Pedro Sottomayor (1973) founded his design office in 2009 in Lisbon; since then, his work has had two main strands: the development of new products and the creative direction of brands and companies. As creative director, Pedro tries to find the often hidden potential of each industry to build competitive brands or develop new products. An in-depth knowledge of all industrial processes, has enabled him to develop a successful and transversal activity. For Pedro, every industry has a potential waiting to be harnessed and used to create amazing simple products.
Originally from Porto, Pedro went to Italy to study industrial design and learn directly with Italian masters. His experience in Italy was crucial to develop the principles that guide Pedro’s design approach: beauty, culture, and design awareness channelled to efficient industrial production.
His professional design career started with an ambitious project in 1999, when Pedro curated minimalanimal that gathered 20 illustrious designers and architects to design a collection of ceramic pieces. The project attracted international attention and made it to the cover of Domus magazine, and gave Pedro a nomination by ELLE France as 2004 Young Designer. Then followed a long-term collaboration with Portuguese school furniture company Nautilus (which is still going today) as their creative director. It was there that Pedro designed many of the furniture that is nowadays ubiquitous in schools across the country, such as Uni, Ergos and Netboard.
Upon founding the office under his own name in 2009, Pedro Sottomayor began working with many different clients. For each of its clients, he has developed a way of working and exploring the design process from scratch that allows making the best use of the means of production available. Pedro’s portfolio is a testament of this approach, since it includes different projects that explore the potential of many different industries. Such examples as Mèzë, from 2014, a brand and line of products developed by exploring the manufacturers know how and experience. Also the Adagio chair for Casa da Música in Porto, manufactured by Nautilus, a project that resulted from a thorough research into a material that could ensure maximum acoustic performance by absorbing the sound.
Recently, Pedro Sottomayor won a competition promoted by the Lisbon City Hall to design the new layout, regulation, and equipment for the city centre’s terraces. He designed some of the new equipment, now produced by Adico, and has been coordinating the process of renovating the terraces of the centre of Lisbon.
The studio is also collaborating with Sotheby’s International Realty Portugal in the design of the interiors of its offices across the country. Pedro Sottomayor, again acting as creative director, approached each space as unique, adopting an exclusive design for each one. Thus, Pedro has the role of choosing the architect responsible for the design of each office, coordinating the various projects, and finally designing some of the pieces that furnish the many outlets. The multiple interiors are being collected and edited in a book to be launched in early 2018.
Ana Filipa Silva – Product designer
Born in Leiria, moved to Lisbon to study Product Design in the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon. Passionate about problem solving and object construction processes, she has a particular interest in understanding the creativity and processes associated with ceramics.
Graduated in 2013 begins her collaboration with Pedro Sottomayor in the same year, bringing an ability to explore and understand the industrial production as well as new materials and techniques. At the office, her main responsibilities are product and brand image conception and product design and development.
Francisco Almeida – Product designer
Born in Lisbon graduated in 2013 in Product Design by the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon.
Started his career in an antique shop in Lisbon where learned the importance of the simple objects in the everyday life and the power of observation.
Driven by his passion in drawing, technology and industry, helps to envision products that give meaning to ordinary people’s daily life. Francisco joined Pedro Sottomayor Team’s in 2015 where his main roles are product design and development.
Carla Santos – Technical drawer.
Sofia Caldeira – Product designer.