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Interview with Anastasia Krylova & Maria Tvardovskaya

Home > Designer Interviews > Anastasia Krylova & Maria Tvardovskaya

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Anastasia Krylova & Maria Tvardovskaya (AM) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Anastasia Krylova & Maria Tvardovskaya by clicking here.

Interview with Anastasia Krylova & Maria Tvardovskaya at Sunday 27th of April 2014
Anastasia Krylova & Maria Tvardovskaya
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
AM: Maria: I have been working in the sphere of international education for 15 years by now and was always fond of styling, fashion, my hobby is hairdressing. Since I started my own consultant business in 2005, I focused on design education mainly in Italian schools as I consider Italian design is the essential one in the world: it's aim is learning through doing. I am happy to communicate with educated and purposeful young people aiming to achieve high professional goals. Thus, in 2012 I decided to join my efforts with Anastasia Krylova for our mutual projects Russian Design Pavilion and RUB design book which are aimed to support young Russian, Ukrainian and Belarus designers in their promotion and development. Anastasia: I am a creative director, independent curator and design critic, graduated in art history from Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) in Moscow where I wrote my first academic research focused on the relationships between art and industry in the Italian design from the beginning of the twentieth century to the Memphis movement. In 2007 I went to Italy to take the courses in Industrial Design and Interior Architecture at Italian Design Institute (IID) in Perugia (Umbria) where I was particularly interested in exhibition and food design. Almost immediately I began collaborating with the Umbrian branch of National Association of Industrial Design (ADI) and contributing articles to several local editions. In 2011 I was awarded for the best publication in design at the 2nd Scientific Design Forum in Moscow. After exploring approaches to design studies both in theory and within practice, in 2010 I set up an international platform “Creativirus” for promotion of contemporary culture by the means of strategic planning and art direction for companies, artists and designers. In 2012 I started successful collaboration with Maria Tvardovskaya.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AM: Maria: Profi2profit is my consulting project functioning since 2005. I advise the students the best options for their career and personal development, which course is the best for them, what school will fit then better. Besides consulting, I have participated in many promotional activities as the universities' representative in TV show and other exciting competitions supported by such companies as Nissan and Toyota, also, I took part in various design festivals and events (Design Act, Moscow Design Week etc.) or organized independent master-classes with Italian professors and designers. A&M: Together we united our experience for the projects RDP and RUB DESIGN book. It took us 1,5 year to publish the book and from 2012 till 2014 we arranged several exhibitions with our design participants, the most important of them were in Florence (Florence Design Week, May, 2012, 2013), London (100% Design, September 2013), Milan (FuoriSalone, April 2014). Anastasia: Creativirus is an international platform for action on contemporary culture that deals with strategic and cultural planning and art direction for companies, artists and designers. My agency has a strong creative strategy based on the highly qualified team to promote art and design advancing cultural exchanges among Russia and Europe and create professional partnership.

FS: What is "design" for you?
AM: Maria: I consider the design from various purposes. The most essential for me is the convenience of use and expediency of the object along with its quality. At the same time, I can be amazed by products of emotional design which are becoming more and more functional now caring not only decorative role. Anastasia: Design is a strong and important process that has a particular influence on society and it can in many ways affect our well being. It is as well outstanding as a competitive "weapon" when it comes to visualising a business strategy.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AM: Maria: Working in consultancy, my favorite are happy students who enjoy the right course, the right school, devoted friends and professional colleagues. I am happy to lead them to the right direction where they can perform the best. So human design is the most important for me. Anastasia: art-direction and promotion, organization of the events/projects which achieve both commercial success and cultural/ social/ historic value.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AM: Maria: If the favorite one means I use it every day, I am happy about it and feel gloom when can't use it for some reason then I would name my very convenient bedroom orthopedic mattress, esthetic looking and ergonomic. The only minus of it if that it is not eternal and I would need to change it one day.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AM: A&M: Probably, our RUB DESIGN book was the driving project for all the rest - RDP design exhibitions and expo brochures. Even though the process of collecting the material took about a year and we made the presentation of it in Milan in 2014, we made a huge job that allowed us to arrange the exhibition during FuoriSalone which we even could not dream of in 2013!

