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Tomorrow, Design Miami/ opens to the public, across the street from the Miami Beach Convention Center. Whitewall was at the press preview today, and the overall fair is fantastic (stay tuned for highlights from Design Miami/ we’ll be posting tomorrow). As almost every year, one of our favorite projects on view is the Swarovksi Crystal Palace. This year, Guilherme Torres was invited to create the project, entitled “Mangue Groove.” Torres found inspiration in mangrove forests, drawing attention to one of Brazil’s endangered ecosystems. The installation incorporates light, sound, water, lead-free advanced crystals, and reclaimed wood.
Torres answered our questions about “Mangue Groove” and his design practice.
WHITEWALL: How did you first develop an interest in design?
GUILHERME TORRES: I have always been interested in design since I was very young.
WW: How would you define your aesthetic?
GT: I would define my aesthetic as atemporal because I love basic shapes.
WW: What do you turn to for inspiration when starting a new project?
GT: The client. Everything I do, I do for the client, using my own vision. I never do research when conceiving a project because I believe that my inspiration comes from my experience.
WW: You’ve said that mathematics is part of your creative process. Could you describe that process in more detail?
GT: I think architecture is like music. Music is full of mathematics although we don’t recognize it. My intention is not to use it in an academic way but apply it with harmony, composition, and proportions. I was once told that architecture is just frozen music.
WW: You work on a wide range of projects, from residential to commercial. Do you have a favorite type of project to work with?
GT: No, because I like the challenge to work on different projects at the same time.
WW: The Swarovski installation is inspired by water conservation, stewardship, and the Brazilian mangrove rainforests. How has this been conveyed through the design?
GT: I wanted to take my vision of a mangrove and apply artistic and technological elements to it. I managed to recreate the mangroves and also highlight its importance in nature.
WW: Do you hope to continue working on projects that deal with conservation issues?
GT: Yes, because this is a theme that is very important to me.
WW: How important is sustainability to the future of architecture?
GT: I think sustainability is important to the future of human race. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this and use it as a brand without reflecting about what it really means.
WW: What future projects do you have in the pipeline?
GT: My plan is to invest more in furniture design.
WW: Do you have any dream projects you’d like to work on?
GT: I would love to design a hotel one day.