Dwell 24: Wendy Andreu

French designer Wendy Andreu combines her metalworking skills with unique materials to produce fashion accessories‚ furniture‚ and carpets.
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"I was terrible at sewing techniques—sewing machines were a nightmare‚" recalls Andreu‚ 28. An accomplished metalworker‚ the young Frenchwoman—as a student at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands—wanted to go out of her comfort zone and turned to textiles‚ at first with disastrous results. She solved the problem by using glue. 

"When you don’t know better‚ you find new ways of doing things."

Dwell 24: Wendy Andreu - Photo 1 of 5 -

Case in point is the technique and textile she devised called Regen‚ a composite of glue (silicone or latex) and rope.  "I’m interested in materials‚ processes‚ and structures‚ and not the usual way of doing things‚" says Andreu. "I’m craving to explore more."

Regen Camouflage (2019) by Wendy Andreu

Regen Camouflage (2019) by Wendy Andreu

Learn why Andreu is inspired by strong women, and read more of her responses to our Q&A, below.

Hometown: Paris, France

Describe what you make in 140 characters. I make functional experimental objects, furnitures, and textiles that result from research about materials, processes and structures.

What's the last thing you designed? I went further with my project Regen and invented a new way to make 3D pieces of textile using wooden molds. I just released the craziest piece I have ever made. I am very happy that I still find new aspects of this technique, since I have been working with it since 2014.

Do you have a daily creative ritual? I am a rather organized person, but I like to open myself up to spontaneous moments where I can let my mind go in other directions, out of focus. This allows me to stay creative. Otherwise, I mainly work with lots of coffee and techno music. 

How do you procrastinate? Life is too short to procrastinate.

What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? I would like to redesign the look and content of smartphones in order to make them less addictive. I miss the experience of eye contact. Current smartphones seem to kill the interaction.

Regen samples using cotton rope, silicone, fabric. 

Regen samples using cotton rope, silicone, fabric. 

Who are your heroes (in design, in life, or in both)? I am very inspired by strong women in general, especially women who want to do something for themselves and who dare to be bold. It is much harder for a woman to prove that she is skilled in her job, and in this sense, women have all my admiration. Some galleries or edition houses present mainly male designers, and I find that fact terrifying as it gives very little hope to young women designers.

What skill would you most like to learn? I am a very curious person and my thirst for learning is huge. In this very specific moment of my life I would like to learn more business skills, including organizational strategy. I am also interested in working with scientists to research more sustainable ways of producing my fabric. I  to improve and innovate. 

What is your most treasured possession? My family and friends, and the love and trust between us. All of the things I own are just material items and ultimately, unnecessary.

What's your earliest memory of an encounter with design? When I was 6 years old, I designed a logo for my local school’s newspaper. The design was of a parrot holding a newspaper in its mouth.

What contemporary design trend do you despise? I try to appreciate all trends as they reflect a current or future societal lifestyle. I also believe all designers should be aware of them. However, an abuse of aesthetic trends weakens the message and allows all designs to become hollow without any true reason to exist. I despise trends that become a fashion feature.

Are you left-handed or right-handed? I am ambidextrous. 

 Connectors (2016) using brick, pigments, and concrete.

 Connectors (2016) using brick, pigments, and concrete.

Finish this statement: All design should...be genuine.

I sketch with a…pen.

I work best with…music.

I do my best work...first thing in the morning.

My studio is…a hive of productive clutter.

Instagram is...a promotional tool.

 Choose one: Bauhaus, Memphis, or Brutalist? Brutalist

Pyramid Shelves by Wendy Andreu and Bram Vanderbeke

Pyramid Shelves by Wendy Andreu and Bram Vanderbeke

Rank the following: (1) Fun, (2) Form, and (3) Function

Choose one: Less is More, Just Enough is Enough, or More is More? Less is More

Choose one: Past, Present, or Future? Future

If you had to pick a favorite material, what would it be? Steel

What’s in your dream house? I would love so many things. Here are just a few: a sofa DS-1025 by Ubald Klug; a plastic wall lamp by James Shaw; a JigSaw Chair by Max Lamb; a ceiling light by Johanna Grawunder; a vase by Julien Carretero or one by Audrey Large; a table by Isamu Noguchi; a spade chair by Faye Toogood; a Pyramid cabinet on wheels with drawers by Shiro Kuramata; a few stools by Bram Vanderbeke; curtains by Justin Morin; an Italian coffee machine, plenty of books, and a Bose sound system. Also, Rombaut lettuce slippers.

You can follow Andreu on her website or on Instagram

Want more? 

Return to the Dwell 24 homepage and check out other emerging designers.  

View "The Design Life" infographic to see how this year's Dwell 24 compare

See advice from 10 of today’s biggest designers.


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