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Yuriy Zimenko: I have never had loft projects Photo

Yuriy Zimenko: I have never had loft projects

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Famous Ukrainian designer told FiD about how to define a good interior, does Ukrainian design keep up with times and where creative person can get an inspiration.

Юрий Зименко

Yuriy Zimenko - Ukrainian designer, head of Design Studio Yuriy Zimenko. Engaged in the design of private and public spaces, industrial design. Multiple winner of several Ukrainian and international competitions. In 2015, Yuriy Zimenko studio has won the Grand Prix at the International Competition International Property Award, it is one of the most authoritative and prestigious competition in real estate (section - «APARTMENT», category - interior design). Lives and works in Kiev.


I have never had loft projects. I am by no means an opponent of this style. Vice versa, I would like to work with loft. Simply, I have never been asked to do it. Of course, I would have done it in my own way. I would formalize it in cleaned up condition. I didn’t do it, because I have never been asked to.

My works attracted the attention of a certain group of people, my aesthetics seems close and appealing for them. They like minimalism, but they are not ready to live in comfortless and "cold" style. Somehow I attract people who have a desire for self-restraint, but at the same time they want colorful, cozy, decorated interior. Although I would love to work in some hard loft and high tech, but, apparently, people have a definite opinion about me.

You know, it looks like when an actor has one successful role and people can’t perceive him in the other one. Although all my interiors are quite different and I pass them through myself, they are individual, as well as people who live therein.

If a client comes with knowing what he wants, tells us the goal, and we understand it, the idea can be born at the same moment. First there is an idea, and just then the details. But if a person doesn’t know what he wants, hesitates, we try different options and discuss them. I analyze if he's telling the truth, I mean how honestly he likes something, or it just echoes of the others’ opinion, not his own sense. Namely it takes a lot of time, because I need to be sure that my client likes what he got in the end.

First of all any interior may interest you by its balance, style and harmony, everything that human seek for. You either have these sensations or not, and it doesn’t matter who’ve done the interior, or in what country it appeared. Because intuitively and subconsciously each person follows the place where the harmony and balance is, where there is no accidental, "pulled out" things that can irritate you. We create interior to make you feel calm and protected.

If you’re looking at the interior and you don’t have a willing to live there, that means balance and harmony have been disturbed. An amateur can properly evaluate any style, even that one which he doesn’t like. If you hear such phrase as: "I would not live here, but I like" it means that everything is good with balance.

I can’t say that Ukrainian design is far behind the European or global trends. It is behind, but... you know, we have to back to the drawing board sometimes. There is a stage where we borrow, a stage where we are trying to imitate and repeat. The next stage is author's own feelings, own world. Just then the design gets some authenticity, it becomes a part of particular culture, and you may see creator’s personality. I think our last stage has just begun. We have many young designers who have a sincere desire to create objects, thinking about own, individual stuff, to show more of themselves in their works, to show inner world and feelings. We’re going to have a good generation of designers.

Design similar to a small child: it’s hard to say what temper it will have. I believe that the Ukrainian design is in its initial stage, but development over past two years is traceable, and increase is palpable. That is a very good trend, but it’s hard to say how it will develop and what is going to be in the end. Evolution of design in general is the internal growth of each individual. While a person doesn’t find self-confidence, a desire, and a development inside, the general trend of improvement in the design area will not come. Everything needs some time. And it’s obvious that this development can easily be stopped by some external factors.

If these processes stop for any reasons, outer or inner, design development will be slow too. The development has been absent for a long time, but I see it now. New generation has come. They didn’t live in the Soviet Union, they are not “close-minded" to nonsense of any aesthetics’ rejection.

You had to struggle with yourself in order to produce something more progressive, appropriate and artistic. The youth is growing up, they don’t know about those times, it is young people who know completely different information, they are not damaged, they have different worldview. Their works are not perfect because they still learning, but they don’t have blunders, which could knocked them out of the designers’ surroundings. It’s normal healthy tendency. See how much time is needed!? It can’t happen in a year.

As for me, Ukraine doesn’t have a competitive design school. It is at an early stage of development. Historically, there is no certain school and stuff to teach the design. Modern designers are mainly people who have graduated from the architectural universities, where they had an opportunity to learn necessary basics. The rest is their desire and self-education.

If a person has the talent and desire, eventually he’ll appear on the surface, he only needs university as a helper to start. The rest is his self- development. If person doesn’t want developing, no one would teach him, it is useless.

I came from a different area too, the med. I realized that I can’t be successful there. Thank God, destiny has brought me to the area where I feel myself comfortable, where I can develop and go up. I graduated the university and started to decorate shop-windows.

Creative people ought to be inspired by visuals, for example catchy "pictures". Color, shape and harmony. You can be inspired by the work of your colleagues or a specific subject. Although if you inspired by existing things in your area, willy-nilly you start to copy it. Designer needs to break out of the narrow field of information in order to create something peculiar and get the inspiration otherwhere. Pry something from nature, in fashion, in art or pictorial art. This is the right way to create something new in already existing.

AUTHOR: Victoria Shaynoga

PHOTO: Andrew Avdeenko

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