When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut, then a sea explorer following Jacques Yves Cousteau's example. I wanted to build an underwater city and artificial islands with futuristic buildings. I was born and I live on the Black Sea coast. The atmosphere of life near the sea predisposes to many dreams. When I grew up, I discovered my artistic abilities. With the benefit of hindsight: Yes, I always wanted to be a designer.
I've been working as a freelance ever since my graduation. I have worked for some time in some Bulgarian and foreign furniture and creative companies. My studio has been operating since 2001. Its main activity is the design of products in the field of product and interior design. It bears my name.
Each following. While I'm working on something new, I put all of my energy. But when a project is over, I immediately begin to think of the next one. So I never get attached to the product of my work and I remain critical to myself.
For me materials and technology are not all-important, they are only tools, an extra brush to create my project. Of course, I am interested in every new technology, every achievement of humanity that expands the mindset. But if I have to list my favorite materials, they are wood metal and composites.
Every time and place are suitable for creativity. The moments in which I am really very tired are excluded. The hours of ideas are the pictures of life in which a whole story is gathered. And they are at all times and on every corner. However, the night and the morning are my muses.
We designers express ourselves with our work, but we work for the people. In addition to all the purely functional and technical features that a good design must possess, it must also carry a message supported by positive emotion. Only then is not only a good but successful design. Generally speaking, when people see it, they should want it.
The responsibility is great. The design pushes forward the development of the industrial society. And this also affects the environment. Design has to offer effective solutions for finding a balance between aesthetics, production and a sustainable environment.
This is a nice and complicated question to answer. I recently won the Top 100 in Design Intelligence Award in Hangzhou, China. This award is part of the design week in Hangzhou. Academic seminars on the development and future of design were also held as part of the event. A world trend is observed to merge many specialties and new ones, unthinkable until now, to appear. In the future, designers of artificial human tissues and organs, as well as those who will work on integrating the human body with artificial intelligence and various mechanical attachments, are expected to appear. The process is under way some time ago. But I would not want the future of design to be just the future of integration with artificial intelligence and technology. I hope that the world will be a place where man and his intellect will remain the main driving factors.
My last exhibition was with friends and colleagues from Bulgarian design group Cherga at Salone Satellite in Milan, 2017. I would like to expose my stuff all over the world so the list is long for a short answer.
The inspiration for my work comes to me from everywhere. I always observe the surrounding world analytically. Let the world to influence and conquer me I can be inspired by everything around me, but I can close my eyes and get thousands of ideas.
I do not put my ideas into a stylistic framework. I work equally well with soft and hard form factors. In fact, I never chase a suggestion of a certain style. And if I have one, it is a broad smile of optimism. My only goal is what I do to reach those for whom it is intended.
I live and work in Varna, Bulgaria – the perfect place to create. Varna is a wonderful city with an ancient history, located on the Black Sea coast. The oldest gold treasure in the world was discovered here, as well as the remains of one of the most ancient civilizations on the continent. According to official historical data, Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe. It is a direct successor of ancient Thrace. The civilization and territory stretched from the Russian steppes, to the island of Crete and ancient Egypt. Orpheus was born in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria. We gave to the world the Cyrillic alphabet, created by the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius. People living on the one third of the planet are writing on this alphabet and are speaking very similar to our original language. This is part of the legacy of our past, which our little country can rightly be proud of. I hope there is still much to give to the world. Such as a unique Bulgarian design with a nature of its own.
This is a very personal experience every time. People know others in the process of work. And often the personal relationship between them directly affects the results of the common work. At first there is always a period of careful waiting, exploration and mistrust. I almost always face this factor. Therefore, from the beginning, I try to express my ideas in clear and accessible language, by remaining open to the experience and the professionalism of the other side. Mutual respect and discussion are the better ways to achieve a positive result than the attempt to impose own opinion. It is important for a person to be ready to learn and to admit that he does not know and can not know everything. It's a teamwork. The process of manufacturing a product is long, and if there is no team based on trust and cooperation, nothing happens. And when the result is good, we all experience endless joy and pride of our work. We have a common goal and we have achieved it. This leaves us friends and associates forever.