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AM: Maria: In technological point of view, I am not too advanced but I appreciate the speedy internet (which can be a problem in public spaces, for example), this makes the communication easier and faster. In philosophical point of view, I prefer live human relations as there is always a person or a team behind any object, service or event. This is the platform/technology which I use in my work daily.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AM: Maria: After having read a great book or learning something new, or after dancing or watching the backstage for some fashion show, or after spending time with my family during the trips, or if I manage to cook anything tasty that my family members or friends enjoy. Also, some people that I admire, their deeds and mark in history can encourage me for something useful, from my point of view. Anastasia: when dancing, cooking, visiting art and design exhibitions, antique places, meeting interesting people and especially, when you see results of your activities and your family to be happy.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AM: Maria: For me everything should make sense, the more useful, innovative design is the better, esthetics comes along but can be subjective.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AM: A&M: During the work on our exhibitions and the book we felt that we are making something useful, important and big, that many people need to push the design as industry in Russia. Our ex-participants started making independent exhibitions which proves the necessity of our work, we encourage designers for working in the world community. This is our social input in design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AM: Maria: Honestly, after these two crazy years I feel exhausted and happy that we lead the planned projects to the end. Anastasia: We are on the right way. It is our vocation and fortune.

FS: What makes a design successful?
AM: A&M: There could be several factors: the right object/service in the right time and place, its quality and expediency, its production, promotion and distribution. For may mass market designs, the wow effect or right here-right now effect can play crucial role and quality would be the second thing to think about.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AM: Maria: I base my judging on the folk wisdom as I would treat a person: "Clothes don't make the man" and "All that glitters isn't gold". Of course, for design the exterior of the product does matter. However, if it is made with quality but I don't like the form, it is necessary to understand the sense of this product or service, the experience that a user gets interacting with it, then I can make my final decision. In an ordinary life, it is usually "yes" or "no" for things that makes my life better or easier.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AM: Maria: It is a difficult questions. If all people were responsible for what they should be we would not have corruption as minimum as there is no such a responsibility to steel. The problem is that if a designer or any other person would like to make something for a society or environment he needs to have sources for living as this "work" is usually for free. In other cases, a designer tries to find a job of his dream in one of the leading design companies or opens his own design studio just to make money for living, make himself famous and ,thus, authoritative, and perfect his skills under supervision of experienced masters. In a commercial world, the policy of a company or market dictates what to design. In this case, the ideal is to choose the company that shares one's beliefs towards the society and environment to work within this company on one wave and be honest with oneself. This question corresponds to the designers who feel this responsibility. However, there are plenty of those, more artistic, who just would like to fulfill their creative potential and the esthetic and natural beauty, people's excitement and appreciation is more important to them.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
AM: Maria: From my point of view, product design will continue to be developed in new technologies of materials, production and distribution. If it saves money of producers, environment sustainability will be implemented. I also see the deeper focus on design of services including computer technologies and human resources in the most convenient way for people as Apple, search sites, banks, medical institutions and other companies offer.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
AM: A&M: We held the Russian Design Pavilion: Milan edition with 17 Russian designers and studios in FuoriSalone in April 2014. The coming events are the presentation of our RUB DESIGN book and possible mutual design exhibitions within St.Petersburg Design Week (May, 2014) and Innoprom&Global Industrial Design Forum in Ekaterinburg (July, 2014)

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AM: Maria: My family, work in education consultancy and communication with young designers or colleagues-professionals. Also, living in Russia and knowing its huge potential in people and resources it is very sad that we don't have yet design as a sector of economy. So the problem becomes an opportunity. Anastasia: I have always studied design and worked with design. I can't imagine my life without design. It's a natural part of me. I simply do it and inspiration follows me.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
AM: Maria: human approach, professional experience and new challenges. Anastasia: innovation, responsibility, open-mind, collaboration.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
AM: Maria: I was born and live in Moscow. Obviously, the place a person lives in or where he has grown up and also people who were his teachers effect on a person's perception of the world and his talent realization. I guess for Russia in general and Moscow especially the most appropriate word is "eclecticism". Anastasia: From 2007 I have been living in Italy but I have always worked in promotion of my culture in Europe within art and design project, mainly, to eliminate the stereotypes.

FS: How do you work with companies?
AM: A&M: On the organizational level we try to make the collaboration mutually benefitial, we use cross-PR, outsourcing and other technologies.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AM: A&M: To communicate more with various designers and check their portfolios and work experience to get a better understanding of what can be added to company's value through design and though a concrete designer. A designer should share the company's values to achieve higher results. Pay attention to the recommendations on the quality of design from design community (professionals, design contests, awards etc).

