Guilherme Wentz expands the experience with the environment. Having decreased access to technology in Brazil, the brands product design is manufactured by family companies in the country
In August 2019, furniture, lighting and home accessories brand Wentz, opened its first store, located in Jardins, São Paulo. The brand finds purpose in transforming environments to earth’s surroundings. Founder and designer of the brand, Guilherme Wentz has a background in the design industry and was brought up in the South of Brazil. Wentz first took up a career in business. It was the familiarity with nature that changed the artists ambitions. «I was in proximity to the ocean. I quit business school to explore avenues in the creative field».
The concept store looks into forms found in nature as a way of designing, versus a reflection on history. Designed by Felipe Hess, an architect in Sao Paulo, his designs were adjacent to Guilherme Wentz’ crafts. The store is able to re-incarnate feelings one experiences from their surroundings. «The body and brain tend to be relaxed in an environment which is exposed. Treating the store with minimalism helps to achieve serenity». Having decreased access to technology in Brazil, the brand’s product design is manufactured by family companies in the country. Wentz is able to hand craft products created. The thread on the Dela Chair, the cane pattern and the ceramics of the narcissus bowls are handcrafted by factories local to where Guilherme Wentz was born. «When showcasing our first exhibition outside of Brazil, I came to the conclusion of brand exclusivity and appreciated the hand-crafted elements in our accessories that depict Brazil». The portrayal of Brazilian-tropicality enhances the lives of people who live in the tropics. By expanding the experience with their environment, Wentz subtracts the objects around them. He rejects the notion that design is self-expression. The brand treats the products as a sonography of lifestyle, where the object can be part of a scenario you live through. «The products we design are not the entity inside the home, but an extension to the house», emphasizes Guilherme Wentz.
Collaborating with Blackhaus Studio on the Architecture of Silence project, Wentz has built a platform of imagery for the store, using utopia as a reference to set the scene for alternate realms within the collaboration. The two had discussed the making of the project for years before it came to fruition. Working in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Wentz and Blackhaus Studio took a digital approach to campaigning. They created a design format for people to visit the virtual environment, approaching it as they would in person. «The project conveyed the possibilities of architecture. ‘Architecture of Silence’ discovers how we view the textures in each of the designs. Our 3D enterprises allow us to venture into the fantasy realm of design. By using the 3D virtual space, we were able to go as far as we wanted without going overboard». With 3D technology being a feature used in the manufacturing of the collection, Wentz designed the sofa and armchair without taking into consideration its fabric. «Realizing the fabrics would reveal seams to make the curves, we opted for technology that is used in the making of sneakers. An acquaintance from my town assured me the making of a cover for the sofa». Working with black and white to display the piece through its shape, «accumulation of texture became a part of the experience of the artefact. As we work with factories on a number of projects, we search for materials to add as layers to our product theme. Apart from our texture in product design, the volumes work as a canvas for the product».
A sense of illusion appears in the Gravatá dinner table. The use of logic can be considered the brand’s declaration of its collections. The Volta shape as seen in tables and candles is peculiar to the brand. «Processing how a cone can be made, I saw shapes in nature which grow in a spiral direction such as leaves and shells. By using this sense, we were able to customize the movement as seen in nature to make a wax sheet to provide the structure of the candle». The contrasting elements are able to work together because of the logic of construction that appears to be transparent. In contrast to minimalism, «it is common in Brazil to have bowls made from terracotta ceramics. The Narcissus series of ceramic bowls in terracotta ceramic is met with a bronze mirror. Similarly, mixing glass with wood is put in place within the objects to improve the elements of the surface». Wentz takes the support of artisans from the locality when employing staff. The producers are based in South of Brazil, while Guilherme Wentz participates in the creative aspect. «We have colleagues from around the world who we find through their abilities. As we are a company of nine, we don’t have a strategy of being inclusive».
Wentz has produced and sold items in the USA. When the pandemic sprouted, Wentz indicated the role designers play towards their factories. Manufacturing to sell in Brazil, Wentz confides in companies that are native, to ensure social and economic sustainability for its production. The detachable soil vase can be referred to as interior infrastructure. Contributing to the limited edition of the Solitary vase, it comes in four shapes. «We were invited to design a limited series collection for Art Rio – an art fair in Rio which takes place annually. I collaborated with a silverware company, Weva, to make the spaces spear geometrically». Wentz designed five spaces for the collaboration and used one of them as a commercial for the brand by integrating steel, copper and aluminum. «Limited edition collections do not coincide with those of Wentz. When we participate in one-off collections, we use a process that eludes from the usual. Art Rio spaces are made in silver».
Wentz has worked alongside the collector’s club of the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, for which he created a vase featuring recycled wood that has been carbonized. The team used wood from trees which had been chopped down in the city. «We maintain the approach towards sustainability with the resources we have. We produce products which last in the home». A project with Portabella – a company based in Brazil which builds bathroom furniture, was the designers last assignment which was launched in the Sao Paulo store. Separating from the products Portabella produces, Wentz decided to showcase the work in his store as the environment and design did not clash. «The brand philosophy has evolved. I have discussed the brands strategy and products with friends from creative fields other than mine and found insightful information to consider incorporating in the brand. The ethos to Wentz is wellness and positivity. I analyze objects and shapes, losing out on elements such as that of texture. There are senses to work with; smell, hearing and touch which I have begun to incorporate, treating products designed for the home as fuel for the mind».
Wentz is designing products operating with the company that manufactured the sofa made out of 3D design, in its place are lamps, for events which will be held at the Sao Paulo concept store before being taken to the United States of America. «The global pandemic accelerated people’s behavior. Customers are relating to our notion of escaping from the chaos».IMAGE GALLERY
Rua Peixoto Gomide
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São Paulo, Brazil