‘Lose the north’ Compass by SO-SO

Maria and João met at architecture school, after which they worked as architects for some time but both missed “practical work”… So João bought some machines so he could work with wood in his free time. They then started designing some pieces together with the black sheep being their first object. They realized that they could combine their love for design with the “practical work” that they were missing and SO-SO Portugal was born. Every piece Maria and João produce is handmade. They believe that in the “high-tech” world of today, pieces that are made “by the hand” have a unique and singular quality that makes them special. We are SO-SO pleased they took up our invitation to design this season’s award, let’s find out more…



Maria and João, could you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how your love for design developed? We met at architecture school and after that, we worked as architects for some time. However, during this period, we missed the “pratical work”… We always loved design, especially Scandinavian design. While we were working as architects, João bought some machines to work with wood in his free time. Then, we started designed some pieces together (the black sheep was our first object) and we realized that we could combine our love for design with the “pratical work” that was missing …

How much influence does Portuguese history and traditions have on your work? We really believe that in our “global world”, local products, made by local people are more and more important. We also believe that our Portuguese heritage makes a difference on our vision of the world… That’s why we choose to give the name of a Portuguese expression to each piece that we made, telling the meaning and the story behind that expression.

We think that adds a special meaning to the pieces, showing a little bit more of our culture to those who have them. Although, this is only a start: we hope that people add their own expressions and stories to the pieces …

There is a lovely thoughtful quality to your pieces, how import is quality to both of you in every day life? Every piece that we made is handmade. We believe that on the “high-tech” world of today, pieces that are made “by the hand” have a unique and singular quality, that makes them special. Japanese people call it “wabi-sabi”. Each piece is carefully and thoughtfully designed, cut, sanded and finished by us. In this process, there will be some irregularities. Although, we truly believe that this is what makes them special … The touch of the hand!

We discovered So-So through social media. What role has social media played in developing the business? As we said before, we live on a “high-tech” world, where we can meet people and projects from all over the world through the internet. At the same time, we feel that consumers want to know more about the people and the values behind the projects. Therefore, we think that social media allows us to communicate more directly with those who follow us, showing them where and how things are made, who is behind the projects and what inspires us …

Is Portugal leading the way in design? Portugal went through a severe crisis a few years ago. This led some people, especially young people, to invest in their own projects. Nowadays, you can find good design, made in Portugal by Portuguese people, conquering the world.

We are delighted to have you as our invited designer of The Pirouette One to Watch Award for this upcoming season. Talk us through the ‘Lose The North’ So-So Compass Award concept?When you briefed us about the award, our first idea was an object that would help you find new brands. After some “brainstorm”, we thought about a compass, an object that could help you finding the “right path”, the “right brand”. We though that instead of pointing “North”, it will point to the Pirouette’s symbol: the Eye. So, you will, literally, “lose the north” (expression used on Portuguese language when someone is lost), but you will find the “Eye”: the next people you should watch!



Can you explain the choice of materials and development process? Every piece that we make starts with a drawing or with an expression. Then we try to combine the piece with the expression (or the other way around). After sketching, we go to computer and draw it more rigorously. With those drawings, João goes to the workshop and does some prototypes. We then look at them and if necessary return to computer to fix what is needed.

The majority of our work is made with wood. At the beginning of the project we discuss which wood should we use. We choose to use “Portuguese pine” because we believe it is more sustainable, once is a local material that can be find at a large scale.

Good kid’s design, what does it mean to you both? We think that good kid’s design is something that is simple and timeless. We also believe that it must allow kids to dream and be creative with, creating stories and memories around it. If they remember it when they grow up, it must be a good design!

Name a favourite master of design &inspiration?We are huge fans of Scandinavian design. We both admire the work of Kay Bojensen.

A favourite quote to live your life by? There is a quote from Fernando Pessoa that says “sê todo em cada coisa: põe quanto és no mínimo que fazes”, which is something like “be all of yourself in every thing; put yourself in the smallest thing that you make”.



Finally, if you could have a dream collaboration, a part from with Pirouette ;-) who would it be with? We would like to work with Norman Copenhagen. We love their aesthetic!



See more of Maria and João work www.sosostore.pt
Follow @soso.store.pt

Pirouette One To Watch Awards Schedule

Pitti Bimbo Awards presented by Katie Kendrick Pirouette Editor on Friday 18 January 2019 at The NEST 3pm with a glass of fizz!  View event here www.pittiimmagine.com

Playtime New York Awards presented by Pirouette Founder Florence Rolando on Sunday the 10 February 2019. View event here www.iloveplaytime.com 

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