Hugo França

São Paolo, Brazil

Designer Hugo França was born in Brazil in 1954. He studied industrial engineering and began his professional life working for a computer company in São Paulo before resigning and moving to the jungles of northeast Brazil. There, he spent fifteen years living and working among indigenous tribes to learn generations-old woodworking techniques.

Today, França works exclusively with reclaimed, indigenous Brazilian hardwoods. He uses them to create one-of-a-kind environments and furniture objects that are simultaneously monumental and environmentally friendly. Crafting every piece by hand, his labor-intensive designs are primarily carved from the Pequi tree, a gigantic oleaginous tree that averages 148 feet in height and 10 feet in diameter.

Motivated by the idea of giving discarded materials a second lease on life, the designer’s work incorporates salvaged old growth trees that have already been burned or cut down. França's work calls to mind both his Brazilian cultural heritage and the bounty of his country’s rainforest.

Today, he works between his atelier in São Paulo and the fishing village of Trancoso, in Bahia, where he maintains a studio and collaborates with locals to source fallen trees for his designs. França's work is included in private collections and institutions worldwide.