Alfonso Martinez Brianza was born in Montevideo, Uruguay where he attended different expression, arts and crafts workshops throughout his childhood.
Motivated by his interests, he studied industrial design at the Centro de Diseño de Uruguay University School, where he was able to experiment with different materials and production processes.
Before completing his studies, he began working in coolhunting and interior design in an important decoration house in Montevideo, which allowed him to travel to different international interior design fairs. Said opportunities aided him in defining and further developing his great passion for decorative objects.
In 2017 he founded Estudio Tosca, together with his partner D.I Cecilia Casafúa, seeking to revalue the work in relation to Uruguayan precious stones, with Amethysts, Jaspers, Quartz and Agates. Their collections were selected nationally to represent Uruguay at both Designjunction (London 2018) and London Design Fair (London 2019).
In 2019, Alfonso decided to take up a family tradition and immerse himself in the world of jewelry, a discipline to which his grandfather Washington Brianza dedicated himself for more than 50 years. Currently, he continues to investigate the fusion of metals and stones by incorporating new technologies into the artisan work of jewelry.
His approach to working with precious stones gradually awakened the need to create a line of products which would have the responsible use of natural resources and respect for artisan work as fundamental pillars. For this reason, in 2020 he began an analysis on the surpluses from the production of Estudio Tosca, with the aim of mitigating the wastage of waste.
It is from this research that LOX was born, a line of luminaires made from the upcycling of precious stones. This is the project for which he was selected to participate in the Ibero-American Design Biennial in Madrid, November 2022 and the Salone Satellite in Milan Italy, April 2023.
In 2017 and together with D.I Cecilia Casafúa, the first Uruguayan industrial design studio, focused 100% on working with national precious stones was founded. It centers around creating different products for domestic use, such as plates and trays for sushi and cheeses , spice mortars, dressing and food containers, sconces, and wall clocks. Their collections were selected to represent Uruguay at the Designjunction (London 2018) and London Design Fair (London 2019) fairs.
Jewelry has been a tradition in the Brianza family. Alfonso will never forget how, whenever he visited his grandparents, the first thing he would do was to go into his grandfather’s workshop to find out what his latest job was.
More than 50 years of work left many stories and experiences ingrained in the family´s history, which Alfonso wished to experience firsthand thus beginning his jewelry studies at the Pedro Figari School in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2019.
Currently, he continues to work on the fusion of metals and precious stones, and incorporating new technologies into the craftsmanship of jewelry.
Alfonso´s approach to working with precious stones gradually awakened the need to create a line of products which would have the responsible use of natural resources and respect for artisan work as fundamental pillars. For this reason, in 2020 he began an analysis on the surpluses from the production of Estudio Tosca, with the aim of mitigating the wastage of waste.
This is how LOX was born, a line of table lamps, created from the volume of discarded material (65%) and made up of three models of stone residues Agate, Jasper, Quartz and Amethyst. The design of 3 different metal bases made it possible to use said waste, without the need for any type of modification. A perfect harmony between the materials can be observed which results in a unique and creative piece, capable of being assembled in different types of environments and decorations.
The force behind this project is focused on creating awareness about the use of materials and the reuse of their waste for the creation of design objects.
This collection was selected at the Ibero-American Design Biennial, Madrid, November 2022 and to participate in the Salone Satellite, Milan, April 2023.
MONTEVIDEO – URUGUAY