Rado Iliev

Professional in Architecture Design.

About Rado Iliev

  • Winner of Architecture Design Award.
  • Specialized in Architecture Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Architecture
Madeira Residence

Madeira Residence

Architecture Design


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Extended Interview with Rado Iliev

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I graduated in Architecture in the Sofia (Bulgaria) University for Architecture and Engineering in 1990. Then moved to London and started to work for Design and Architectural companies. I consider my work experience the greater part of my education.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I wanted to become an Architect since my teen years. I am a creative person and like to create things. Motivation comes from interest in the design subject and solving the problems that come with it.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I like all aspects of creative design and in my experience I have been involved in all disciplines from town planning thru large scale architecture, interiors, furniture. All can be interesting but recently my focus is on the smaller scale – houses, interiors, furniture.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
I am not a design legend. Focus on work but keep an eye on the world around.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
The point of view I guess. Good designers would probably debate that too. Maybe it is the extra mile one would go to deliver above expectations.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
When it does the job right and as per the brief. And when it has lasted 100 years and we still learn from it.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Sustainability. Good stuff lasts and you don’t have to pay for one thing too many times.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
Anything, anyone. And I usually find time. Of course it helps a great deal to have a client that would trust you unconditionally.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
I don’t hold any secrets. Luck plays a role here too. And that is mainly the right client.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Right, Schindler, Rogers and many others
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
Too many to list but I should mention the Ronchamp Chapel, The Eiffel Tower, Lloyds in London. They are brave and they have done the test of time.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
I don’t see my design as great. I only try to get things right and I am happy when I succeed. I can not single out anything in particular. The Madeira project was a success, but I have also done few good jobs while working for other people – the Tate Modern first shops, still proud with that. My summer house was also fun to do and people seem to like it.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
No recipes here. Look, listen, learn. And keep trying till you get it right.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
People around me – family and colleagues I have had the luck to work with.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Couple of small houses in the near future. Curiously both are for female divorcee friends.
How does design help create a better society?
We hope to educate but it doesn’t always work. Sadly not everyone thinks that design is important.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
As mentioned above – couple of small houses. One is by the sea, the other in the woods. Modern stuff
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
The ones completed following my drawings. Madeira is a good example. I had a dream client there.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
Improved communication between designers and producers. Better understanding of responsibilities and more honesty.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
One never knows. Design is seen as luxury so I suppose we will follow the money again.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
How long is a piece of string? I always try to have everything finalized before production but it is never the case. People are very impatient
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
I ask about the money. Is there enough to achieve the desired product?
What is your life motto as a designer?
Never thought of that. I should think though. Honesty and simplicity is probably a good one.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
A good client. All design is co-designed. Collaboration between client, designer, manufacturers.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
Clients usually but I always try to steer them to where I like to go.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
All of them I suppose. It is the same with films, you don’t follow the story, you look at buildings and furniture. I get a lot of inspiration that way.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
Le Corbusier. I would be probably too shy to talk about work to him, but it would be great to shake hands and maybe have a drink together. I would always brag with that
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
I have no favourite color. The thing with colors is that they are never alone – there are always other colors next to them. It is about getting the balance work. Places are many, but I will mention Barbican here. I worked in the area for years and spent many days there. It thought me a lot. For food – Thai stands high but I am always pretty open when it comes to something new. All seasons are beautiful.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
My father was acting as a construction consultant on my first house project. When I changed a dimension on my drawings he refused to amend his documentation following the change saying that the building was ugly anyway.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
When I have enough time to concentrate on actual work. And when I see that things are going the right way. Then it is followed by a bad night sleep.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
I always show to the client three options for the design and usually a forth gets built. Just kidding – it’s usually the third.

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