"If I could sum it all up in a single shot, design is creation." (Sergio Rodrigues)
Sergio always resented the fact that nobody ever gave him a good explanation of what design was while he was in college. There was not a practice of showing and remarking on the design of a chair, an armchair, a sofa, or any object. So, intuition was always a strong vein in Sergio's training. After all his experience and background, Sergio could theorize about design and create his own definition, as he did in conversations he had with art critic Afonso Luz:
"Design is an element that, added to technique, is a mode of work in which you add something to things. Whether aesthetic, technological, design adds something to the object. This addition is what makes a difference, an impression, and it is also what causes an issue to people who do not understand design. Because they always imagine that design is related to the product's aesthetic appearance, it is the plastic part. But in reality, design is a series of elements, among which the drawing and beauty it adds to the product's appearance, that give the product a few visual predicates. If I could sum it all up in a single shot, design is creation. To me, everything related to creating is design. Everything that is created is design."
As he developed his theory during his career, Sergio was also learning what design was in practice. He had to work this characteristic in his daily realization, mainly when coming to grips that design is closely linked to trade. One of the characteristics of design, he said, is to provide economic benefits to those who consume it, or also cultural details, which are very important for one to appreciate the work, to differentiate one product from another in the customer's eyes. "It is in the way these things are applied in the study of a design that you value the work."
Nevertheless, Sergio said he was not called a designer. "If you ask me what I am, I say I am a furniture draftsman." To him, design is a part of the construction profession. As architecture should be. With humor, he accurately explained the function of good design. "Architecture students should spend some time in a wood workshop. Do it in practice. Use construction techniques, not only with wood, but also with iron, concrete, etc., in order not to do something stupid. Because designers often imagine many wonderful things and sometimes they do not work. That is the case of this little object that is cute as hell, this thing that I gave myself, which is a thermos, it attracted me a lot at the time. I bought it real fast. I took it home, and when I got there the thing did not work. Why? You would put coffee in there... And to get the coffee out it, how did the thing work? What do you do? You have to press down on it. After a long time, then you press on it. By then you had a big mess on the table, on the floor..."