It would be good the companies to realize that design is a complicated creative process. In that context, when assigning a job, it is advisable to provide the designer with the necessary time to offer several solutions. It is important for the companies to select experience, rich portfolio and creative potential, but it would be good if young designers is given a chance.
At first, I always get familiar with the subject and the topic of work. Then I sketch a lot of ideas and make a selection of the best ones. That's how it all starts. And it goes on with many hours in front of the computer. When it comes to a prototype, expert work starts before putting the product into production. This part is always the most interesting because we are to see the result of an idea that was only in our imagination.
My day begins with a cup of strong and aromatic coffee. Then I record the first ideas, came to my mind. Everything else is arranged in a daily work schedule. The evening is a time to relax at home or outside with my beloved woman. Sometimes we go out with friends. We live by the sea and the atmosphere is wonderful.
I am not a guru to give advice to anyone. I can only talk about my experience and the lessons learned from it. In this profession, as in any other, success is only an intermediate indication of the accumulated and applied knowledge. It takes a lot of work not only talent. It also requires a lot of self-discipline, as well as deprivation of the suffocating Ego. If at some point someone decides to be flattered by applauses, he can easily lose ground under his feet and imagine he has achieved everything. And that's not true. Life is a constant development, often obstructed by temptations. Temptations such as glory, recognition, and financial success may prove to be the most difficult to overcome barriers. For a designer to continue to develop, it is first and foremost to remain modest, responsible and critical to himself. There are no easy roads and short paths. Everything valuable in this world is such because it is difficult to be achieved.
I admit that on occasions may be very difficult when I am pressed with too many tasks. That is why I'm trying to prioritize my work and I'm getting more and more careful with the tasks I undertake. To create something really good, it takes time.
There is no precise answer because each ‘’object’’ is different and the time depends on the amount of work to be done. Sometimes, apparently simple tasks take unexpectedly a lot of time for research and development. So the time may vary from week to one or more months.
If we talk about an interview, it is definitely the question: What inspires you? It is very complicated to answer such question because inspiration, if can be formulated, does not really like to explain its appearance. When it comes to customers, there are many questions. The most common questions include financial and time parameters.
Perhaps the design collaboration we have with the studio Karim Kreate by Karim Rashid in Shenzhen, China. Working in a dynamic environment in an international company provides invaluable experience and is a good basis for personal and professional development.
They are mainly Bulgarian companies in the field of furniture production and consumer goods. These are companies such as Aksaga, Grudev style, VOK, Sofa-Lab, Cangaroo, Moni Trade, etc. We also work well with Karim Rashid's studio in Shenzhen, China.
I am a productive designer and I usually work on many themes at the same time. But I have particular preferences for furniture design. Ideas are coming to my mind every day and I hurry to sketch them. Sometimes I organize days of creativity when I give myself to personal nirvana, turn off telephones, go to the seashore and draw ideas all day long.
My future plans include plenty of new concepts and new developments for Bulgarian and foreign companies, participations in international design competitions, teaching work. I want to start production of three of my models by the end of this year. I am about to prepare for the next edition of the A 'Design Awards and two other world competitions.
I am currently developing a new series of upholstered furniture for the Bulgarian furniture company Aksaga. I am also working on new products for children for the Bulgarian company Cangaroo, specialized in this production.
In 1989 I graduated the National High School of Plastic Arts and Design "Academician Dechko Uzunov", Kazanlak with a profile "Industrial Design".
In 1995 I graduated the National Academy of Arts, Sofia - profile: "Industrial Design".
I have also a specialization in Norway with a profile "Interior design" during the period 1991-1992.
It is complicated to explain what motivates me. For me to design is as natural as breathing, i.e. is something you do not think about but do because it is a part of you. It follows that design chose me.
At the moment I am focused on designing furniture and some products for children. As an industrial designer, I can equally work on designing different products. I also do well with interior design. Most of my projects in recent years are in the field of furniture design.
