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Leila Malvezzi Bueno

Our Positive Woman is Leila Malvezzi Bueno, architect, designer and set designer. Leila tells us about the turn her professional life took so that she was able to realize her dream with architecture, even though she was moving further and further away from that dream, and states that it is in the path and in the movement that a story of achievement is built. “I had a difficult choice to make when I received an invitation from my husband to work with him. I had a lot of insecurity when making a decision, I didn't know if it would be a good choice, it wasn't the area I had chosen for my life, the dream of architecture. And it could still be putting our relationship at risk,” he says. “I'm not sure if it was the most difficult moment of my career, but I think it's important to bring this story, as it's a real example of difficulty that turned into assertiveness. It is proof that it is during the journey that we choose and build our paths. Keep moving and build what you want and dream of, don’t wait for the best time, because that time doesn’t really exist”, he adds.




1. How did your career start?

My passion for architecture started very early, even without having the slightest idea of ​​what architecture was. My favorite game, in my father's carpentry shop, was to gather small scraps of wood and build buildings, houses and think about spaces and how people lived in those spaces. I remember always thinking on a human scale, some object always represented a person. Then I discovered and collected plans of apartments and houses from newspaper and magazine advertisements. I cut them out and collected them in a folder. I spent hours analyzing those drawings, fascinated. At the end of elementary school I already knew I would do architecture, I chose Architectural Design in high school and at graduation, architecture, of course. I worked in some architecture offices, I had some disappointments, I didn't like the buildings, nor the delay in seeing a work completed. While studying, I went to work in a store to pay for college, I discovered my second passion, fashion.

I found in fashion the potential of proportions, of aesthetics aligned with shape and colors, creativity, compositions, in short, everything I was looking for in architecture, there, in front of me. I worked in fashion for almost 10 years, but much of that time was also dedicated to business management, I became an executive at a large clothing brand. I got married, went to work alongside my husband in his visual communication company, I was able to combine architecture, fashion and my experience as an executive as a manager. But the best part of this professional career was transforming visual communication into scenography. This happened gradually, as the pieces became three-dimensional and occupied more and more spaces and the spaces became our big blank canvas. Architecture entered the scene again in my life and that of Ricardo Bueno, my husband, who went to architecture school at the age of 45 and we started delivering scenographic architecture. Today we design experience and immersion spaces for brands at corporate, cultural and entertainment events.


2. How is Bueno Arquitetura’s business model formatted?

Our current business model has existed since 2016 when we redefined our business as Scenographic Architecture, and is the unfolding and improvement of a process that we experienced and built in 2005 called METANÓIA. Our management tool delivers and captures “value” based on the balance of the BODY – MIND – SOUL triad, in which the body represents financial results and infrastructure, the mind our client and market and the soul, our employees. With this model, we implemented a completely horizontal organization chart, with open management and focused on goals per project. For this to happen in practice, a process was designed that enables understanding and continuous monitoring of each stage in meeting each client's needs. This process today at Bueno Arquitetura Cenográfica is a great benchmark, equalized so that each stage is measured and reported to the client simultaneously, generating an efficient final delivery without surprises. The only surprise allowed is for those who will experience and immerse themselves in the spaces we design. Above all, our post-pandemic business model is leaner, lighter and more agile.


3. What was the most difficult moment in your career?

I had a difficult choice to make when I received an invitation from my husband to work with him. I had a lot of insecurity when making a decision, I didn't know if it would be a good choice, it wasn't the area I had chosen for my life, the dream of architecture. And it could still be putting our relationship at risk. It took me many months to find my place in the company and even so, for a long time I did something that wasn't what I was happy with, as I was only focused on administrative and financial management. I'm not sure if it was the most difficult moment of my career, but I think it's important to share this story, as it's a real example of difficulty that turned into assertiveness. It is proof that it is during the journey that we choose and build our paths. Keep moving and build what you want and dream of, don't wait for the best time, because that time doesn't really exist. This very difficult choice and decision brought us here, a company that makes so many dreams come true, but mainly our dream with architecture, we have become experts and recognized professionals in scenographic architecture and today I do what I love and I am very professionally fulfilled. Our marriage is going very well, this year we will celebrate 40 years together.


4. How do you manage to balance your personal life x corporate/entrepreneurial life?

We have a great advantage because my husband and I work together, and we are also passionate about what we do, which leads us to a very spontaneous and natural balance. Our moments of creation happen a lot during breakfast conversations, which is a sacred moment in our lives. We don't have to talk about work, it's very visceral for us, it flows naturally. We don't give up our time to travel and these are our moments alone, but still, we are always looking for something for our clients and to inspire us. This issue of balance is directly linked to personal and professional fulfillment, everything becomes very pleasurable. As we do not have human children, only four-legged ones, we have a mutual and intense dedication between us. Our free time is dedicated to our travels and spending time with our families.


5. What is your biggest dream?

Discover the world. I have always been a curious person and interested in learning about other cultures. Stories, cuisine and experiences. This started when I heard my mother reading “the seven wonders of the world”, I didn't know how to read, but the images enchanted me. After I got married, I found a travel partner, someone to accompany me on the most delicious adventures. This is how my passion for traveling intensified. Each country I visit is, in some way, an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective.


6. What is your greatest achievement?

The relationship with my husband.


7. Book, film and woman you admire:

“The Physicist”, by Noah Gordon, “Sapiens”, by Yuval Harari, and the one I am currently reading and delighted with, “Atomic Habits”, by James Clear. I don't have a favorite film, I like many. But I have a series: “The Crown”.

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