers to create a new collection for Bossa
without using wood. The goal is to push us forward to develop new and sustainable solutions.
I’m bitting on those names as the new paradigm of Brazilian design.

Outside of design, what are you currently interested in, and how is it influencing your design work?
I’m very interested in Fashion. I see it as a field that frequently leads discussions around
production chain, sustainability, crafts, and aesthetics. I wish the product design market were as daring as the fashion industry.

Isabela Milagre

Isabela Milagre