di conference | day 1 | marcelo rosenbaum
If there was anything that had be transfixed on Marcelo Rosenbaum, it was most definitely the personality and the passion he had for what he was doing. He was probably the first presenter to stand up in front of the audience and actually speak to them as if he was speaking to family and friends. And while the language barrier proved to be a slight problem, he definitely got his message across.
Rosenbaum is a celebrity in Brazil. I’ve heard this many times and never quite understood why he was so big there. But hearing him speak I get why. His work focuses on the underprivileged, those that don’t have a lot in their lives and he works to try give them as much as he can to improve their lives. He does this through his very own extreme home makeover TV show in Brazil – Home Sweet Home. And for this he has garnered a strong following.
But it is how he goes about doing this that really makes him interesting as a designer. Rosenbaum believes in sticking to culture and to tradition when designing, using what the people have and drawing on the past cultural heritage when decorating their homes or creating his own products. For example, many of his products draw on myths as themes, from the sea princess, to indian symbolism as well as clay making and old techniques of embroidery.
And he has managed to succeed on a vast scale. So much so that he was in charge of setting up and putting together a VIP room for one of Brazil’s largest cultural events and got away with creating a venue entirely opposite to what anyone would expect of a VIP room. From the photographs, it almost looked like a child’s room mixed with various items representing Brazilian society and he did it all by hand. The clients loved it and have asked him back every year since to work his charm on the cultural festivities.
He believes people need to find a way to give back to society and support the communities and for Rosenbaum that means helping those in the favelas to have a better life by giving them an identity – even if it’s just one person at a time.