Design Around the World: Argentina’s Jose Luis Lorenzo

Paulina and I are thrilled to announce the launch of our Design Around the World Series. It is our intention with this program to share the stories and showcase the work of those who inspire us in fields ranging from Art and Design to Architecture and Philanthropy.

We started CATAVENTO with ‘an equal love of seeking new horizons and returning home’. This series allows us to build a bridge connecting our audience with outstanding individuals and original ideas from around the world.

In this first installment we sit down with Jose Luis Lorenzo, founder of Lorenzo Arquitectos. A prominent art collector, Jose Luis is a member of the Latin American Art Acquisitions Committee of the Tate Modern, London.

Paulina and Jose Luis at his home in Cordoba, Argentina

Where do you find design inspiration?

Traveling is a great source of inspiration for me. I travel quite often and I am always exploring art and architecture everywhere I go. I keep an open mind, I love to learn and to be surprised by what I could come across next.

What is your favorite place in Argentina?

I love the northern region of Argentina. There is an energy I feel when I am there that vibrates in its colors, its landscapes and its people. Time goes by at a different pace and people live a simpler, slower life. Walking around the dusty streets you come across courtyards where women gather to weave ‘aguayos’. It’s a place with its own, unique vibe that I haven’t felt elsewhere.

Cerro de los 7 Colores, Jujuy, Northern Argentina Photo Credit: Roberto Amengual

What is the most treasured object you keep at home?

This is a tough question and thinking of Catavento helped me decide. The most treasured objects in my home are two écharpes -French for scarves-  that belonged to my grandfather. They are over 100 years old and they symbolize to me the value of craftsmanship and family.

Town of Iruya, Salta, Northern Argentina Photo Credit: Roberto Amengual

Is the enthusiasm for handmade we have seen in recent years here to stay?

Yes. The growing demand for handmade pieces allows for the continuation of methods of making things that would otherwise disappear. Artisan craftsmanship preserves the memory of a people by passing on traditional techniques through generations. Handwoven textiles are inherently unique, no two are the same. There is something authentic and original that you cannot find in an industrial product.

Artisan craftsmanship preserves the memory of a people by passing on traditional techniques through generations.
Jose Luis Lorenzo

What is your favorite project?

It is hard to narrow it down and I would say Hotel Yrigoyen and Hotel Ansenuza, which we designed back in 2016. Ansenuza is a property along saltwater Mar Chiquita Lake in Cordoba and from the onset we knew we wanted to incorporate natural elements throughout the interiors. A sense of place is predominant all around, from the reed light fixtures to the rugs which were custom built to emulate the feel on your feet as you step into the Lake for a swim. The walls feature wallpaper we created with historic photographs from the City Archives to tell the story of the city.