Carlo Hauner (1927-1997) and Martin Eisler (1913-1977) were the primary designers for the iconic Brazilian furniture company Forma. Their narrative spans four countries and several decades, and much is left to discover, though their exceptional, unique works are already highly sought after examples of the vibrant modern movement in South America.
Born in Brescia, Italy, Hauner studied design in Milan and immigrated to Brazil after World War II. He began a furniture production company and purchased a factory owned by Lina Bo Bardi and Pietro Bardi, renaming it Móveis Artesanal.
Martin Eisler was born in Vienna, Austria, and studied architecture in his home country. In 1938 he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he began exhibiting his furniture designs. After meeting Hauner in Brazil, he started traveling there frequently to collaborate on designs and, with E. J. Wolf, who became the company's director, they founded Forma to sell their own designs as well as pieces licensed from Knoll International. Eisler also opened Forma in Buenos Aires, along with partners Arnold Hakel and Susi Aczel, as an architectural, industrial and interior design firm also known as Interieur Forma.
Advertisements from leading design magazines of the time, such as Domus, show Forma's offerings as a selection of furniture, ceramics and textiles whose combination of materials and organic forms exemplified an elegant and accessible modernist ideal.