Furniture Design Week

Next year, Portugal’s Wewood celebrates ten years in business and with a new design director Philipp Grundhöfer in place, the future also looks bright for the wood furniture specialist.

Wewood is getting ready to celebrate a decade of design. It emerged out of a 50-year-old joinery business and is helping to define a new direction for Portugal’s furniture-making industry

A decade of design: Wewood | News

Wewood is getting ready to celebrate a decade of design. It emerged out of a 50-year-old joinery business and is helping to define a new direction for Portugal’s furniture-making industry

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Next year, Portuguese furniture-maker Wewood turns ten, and there will be plenty to raise a glass to. Wewood’s founding plan was to build a modern furniture brand that would showcase age-old carpentry skills, while shaping a contemporary Portuguese aesthetic with worldwide appeal. The timing was rotten; the global economic downturn hit Portugal hard, but with unwavering self-belief, Wewood has managed to fulfil its goal and more. Its portfolio numbers 48 pieces and its skillset has expanded to tackle bespoke interior design projects and contract furnishing.

A toast is also up for Philipp Grundhöfer who will lead Wewood into its second decade, taking the creative reins from Christophe de Sousa. Hailing from the Black Forest, Grundhöfer has a degree in Interior Design and studied Product Design at ECAL. He joined Wewood in 2019 to oversee product development, after years working for renowned design brands such as jörg boner (Zurich) and E15 (Frankfurt). Two years of immersion with Wewood’s former Design Director have helped him to develop the skills and vision to take the brand forward.

New Design Director, Philipp Grundhöfer takes the creative helm at Wewood after two years immersion in its brand culture, and years of experience at highly regarded European design studios. Above, the Tree Lounge Chair, Hexa Coffee Table and XI Bookshelf

A decade of design: Wewood | News

New Design Director, Philipp Grundhöfer takes the creative helm at Wewood after two years immersion in its brand culture, and years of experience at highly regarded European design studios. Above, the Tree Lounge Chair, Hexa Coffee Table and XI Bookshelf

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‘In the early days, the Portuguese furniture industry was still on a very conservative path design-wise,’ says Grundhöfer, acknowledging the mountain climbed. ‘The Wewood collection took inspiration from the Nordic design language playfully paired Portuguese elements. This is also the philosophy that we want to follow for the next years.’

The sculptural legs of the Bridge Desk are inspired by Porto’s many bridges. Though Wewood’s minimal designs take cues from Nordic minimalism, inspirations are often strictly local

A decade of design: Wewood | News

The sculptural legs of the Bridge Desk are inspired by Porto’s many bridges. Though Wewood’s minimal designs take cues from Nordic minimalism, inspirations are often strictly local

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With a German designer now at the helm, and a broad-based family of contributing designers, Wewood freely credits the pan-European inspirations that shape its designs. Its recipe is to blend the timeless silhouettes of Scandinavian modernism, with Portuguese design and historical references (a backrest shaped to evoke the 15th-century Caravela sailing ships, a desk leg incorporating a support inspired by a Porto bridge) and exquisite local craftsmanship. ‘We shall stay flexible to adapt to new demands and accept the new challenges of our times,’ says Grundhöfer. ‘But we will always produce timeless, long-lasting pieces.’

© Architonic

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