by Sergio Rodrigues
Sergio Rodrigues founded his company, Oca Industries in 1956, in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. The architect was of the opinion that the furniture industry in his country was being left behind and tried his best to add new classic designs. And he succeeded. He used typically Brazilian materials such as Eucalyptus, leather and the wood of the Jacaranda tree. His extremely comfortable armchair ‘the Mole’ (or Poltrona Mole), with leather cushions on a frame of Eucalyptus wood, nicknamed the ‘Sheriff’ by fellow architects, was an instant hit. During the 4th Concorso Internazionale del Mobile in Italy in 1961, the chair received the first price. The same year the chair was added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. A classic was born.
In the last few years, the chair has been making a comeback. The German company ClassiCon added a number of Rodrigues’ designs to its collection in 2009. Apart from the Mole, the matching footstool was also included. (www.classicon.com)