In an interview with AD earlier this year on the occasion of his Miami showroom opening, Carlos Junqueira, the dealer behind beloved Brazilian design emporium Espasso, said of the world’s perspective on Brazilian designers, “There was a time when people only knew Niemeyer, but there are so many talented designers and architects before and after him.” It’s true: While greats like Oscar Niemeyer and Sergio Rodrigues have earned their country a place in the canon of architecture and design, Brazil hasn’t gained the same renown (or reached the astronomical auction prices) for modern design as France, Italy, or Scandinavia, despite having a rich tradition of modernism that continues today. In the past few years, we’ve noticed more and more Brazilian designers making waves at fairs from ICFF to Maison & Objet. On a quest to find the country’s greatest, AD asked Junqueira to fill us in on some rising and established stars we should know.
Guilherme Wentz Wentz launched his debut collection at São Paulo’s Design Weekend in 2016. Pairing minimal shapes with luxe materials, the 29-year-old designer celebrates his national heritage by using many local materials and producing his furniture in small, specialty factories in southern Brazil. Concepts like the Officer desk (shown) reveal Wentz’s penchant for combining luxury with smart design. With the Maison & Objet Americas Designer of the Year award for 2016 already under his belt, the design wunderkind has a promising future.