I find time for my projects, no matter how busy I am. My consciousness always works on several levels. One of them is busy with projects for my personal archive. The projects are different and are from architectural concepts to furniture projects.
Marc Newson's Еmbryo chair for me is a "game changer" in the furniture form factor for its time. The same with almost every masterpiece of the Luigi Colani's automotive designs. The effects of such kind of "time shifts" are still tangible today.
Even if we have a talent, we must work hard and with perseverance to justify this gift.
Muse is not а lazy designer's friend. To develop a talent is necessary perseverance and endless self-improvement. In this context, I develop every day as a designer.
Design is a synthesis of science, technology and art. Everything starts with the application of the exact function of the objects, determination of the appropriate construction and technology. The outer form is only a complete expression of all this.
In the beginning of my career was the lack of experience. But I was able to use every obstacle and lack of experience or knowledge in my favor. Тhis is exactly what made me learn more and overcome each difficulty with greater willingness. Creativity is boundless freedom based on the pursuit of knowledge.
Design is not just creating beautiful things, but responsibilities, which are concerned not only with the education of good aesthetic taste. Design is part of the vision of tomorrow's world that is being created today. I think it's very important to realize that you are part of what the world will be in 50 or 100 years or even more. An idea may be so ahead of its time and to completely change the direction of development of the industry, the whole of society and its culture. Such ideas appear rare in history and are extremely important. An example is the invention of the wheel in ancient times. Very complicated is the answer to the question whether such an idea would change the world to better or to worse.
I'm currently working on some of my personal designs for chairs and upholstered furniture. It can be said that every day for me is crazy and beautiful with regard to ideas. So nothing different from usual is happening to me. Which makes me constantly smiling.
I would be glad to see a closer connection between the training in the schools and the real problems of production, technology and the needs of the society for which the products are ultimately intended. I would also love to see a more open industry confidence environment for young professionals. Because they need a job in which to put their knowledge and acquire new ones. It would be great if more governments around the world set in their priorities a program for development, support and promotion of design as an appropriate instrument for the development of its own economy and culture.
I start everything from a number of sketches. For this purpose, I always have my tablet with me or enough sheets of paper. Then I turn the ideas into 3D models and drawings using a variety of design tools.
They are, of course, of great importance. I would say that there is no design without material and material without color. Even fully transparent materials have a color refractive index. Materials and colors reflect the environment as well as the environment reflects them. In order for a harmonious environment to exist, design objects should fit into it or, if not, they can serve as a focus or focal point. Building a composition is a matter of choice. All these elements are inseparable from each other.
Unfortunately, I do not have much time to read books lately. I read mainly technical literature, social and economic analysis. Up to 20 years old I have read almost every science-fiction book available in bookstores. Then the only thing I was interested in was news about design and technology, books on ergonomics, anatomy and psychology. I miss those long, sunny and idle days with a book in my hand. A book I do not let go until I read the last line. Marquez's " One Hundred Years of Solitude " charmed and confused me, but I could not get away from the pages. My imagination was obsessed by Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose". I can reread the "Little Prince" by Exupery every Sunday night all my life. Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" has a special place in my soul. The list is long. The works of Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Henrik Senkevich, The Strugatsky brothers, Nikolay Raynov, Pavel Vezhinov and others fueled my imagination as a child.
It is difficult to describe the experience of inspiration. Burst of creativity comes out in different situations. The way ideas occur to me is similar to magic. It's an adventure, filled with healthy doses of adrenaline. It is a process of impressions accumulation, analysis and synthesis of unconscious and conscious images and shapes as well. It is a result of the constant mind effort to find solutions. As a matter of fact, the more an artist creates, the more ideas come to him.
Thank you for this definition, but I think still I have a lot to do. If we talk about my childhood, my parents suspected something like this. But I was not sure. So I turned every toy into a pile of parts, from which I assembled new machines, electrical devices and even functioning weapons (to my mother's horror).
In 1,000 years we'll probably live on Mars, the Moon, or maybe even in another planets beyond the solar system. I don't believe in the Apocalyptic scenario for the human race. In time we grow older, we grow wiser, smarter and stronger.
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