"Whoever made this table will do the entire embassy in Rome." (Hugo Gouthier)
As often happens, Sergio's recognition in Brazil increased after he started being praised abroad. Just before winning the award in Cantu, Italy, as said earlier, Italian magazine Domus published, in 1959, a report on Sergio's work, an article signed by the famous Italian architect Gio Ponti. It was glory. Domus was a very prestigious magazine among Brazilian architects of the time, and it used to be said that those who did not know it had no right to call themselves architects or designers.
As years went by, his fame abroad grew in the form of publications and awards. Both the award and the praise abroad opened a path for Sergio to get government orders to shape the view people had on Brazilian furniture abroad. The most significant project was the 1959 invitation to do the entire interior decoration of Palazzo Pamphili, the Brazilian Embassy in Rome.
This invitation came after ambassador Hugo Gouthier, who served in Rome and came to Oca one day, saw Sergio's furniture. He looked around and said: "Whoever made this table will do the entire embassy in Rome." The Foreign Ministry then hired the author of the furniture. Sergio went to Italy alone and decided he could not take the furniture from here. He recalled that his former partner Carlo Hauner had a workshop in Italy. Sergio consulted him. He said he would make the drawings, but who could produce them? Hauner replied: “I will make the furniture in my factory in Italy." No sooner said than done. He called the factory, which had a good stock of African Jacaranda, and there they made all of the embassy's furniture.
Sergio spent a year working at the embassy in Rome. During this period, he often went to Milan, the temple of Italian design. Until one day, his partner Carlo Hauner, who was Italian and was there, invited him to meet Gio Ponti. They went over to his house and he was there. Sergio remembered this meeting well, as its outcome was the Domus publication.
"Gio Ponti welcomed me in a very friendly way. I found the way he treated interiors very interesting - because he was an interior architect as well -, but was not very fond of his furniture. Except for one piece or another. It is not that they were embellished. In fact, they had a touch of simplicity. His Superleggera was very fine, very light. It was a very beautiful thing. You could lift it with a finger. He became interested in my work and wanted to see it. I already had photos of my furniture with me. He was very interested, picked out five or six pieces, and published them in Domus. When it arrived in Brazil, it was a big hit, a very big boost." Because of this episode, some time later Sergio renamed as Gio, in honor of Gio Ponti, an armchair he had created 1958, a year before the publication in the magazine.