This Week’s Top Story

Next week, contemporary Brazilian furniture design showroom Sossego (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 1445, will unveil works by Domingos Tótora (, marking the designer’s U.S. debut. In his native Brazil, Tótora is renowned for his sustainable process using recycled cardboard, which he mixes with soil and water, sculpts by hand, then bakes in the sun until a stone-like object forms.

“Domingos said that his work is like skin,” says Sossego managing partner Jonathan Durling. “It doesn’t have clothing on. It’s like naked beauty, exposed.”

Durling, who spent his childhood in Brazil, is particularly excited to showcase Tótora’s Mesa Água (a sculptural coffee table that prominently features the designer’s signature recycled cardboard) while giving Chicagoans an up-close look at his body of work. He says, “It’s so organic, and when you experience it in person—when you see it, when you touch it—it feels so raw and unpretentious.”

The launch is a new chapter in the young narrative of Sossego (the Portuguese term for “tranquility”), which Durling opened in April as the exclusive American distributor of Aristeu Pires (, an award-winning furniture designer who works with sustainably harvested Brazilian wood. “Our vision is to introduce modern Brazilian design to North America, and we really want to celebrate these two eminent designers,” Durling says of the showroom. Still, he is keeping his eyes peeled for on-the-rise artists. “We get very excited about supporting young designers who don’t have the same [status as Tótora and Pires] yet in Brazil,” he says. “I was just at the São Paulo Design Weekend, and looking around, there’s so much undiscovered talent.”

Interior Intel

Photographer Nigel Barker has traveled the world on the quest to capture beauty, and now the jet-setter is shifting focus with a furniture line exclusively for Art Van ( Hitting stores next week, the NB1 Global Collection draws inspiration from Barker’s travels to locales like India, Japan, and Morocco. Take a peek at his collection.


Nicole Balch of design blog Making It Lovely ( has curated a pop-up shop hitting West Elm (1000 W. North Ave., on Saturday. The one-day market features local artisans like Barombi Studios and Little Fire Ceramics. RSVP here.

Design Chicago (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, returns to the Design Center at the Merchandise Mart October 4 and 5. The Midwest’s largest interior design event, this two-day conference is packed with presentations, product launches, and open houses across more than 65 showrooms; among the highlights is the Ones to Watch reception on October 5, which this year recognizes Laurie Demetrio, Steve Somogyi, Filip Malyszko, and SuzAnn Kletzien.

Thinking about building or renovating a smart kitchen? Idlewood Electric (114 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park, is hosting a free event on October 5 where panelists will share tips and tricks for those interested in putting the next-level treatment on the hub of the home. RSVP by emailing

Meet Michael Aram on October 6 when the beloved designer visits Peachtree Place (303 S. Happ Rd., Northfield, to celebrate his fall collection and personally sign purchases.