COCCO, Eva Cocco, MARTIN, William, "A Chat with Emanuel Barbosa", in: Il Giaguaro - International Entertainment Magazine, nº7, Autumn 2001, Alessandro Cassela Editore, Roma, 2001, pp. 30-33

Vestígio started as a graphic design studio and after some time most international graphic design books featured its work. The passion for well-designed products took the founders of Vestígio (Emanuel Barbosa and Fátima Guimarães) to several international design exhibitions and shops. Attracted to the new media possibilities they decided to start a web-based design shop and sell design classics; as a result Eero Aarnio's furniture was first imported to Portugal. Clients from all over the world can buy furniture from Eero Aarnio, Bruno Munari, Joe Colombo, Enzo Mari, Stark, etc. at
The decision was to design a very simple website, without the use of recent technologies like Flash or Shockwave in order to let every visitor to easily navigate in the site even with a very slow computer. The site has been a success with clients all over the world. Also, Emanuel is currently setting up a vintage design shop (Aero Modernariato) in the city of Porto (Portugal) where one will be able to find design originals from the 50's, 60's and 70's by such designers as Verner Panton, Eames, Vico Magistretti, Laverne, Bertoia, Aarnio and Saarinen.
More than simply a shop, it will provide a space where people interested in these items will be able to look, find and order what they can't find elsewhere. Il Giaguaro is pleased to have the opportunity to speak with Emanuel Barbosa, co-founder of Vestígio and founder of Aero Modernariato in Portugal.

Eva Cocco: First, Emanuel, let me express our excitement over the upcoming exhibition you are organizing. Could you give us an idea of what to expect?

Emanuel Barbosa: The idea of the Eero Aarnio exhibition came up because our company (Vestígio Design) is the exclusive importer of the Eero Aarnio original fiberglass furniture line to Portugal and we needed to promote the name and the work of Eero in our country. The furniture of Eero Aarnio was never imported to Portugal before. In many ways Portugal is a very traditional country in furniture, only now the younger generations are starting to feel interest in using fiberglass or plastic chairs in their apartments. Besides, I'm a great fan of Eero's work and it seems important to me to let all the other people have the experience of seeing these great design projects alive. It is a very difficult product to sell in Portugal, because it is a very expansive product. Young people feel very attracted to these wonderful chairs and tables so much in fashion these days because of the recent sixties revival promoted by music videos, fashion and international magazines like Wallpaper or One, but being a high quality product produced in Finland, Eero's furniture must carry a price that reflects its worth.
We proposed ESAD (Escola Superior de Artes e Design), a private design school in Matosinhos (Portugal) a collaboration in order to set-up the exhibition during the activities of Porto 2001 - European Capital of Culture, and they where very interested. From this point so things began to fall in place. Adelta (the factory that still produces the original Eero Aarnio furniture) and Eero Aarnio himself also liked the idea.
In addition, we hope to be able to have a Il Giaguaro Party in the opening of the Eero Aarnio exhibition in Porto!

Eva Cocco: We can't wait! In addition to the exhibition we hear that you are currently working with Eero Aarnio on an upcoming book...

Emanuel Barbosa: The idea of the book came up together with the exhibition idea, since we couldn't find any book on Eero Aarnio alone, we thought it could be a good idea. Adelta and Eero Aarnio were also very excited with the idea. But this may take some time, we knew that now Eero is working with a Chinese writer in a 200-page book about is life and work and that it will be published in Chinese and English. We have to think trough this project and perhaps it will turn into a good exhibition catalogue instead. Let's see what happens. We do have several institutions and publishing companies interested in this project.

Eva Cocco: Has your involvement with Mr. Aarnio's work and Adelta led to any insights you may share with our readers?

Emanuel Barbosa: I have the sense of his passion for the work he does. This is something that I admire greatly in a person - I also love what I do. I believe that much of the quality of Eero Aarnio's work comes from the fact that he is passionate about the projects with which he is involved.

Eva Cocco: In considering Mr. Aarnio's work I am struck by the degree to which his ideas continue to be contemporary, to amaze and to inspire so many years after their initial appearance. In your opinion, to what may we trace this phenomenon?

Emanuel Barbosa: The work of Eero Aarnio was remarkably innovative with his amazing seating proposals (Ball Chair, Bubble Chair, Pastil Chair, Tomato Chair). In the euphoria of the space age they became icons of industrial design, imitated by many (still in our days). His products inspired shapes of hundreds of industrial objects and were in harmony with the Pop Art of the 60's and 70's. The revival of those days that we are living today in music, fashion and design is also an important factor in the attraction that most young people (not even born in the 60's and 70's) feel for Eero's work (together with Eero Saarinen designs).
I find amusing that so many contemporary furniture companies are asking very well known designers to design chairs and tables that look like Eero Aarnio or Saarinen projects from the 60's and 70's as these companies have discovered that the younger generations are starting to look for these articles.

Eva Cocco: Thank you, Emanuel, for your time and assistance in setting up our interview with Mr. Aarnio and we look forward to seeing in Portugal.