Rui Sampaio was born and raised in Mozambique, Africa, and was soon exposed to a tropical multi-cultural environment strongly rooted in colonial culture, the native arts and music.
At the age of 9, the civil war forced his parents to send him and his brothers to Portugal, Europe, which was still economically underdeveloped at the time. With very little to play with he soon become very creative and, at 12, this kid could build scale model racing cars out of old tubes of toothpaste and glue. Other than building his own toys, school homework and helping around the house in a family of 7, he also learned how to cook from his older sister.
Going for bigger toys, Rui would customise his brothers classic Raleigh Chopper Mark II bikes into BMXs, or an old racing Kart with a Ducati 50cc engine into a super fun open-wheel car. On encountering Colin Chapman and his astonishingly creative F1 cars on TV, he soon became addicted to track racing, then rally and desert racing. The latter would inspire him to buy a SuperTénéré Yamaha, which he rode daily for almost 14 years. Photography became another creative outlet for him which was sparked when he got his first twin-lens reflex film camera from his mother. She also encouraged him to read about everything with 2 or 4 wheels and an engine in French, which would eventually be very instructive when he moved to France to study at college.
At 18, all he wanted to do was to design cars, but the prospect of spending 6 years in the Air Force military for an aeronautics major made him come to the realisation that car designers only design cars, while product designers could design almost everything else, and that was the first epiphany in his life: it cultivated his innate creative spark that made him become a designer. He would go on to study arts, architecture, photography and product design in Paris and Milan.
His first pay checks came from drawing as an illustrator, then from motion graphics and model making. After some years freelancing for the motorcycling industry, Sampaio borrow his free soul to the largest design agency in Europe. Great times to, along with his wife, bring up a family of 3. In 2006, he sets his first design studio. After six years of growing business, the desire for new experiences overcame him once again, so he sold up the company and set sail into the unknown.
Curiosity and his innate creative spark induced Rui move to Asia in 2012, along with looking for diversity, learning Chinese and about Far-Eastern culture and widening the horizons of his whole family who made the journey with him.
Today, his mind and soul are focused on thehumans journey.