São Paulo-based creates pieces that explore the relationship between materials, colour and function. The studio – conceived by designer João Eulálio Kaarah together with architects Renato Périgo and Carolina Sverner – provides a collaborative platform for young upcoming artists, designers and architects. We talk with Carolina Sverner about the practice.
How did you come to form Nuun?
Carolina Sverner: The idea was originally conceived by João in 2010, but he lacked the time and means to start the project. After meeting Renato in 2011 while working for another design brand, the pair began discussing Nuun’s feasibility. Then, since we were very close in college, Renato immediately thought of asking me to take part. Together we started working nights and weekends on our brand while juggling other projects. It was only at the beginning of 2013 that we began solely dedicating ourselves to Nuun.
Describe your studio's work.
We like to think of ourselves as a fusion between city and nature, which is the modern dilemma of ‘Brazilian-ness’. We explore the contrast between materials, colours, functionalities and periods and strive to give organic a new look: well-considered and minimalist.
How does the collaborative relationship work between the three founders?
We all have artistic backgrounds and enjoy discussing our design projects – as well as developing them to a certain extent – as a team. That said, João and Renato are mainly focused on product design and development, whereas I’m responsible for business administration.
What about the relationship between the founders and other collaborators?
Part of the studio’s concept is to have a collaborative platform of young upcoming artists, designers and architects whose references direct the creative horizon of the brand. There’s always room for new talent and ideas. We work very closely with these collaborators and encourage their respective talents to create things as a team.
What's your design process?
We like each product to have something unique and special about it – an intrinsic poetic force as well as simplicity and functionality. The products should speak to one another to form a cohesive collection. We start with an initial exciting concept and discover how to make it feasible while always taking our context – Brazilian suppliers, available materials, costs and so on – into account. We meet with suppliers on several occasions to find the best technical solutions for each project, perfecting and modifying it throughout the process. It’s a long and time-consuming undertaking, and we learn a lot with each piece.
So much! But we're taking our time. We want to perfect our manufacturing process and make sure we have the right suppliers for each material. That will allow us to shift our efforts towards what we like best: creating new pieces. We are already selling in São Paulo, but are now talking to retailers in other Brazilian cities and even in the US. Eventually we’ll open an online store so that people all over the world will be able to own a Nuun design.
City of residence: São Paulo
Ages: Carolina: 27; João: 29; Renato: 26
Education: Carolina: Architect; João: Fine artist; Renato: Architect
Motto: ‘Design nuunsense’
Favourite quote: ‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ Charles Eames
Best advice received: Nothing happens overnight
Best tip for designers: Study a lot (anything that interests you), work hard and have patience
Three things every designer needs: Sensitivity, creativity and a tape measure
Newest addition to your studio: A lathe so that we can finish filing our concrete bases by hand. We are also looking forward to using it in new creations!
First design that inspired you: by Charles & Ray Eames