Founded by Estefanía de Ros and Gustavo Quintanta, Agnes Studio in Guatemala works with contemporary design in vernacular techniques and materials. In near contact with artisans and ancient cultures, these two designers create a series of collections that inspire. We had a small conversation with Estefania where she tells us more about AGNES.
How is the creative process before launching a new design?
I think that all the pieces we do have a common thread. In the first collection, we started with the idea of imagining what would have happened if the artisanal techniques used in Guatemala would have been developed without outside interference and we wanted to pay tribute to them.
How do you plan the design process of each object? Which areas are involved?
I think the process is different and evolves along with us. For example in the first collection, we opened a dialogue between us and the artisans and the people who make the pieces and the materials. We wanted to understand the whole process, from the history of the techniques to the people that made them and the context. Also what we are questioning ourselves at that moment and what inspires us.
Agnes Studio in Guatemala with their Livingstone Collection
Do you organize your designs in collections? How are they called?
Yes, the first collection we made is called Piedra Viva / Livingstone and now we are making a small collection called Hilos Sueltos / Loose Threads. They are three pieces woven in organic materials where ideas, dialogues, and moments from my childhood are explored. We are also starting another collection that we are very excited about but it is still in the very first steps.
What are the main materials you work with?
At the moment we work with wool, stone, wood, wicker, aluminum, cotton, and bronze.
What influence does the material used have on the pieces you create?
It is a great influence, it is important for us to understand the process of the materials chosen, from where it comes from, who performs it, how it is processed, the context, the environmental impact, and the story behind it.
Lana rug by Agnes Studio
What do you think your designs have from the idiosincracy of the country where you live?
We both grew up in Guatemala, so this speaks a lot about what we do, I would think that our experiences, materials, and techniques are all local to Guatemala and they create a conversation with each other that you can see on the final piece. But we are also open to developing other pieces in other parts of the world.
Tell us a little about how your brand started and how it grew
We started collaborating with Gustavo on different interior projects when I was finishing my university and we realized that we liked working together. Agnes grew organically. We decided to present a piece we created together into a design competition where we won first place and it gave us more confidence in what we were doing. Then we had the opportunity to develop a project together with communities of artisans in Guatemala and it opened our eyes to a beautiful experience, not only to see how they were interested in teaching us and wanting to work with us but also to be able to make pieces with a more holistic process from the relationships, the materials and the stories.
Pieces from the collections Livingstone and Loose Threads by Agnes Studio