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AM: A&M: We design events for further PR for our design participants and our services, so first comes the idea of the event/service, then a plan of its fulfillment, then search of sponsors, work on the project and realization.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AM: Maria: I would name my bedroom orthopedic mattress made by Consul holding (Russia), a garden wheelbarrow from OBI which is very light and stable and holds a RedDot design award, iPhone and other Apple or Apple related products (audio amplifier), and BMW, simple and safe. Anastasia: crystal set by Mateo and ceramic title by Dima Loginoff, both are the best exsamples of contemporary Russian design, kitchen LUBE, famous italian brand (for me it's the best in kitchen design), some French bath decorations and accessories and sovietic radio receiver Alpenist 321.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AM: Maria: It can vary from time to time but nothing extraordinary from the life of a working mom. If I am with my kids attending school and kindergarden, 7am - start of the day, breakfast, 8 am - see my kids off to the school and kindergarten, 9.00 -14.00 - work at the computer or have meetings, lunch, 15.00 - household chores (food shopping/ cooking/home cleaning, clothes washing&ironing), 17.00 - kids' dance classes, 19.00-20.00- dinner, 20.00-22.00 - time with kids (playing, reading, homework). If my kids are with grandmothers, I can devote the whole day to work (emails, projects, students etc), in spring-autumn period I try to mix the work at the computer with the work in the garden or do things about the house. I am always busy with something but to switch from work I like spending time with my family, reading, dancing, learning languages, hairdressing or meeting with friends. Sometimes, I manage to do all this in one day! Anastasia: No one day of my life (both professional and private) doesn't pass without a glass of prosecco!

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AM: Treat the other as you would like people would treat you, respect people, be curious and keep on learning out of design frames. There are plenty of wonderful things apart of design in the world, experience them and your design will reflect your personality and not only a design research/statistics/data analysis.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AM: From negative it might be the dependency on the client who orders the design (as he might think he knows better what he needs), or lack of sources that would limit your professional performance, from another hand, it can also be an opportunity to search for new ways of realization.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AM: A&M: Every problem can be solved.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AM: A&M: Self-confidence but not arrogance, communication skills, technical skills for a certain design area he/she works in. Open mind and desire to learn.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AM: Our minds, experience and everything around.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AM: Maria: I have deadlines and other things to do apart the work in design area that make my life more or less balanced. Anastasia: I am a actual organized and self-disciplined person which follows the deadlines and distinguishes private and professional parts of life.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AM: A&M: For our RUB DESIGN book we collected material about 1 year and 4 months were spent of translations, work with texts and editing, another month or so was spent for printing. We have other projects running at the same time and limited resources.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AM: A&M: From our practice as we also ask designers the questions, the main is "Where do you get your inspiration?"

FS: What was your most important job experience?
AM: Maria: every new work experience is valuable for me but the most important was the start of my own project in 2005 when I got clients who needed my professional advice, who were thankful for my work and recommended me to their friends. Then I realized that I prefer an independent occupancy rather then work in a corporate culture. Anastasia: when I became the Promoter for the Russian contemporary art of Federculture - Federation of Public Services for Culture Tourism Sport and Recreation of Italian Government (Rome) and when I received responsibility to organize the first Russian Design Pavilion in Italy from Lungarno Collection (Salvatore Ferragamo Group).

FS: Who are some of your clients?
AM: Maria: My clients are mainly individual designers and students wishing to get the education/degree abroad, sometimes I arrange the tailor made courses for groups. Anastasia: Creativirus agency clients: cultural organisations and associations, photographers, designers, festivals and design weeks, media-agencies. A&M for RDP: designers, studios and production companies, also design/alcoholic/fashion of other brands wishing to support our projects.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AM: Maria: Independent one or with mutual goal oriented people. I am keen in design consultancy but would like to learn more about jewelry design, for example. Anastasia: strategic promotion and art-direction. I like to create and organize projects which achieve both commercial success and artistic/ cultural/ historic value.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AM: Maria: I will proceed with my design consultancy practice. The coming events are the presentation of our RUB DESIGN book and possible mutual design exhibitions within St.Petersburg Design Week (May, 2014) and Innoprom&Global Industrial Design Forum in Ekaterinburg (July, 2014)

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AM: A&M: We have our independent projects (Creativirus and Profi2profit) for the RDP and RUB Design book we work together.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AM: A&M: We are promoting our RUB DESIGN book published in English, spreading it among European factories and production companies. Our aim is to make Russian, Ukrainian, Belarus designers known and noticed by world design producers for further collaboration. Also, we are open for new projects in international design or education. The next projects: presentations of RUB Design Book at St. Petersburg Design Week (May 21-28, 2014) and at Innoprom (July 9 -12, 2014), Ekaterinburg, Russia.

FS: How can people contact you?
AM: RDP: http://www.russiandesignpavilion.com/#!contacts/con8 Anastasia Krylova 33 Sette Martiri St. Orvieto, TR 05018 T: +39 0763 393824 Mob. +39 3341517040 russiandesignpavilion@gmail.com www.creativirus.it Maria Tvardovskaya Moscow T: +7 495 743 29 42 profitoprofit@gmail.com www.profi2profit.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
AM: Thank you for your high appreciation of our activities!


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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