Chu Ming Silveira

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Chu Ming Silveira
Born(1941-04-04)April 4, 1941
DiedJune 18, 1997(1997-06-18) (aged 56)
Alma materMackenzie Presbyterian University (1964)
Known forDesign of the Orelhão
Spouse(s)Clóvis Silveira (m. 1968)

Chu Ming Silveira (Shanghai, April 4, 1941 - São Paulo, June 18, 1997) was a Chinese-Brazilian architect and designer, creator of the Orelhão telephone booth.[1][2]


Chu Ming Silveira was born in Shanghai to Chu Chen, a civil engineer, and Shui Young Queen. After the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Chu Chen, a soldier in the Nationalist Army, fled with his family to Hong Kong, and eventually São Paulo.[1]

She graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the Mackenzie University in 1964, and became famous for the design of the telephone booths, popularly known as Orelhinha and Orelhão. Icons of Brazilian design and world street furniture, the telephone booths were named by the Brazilian Telephone Company at the time of its launch, Chu I and Chu II, respectively, in honor of its creator.[3] The point of origin of her successful project was the shape of the egg which was, in her opinion, "the best acoustic form".[4]

Simplicity and respect for the forces of nature also characterized her residential projects on the coast of São Paulo, especially in the municipality of Ilhabela, where she developed a unique style called "Post-caiçara", in which she used contemporary materials and techniques in harmony with Traditional caiçara culture.[1]

Throughout her professional career, in addition to Architecture and Design, Chu Ming devoted herself to Visual Programming.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Chu Ming married in 1968 with the Brazilian engineer Clóvis Silveira. The couple's first child, Djan, was born in April 1971. Their second son, Alan, was born in October 1976.


She died on June 18, 1997, in São Paulo, Brazil, at the age of 56.


  1. ^ a b c d "A história da mulher que inventou o orelhão - As Mina na História". As Mina na História (in Portuguese). 2016-05-19. Archived from the original on 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  2. ^ "Oi! In love with a Brazilian ear". Graphéine - Agence de communication Paris Lyon. 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  3. ^ Silveira, Chu Ming. "Site oficial do orelhão e de sua inventora Chu Ming Silveira". Site oficial do orelhão e de sua inventora Chu Ming Silveira (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  4. ^ Plugcitarios (2014-01-20). "Plugcitarios". Plugcitários. Retrieved 2017-04-25.