In Grandville („Une promenade dans le ciel“, 1847) verehrte André Breton einen Wegbereiter des Surrealismus. (Foto: Antiquariat Bibermühle AG)

The name Agnès

Already several people made me a face or wondered why I gave this name to my studio. The answer is not simple, although it is very logical to me. I can list a few names such as Agnès Varda or Agnes de Mille. Women who inspire me and whose legacy deserves to be honored, but that’s not why.

Two decades ago, in the library of the village where I grew up, I saw a photographic exhibition of abandoned girls in China. Due to the traditional preference for a boy and the law of the only child, many girls were abandoned or even killed. In the middle of this exhibition, I saw a picture of a 2-3-year-old girl with pink ribbons on her head. She was standing in the middle of many newborn babies, alone, with an expression of purity and unique beauty.

I have observed that image for many hours, for many days. She is my Agnès.

Agnes is a Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Αγνη (Hagne), derived from Greek’ αγνος (hagnos) meaning chaste, pure, innocent. That was the name I wanted to give that brave girl, who I don’t even know the fatum.

Nevertheless, each letter of the word has a meaning of what I want to pursue.


  • L – Lunar / Luz (Light) /Local: Is the importance that I give to the stories of the places where I intervene, my preference for writing with objects a message that can last in time. It is also the wonderful way of drawing the spaces with the most beautiful material that exists, the light.
  • A – Amor (Love) : Architecture is shelter and shelter is love. It is a reminder to myself, what should prevail.
  • G – Gratidão (Gratitude): To the places that let themselves be unveiled, the people who put their dreams in me, the materials they allow themselves to be shaped, to those who transform them. To the spirits that fill the spaces and give them life.
  • N – Nostalgia : From the place that we call home and that I search unceasingly for each project.
  • E – Engenho (ingenious) / Empatia (empathy): To see things from another angle and to reinvent. Empathy to never forget that I am not the target of my creation.
  • S – Sensibilidade (sensitivity) / Sombra (shadow):Let the spaces and objects breathe and become what they should be. Create atmosphere. “The wonderful light that the shadow has.”

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