Brazilian architect-designer Sergio Rodrigues was born in 1927 in Rio de Janeiro to a family of prominent artists and intellectuals. He studied at the National School of Architecture in Rio de Janeiro. After graduating in 1952, Rodrigues began to focus more on furniture design, and, in partnership with Italian designers the Hauner brothers, opened Moveis Artesanal Paranaense, the first modern art and furniture store in Curitiba. In 1955, he founded Oca, an Ipanema-based brand focused on the development of modern Brazilian furniture. He remained with the company until 1968. Between 1963 and 1968, Rodrigues also worked at Meia-Pataca, a design firm that specialized in series production and affordable furniture.
Recognized internationally as one of Brazil’s most influential modern designers, Rodrigues has since focused on creating furniture lines for international industrial production, hotels, offices, and residences, including a variety of work for pre-fab homes. Several of his designs have graced the interiors of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia buildings. Perhaps Rodrigues' most famous project, however, is the Mole armchair (1957), which won first prize at the 1961 International Furniture Competition in Italy and attracted international recognition. Produced by ISA in Italy, the chair was sold internationally under the name Sheriff.
Rodrigues’s work champions the Brazilian identity, often drawing inspiration from traditional forms and utilizing native materials, such as Peroba, Jacaranda, and Imbuia woods.