Rui Alves

Paços de Ferreira

Portuguese designer Rui Alves was born in Paços de Ferreira in 1977. His father and grandfather were skilled cabinetmakers, and he grew up surrounded by woodworking tools. He went on to study industrial design at Lisbon's Institute of Art, Design and Enterprise-University (IADE-U), graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree. That same year, he established his studio, My Own Super Studio, in Paços de Ferreira. In 2010, he changed the studio’s name to Rui Alves Design Office.

Alves’s projects span furniture and product design, and his work is characterized by a clean, functional aesthetic, a strong sense of craftsmanship, and a passion for materials and process. Standout projects include the lightweight, wooden Avô Stool (2009), inspired by his grandfather’s favorite stool; Welcome to the Jungle (2010), a character-driven set of nesting and interlocking furniture pieces inspired by jungle animals; the cycling-inspired Tour Chair (2011); and the refined Lounge Sofa in ash wood and gray fabric, inspired by childhood visits to his grandfather’s favorite tailor (2015).

Alves’s work has been exhibited in institutions and fairs around the globe, including the Musée d'Art Moderne (Generation Design, Paris, 2012); the Cheongju International Craft Biennale (Chairs Flow, Cheongju, Korea, 2011); the Taipei World Design Expo (In Bliss, Taiwan, 2011); and the Red Dot Design Museum (Singapore, 2010). Honors include a 2010 nomination for the DMY Berlin Award; a 2010 Best of the Best Red Dot Design Award; and a 2014 New Talent Award from Metropolis Magazine, among others.