Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pedro Villar, IDSA, was a dreamer who “lived in imagination, explored the rhythms of many instruments, and created fantastical stories.” While starting his design career at Pontifical Catholic University in Rio, Villar decided he would continue to follow his dreams by moving to Los Angeles, CA, and earning his master’s degree from ArtCenter College of Design
Currently, Villar is finishing up his MS in industrial design at ArtCenter, paired with an MBA from the Drucker School of Management. To conclude his design education, and spurred by his passions for “connecting people, interesting human synergies, and furniture design,” he devised a project that plays with spatial interaction through a line of furniture objects. “Although this project is in its earliest stage,” he says, “I am very excited to see what comes out of it.”
This project, Cachoeira, is one of many that resulted in Villar receiving the 2021 Gianninoto Graduate Scholarship from IDSA’s Design Foundation. Others include Makita Split, a power tool experience that allows for an intuitive and shared use of Makita tools, and Alienware Cosmos, an immersive, active social gaming environment focused on the telling and sharing of stories.
Receiving this scholarship “gave me incredibly valuable recognition that encourages me to be confident about my design voice,” Villar says. “It sparked a deep desire within me to share my vision through design and continue developing pieces that connect with people and make them notice and question their behavior.”
Furthermore, the financial benefit “allowed me to increase the potential and breadth of my thesis project,” he says. “It released me from having to think about, ‘How much will my prototypes cost?’ I can focus on the design with peace of mind.”
After graduation, Villar plans to take his favorite aspects of design—such as the discovery of interesting behaviors, the interpretation of environments, and the conscientious use of materials—and apply them to the development of technological experiences.
“I think that technology has a vast potential to evolve how people interact with real and virtual objects; it is my goal to be a part of developing these new experiences,” he says. “However, I plan to continue to work on personal furniture and ceramics projects that will serve as creative and material outlets, since being in touch with natural materials further stimulates my ability to imagine.”