From the childhood spent in Petrópolis, in the mountains region of Rio de Janeiro, specifically at Casa do Sol, a modernist construction, Gisela Simas brings to her work the influence of the iconic movement that marked Brazilian design, combined with the influence of her most special family memories: people, feelings, words, scents, textures, and pieces of furniture.
This memory is one of the pillars of the timeless aesthetic of her pieces, characterized by fluid lines and innovative production techniques. Her style, underlined by functionality, seeks comfort and lightness through furniture and objects.
Since her small interior design office and a decoration objects store, Gisela has built a collection of woods such as Pinho de Riga and Peróba do Campo, and began studying Interior Design. From then on, she started sketching her first prototypes.
In 2009, a move to London allowed her to specialize in Furniture Design and Industrial Design at the prestigious Central Saint Martins. During the 10 years she lived in the English capital, Gisela made connections with designers, fab labs, and wood producers, especially those in Portugal, which provided her with the first contact with another of her favorite materials: cork. There, she also created the OPD – Original Practical Design Limited studio, where she continued to produce her pieces, increasingly focused on experimentation.
During this period, she participated in the London Design Fair in 2016, The Design Museum Market in 2016 and 2017, the Milan Design Fair, and the Venice Design, both in 2017. In 2015, she exhibited her pieces in Brazil for the first time, in a show held by Arquivo Contemporâneo. In 2018, she presented two products at the Milan Design Week—the first made of cork, in partnership with Amorim Cork Composites. In 2019, in partnership with Espasso, she launched the Ce Bar furniture in Milan. Also in 2019, the Congonhas lamp was awarded in the Gold category at the European Design and nominated for the German Design Award.
A great enthusiast of technological innovations, the designer preserves craftsmanship at the core of her creative process. Back in Brazil, her plans for the future include launches, exhibitions, and the opening of a new space, complete with a showroom and laboratory for the development of new products.