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The Brazilian Guilherme Torres is a perfectionist, with a degree of poetic license, having part of it poured onto his skin. One of his tattoos “Work it harder, better, faster, make it over,” is so to speak a form of celebration of his work. The architect, who founded his company in 2001 bearing his name, loves to work surrounded by creative and enthusiastic youngsters.
Yinji: When you were a teenager, you started your career as a designer. What are the reasons that motivated your enthusiasm and love for design？
Guilherme Torres：I started in the architecture universe very early in my life. I used to live as a child in a house that I loved, but after a while my family and I moved to another house, the opposite of the first one. It was dark, small and it barely fit our furniture.I was 4 when I learned with this bad experience that spaces have the capacity of changing our humor. Contrarily, my aunts used to live in well resolved houses, devouring architecture and design magazines.
I started studying them, always searching for solutions that could improve my home. This led me to training my critical look. I designed some proposals, drew a few perspectives, and then showed the ideas to my parents.Later, when I was 12, I got a job of apprentice draftsman in a local engineering office. This gave me the base to enter in architecture school. Then, I got a job in a design store and dived into this magical universe. Honestly, I cannot detach architecture from design. To me, it is the same brain exercise, but in a different scale. I seek to create timeless pieces, elegant designs and something that will thrill me.
Yinji：: Haha, we think you are a perfectionist. What kind of design do you think is a perfect design? What are the requirements for perfect design?
Guilherme Torres：A perfect design does not exist, but a possible design. It depends of the availability ofmaterials and, most importantly, it depends on the manufacturer. The good design must equate these items, adapting barriers. I was used to be a convinced perfectionist, but nowadays I look to other ways to lead the process. I believe that I have become more mature.
Yinji：From residential commercial design to furniture design, how did you complete the transformation of your identity and complete the expansion of your commercial territory?
Guilherme Torres：I was always loyal to my roots. I acknowledge all my references and I aim to embody it in everything I create. I never follow trends or market tendencies – on the contrary. I believe that this honesty is intrinsic in every work, and it creates a connection with the public.
Yinji：In your work: We have seen clear lines and volume management. What is your design concept?
Guilherme Torres：Everything is a matter of proportion and balance. I always work with the volumes first. I give a look to the site, to the neighborhood, to the landscape and then I think “which shape would be more harmonic here?”
Yinji：We have observed that you have designed a lot of mansions. What elements do you think are required for an ideal habitat? The epidemic has changed people's lifestyles. What do you think of the future lifestyle?
Guilherme Torres：Brazilian houses, if constructed anywhere in the world, would look like a mansion. I still have not designed anything extravagant!However, I believe that we need to learn how to live with less. Less objects, not less spaces, though. I enjoy empty spaces; I like the pauses. I like to frame the natural light in a space, capturing landscapes in architectural frames. I always think from the outside in.
Maybe that is because my projects have a different purpose. Something very curious is that in the moment of closing a new project, most of the clients say that they think my designs are “empty”, and they would like more things – objects, art pieces, ornaments. When the construction is done, they become the owner of an “empty” house. They say that after moving in the new house, they start to appreciate even more the sunlight, the nature, the sounds of nature. It is a very gratifying process.During the pandemic, a lot of people had this awakening. They started to live the house, not only inhabit the space. Therefore, they begun to understand that a lot of things does not have a purpose.I believe that the work developed by my Studio will not change, because it is a basic premise of our value as architects.
Yinji：Have you ever contacted Chinese owners before? What do you think of Chinese design?
Guilherme Torres：I am looking forward to an opportunity in china! First of all, I know that my work has a lot resemblance with eastern concepts.What really delights me in the Chinese market are the infinite possibilities to be bold. Chinese people have a fascinating millenary culture and have the knowledge to absorb the best of other cultures by taking it and transforming it in something even more sophisticated.I still did not visited china in person, but for everything that I see and search, it looks like a cauldron of everything that I love: the old living with the young, the past with the future, the tradition with the vanguard. Absolutely Guilherme Torres!
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