Zanini de Zanine Caldas

A biography

Zanini de Zanine was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1978. From an early age, he learned to respect natural materials and natural forms from his father, prolific Brazilian designer Jose Zanine Caldas. He subsequently trained with designer Sergio Rodrigues, with whom he first collaborated to produce furniture. After graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in 2002 with a degree in Design, Zanine began charting his own path.

Since then, he has produced furniture and other design objects using an array of materials, from reclaimed or sustainably sourced wood to plastic, metal and other discarded consumer products. Zanine’s works capture a connection between the natural and the manmade, as he amplifies organic lines and forms through skilled craftsmanship and a conceptual vision. Zanine’s practice embraces and extends certain traditions of Brazilian modern design grounded in a spiritual and physical relationship with nature, an awareness and response to the environmental impact on the country’s lush landscapes, and a commitment to engaging with sustainable materials.

His practice builds on his father’s legacy—in instances using salvaged materials from demolished homes by Caldas—while also carving a new trajectory for himself that embraces ceramics, woven textiles, and other, sometimes unexpected, materials, and experiments with more streamlined and linear aesthetic articulations. 

His work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Arts and Design, in addition to an impressive 2022 solo exhibition at R & Company titled Zanini de Zanine: The Sound of Wood.