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Interview with Polina Nozdracheva

Home > Designer Interviews > Polina Nozdracheva

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Polina Nozdracheva (PN) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Polina Nozdracheva by clicking here.

Interview with Polina Nozdracheva at Thursday 18th of May 2017
Polina Nozdracheva
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?
PN: I grew up in an architectural environment. I am from architectural family. And the question "whom to be?" was not very difficult. The best thing in childhood for me was the design the new buildings from constructions (like lego). And then - school of art, school of architecture, Moscow Architectural Institute, etc.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PN: Company ALPN exists more than 10 years (already - 12 years). During this period we have completed more than 50 projects of various functional purposes and sizes (from a small office center and a block of townhouses to the reconstruction of residential areas and industrial facilities). Many of these projects are already built or are in the process of construction.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PN: Architecture (or design) is a very amazing and mysterious process for me, where using the knowledge of many specialists and engineers created a living organism, which is designed to be comfortable, functional and to serve man. And the conductor of the orchestra of specialists - the architect, who is responsible for beauty, aesthetics and the end result.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PN: I like it when we start to object from the very beginning, i.e. from urban vision. When already at the first sketch "tab of the" basic concept, which gradually takes form, grows out of the existing urban structure in a separate element. For me, urban design and architecture are inseparable, because only in this case it is possible to create an architectural object, which will become part of the urban space.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PN: Each object is special. There is nothing that this project is more love and the other does not. The project idea germinates in the mind, there is an image, then this image appears on the paper, then drawings, designs, engineering sections, approvals, construction, etc. It's not a quick process, sometimes it takes a few years. Each project is like a child, which is necessary to carry, deliver, raise and release. And what child could be more loved or less loved?

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PN: Even I do not remember. We somehow simultaneously doing several projects in various stages of design. In my opinion, it was urban planning concept of reconstruction.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PN: I love to use wood and brick. I like to combine these materials with large areas of glazing. Also, I really like to write the object to an existing environment, leaving intact the maximum natural elements to the proposed facility was seen as a part of the natural environment.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PN: Each stage of the project is creative. Even with the development of working documentation on engineering topics requires a creative approach. But, of course, at the beginning of a long journey on the project, the creativity is maximum.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PN: I can answer the words of Vitruvius: utility, durability, beauty.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PN: The excitement.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PN: Of course, first satisfaction if done right on the project. Hereinafter, the fatigue, and then some devastation. But since we have this moment, between projects, there is a period. Then a little sadness is very fast and only desire to observe how the lives of already implemented project in "society".

FS: What makes a design successful?
PN: Literacy and professionalism.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PN: The functionality and the correct attitude to the already established urban environment are the main positive points in the design.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PN: It seems to me that the profession of an architect is similar to the medical profession. As an architect, as a doctor, responsible for human life, only in different aspects.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PN: Of course the profession of the architect is evolving. The future of architecture depends on advanced technology and new materials.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PN: One of the latest exhibitions company ALPN was IPAX in London, Great Britain in October 2016. Participation in exhibitions in the future depends on the offers.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PN: The best sources of inspiration are our environment and nature. You have to be just very observant.

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?
PN: The style of work ALPN is to be friendly to the environment and to society.

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?
PN: I'm from Russia. And of course, the Russian school of architecture has a very rich heritage. Naturally, such a historical baggage, such as the Russian avant-garde, constructivism and futurism, have had a profound impact on our projects.

FS: How do you work with companies?
PN: The company ALPN performs design documentation in full (this and urban sections, and architectural, constructive and engineering and special sections of project documentation). But, if necessary, we work with other companies as part of contractual obligations.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
PN: For me and for all my colleagues from ALPN as well high professionalism, international level and obligation of respecting precious client's resources characterize our methods most closely with knowledgeable clients.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
PN: The design is very mysterious and evens the fantastic process. The two words do not even describe the process.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PN: There is no such. Probably, if we talk about the building as a whole, I love the input space, as it is the connecting element between the exterior and interior. And so, very important for me - the ergonomics of the space, functionalism and sustainability.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
PN: Every day is so different that it is rather difficult beyond description. A clear daily routine will never exist. Have an understanding of office work, but always show the progress in connection with meetings, negotiations, business trips and construction projects.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PN: You must work as much as you can. A lot to study, constantly to watch. The architect's profession is the one profession where you have to learn constantly. There is no such that you got education and all my life to use the acquired knowledge. Modern life is such that there is a lot of new materials and technologies. But the most important is the respect for their work and diligence.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
PN: You are in this work all the time (day, night, cinema, friends....). You're on some kind of project; you're always involved in this process. I don't know - is negative or positive?

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PN: To be free.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PN: A lot of components. I can't say that this list needs to be that way and no other. For me it is very important feeling of space. Everything should be functional. Each element of the building should be in place and, in any case, not to become simply a decoration.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PN: A lot of different computer programs used for design documentation. For engineering sections is autocad, structures analysis - the other program, for presentations and concepts - the other programs. Most importantly, the presence of the brain and experience.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PN: It is not controlled.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
PN: Differently. Sometimes it takes a few months, and sometimes more than a year. There are no accurate temporal indicators.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
PN: Such issues several. But mostly: how much it costs to order the project? And could we make a project that will be unique and non-standard?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PN: The most important experience for the architect is the author's supervision of construction, when all that is conceived and designed on paper comes to life.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PN: There are completely different clients: government, public, and private.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
PN: I like to work on multi-functional and urban objects. And most of all - the totality, from the urban planning concept for the whole object, up to the moment of delivery of object in operation. Then you become the author of the complete legend of the origin of the new component of the urban space.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PN: Work to design and build interesting projects.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PN: The General concept and the basic idea - of course it is very individual work. And then, as we develop all the design documentation sections (urban, architectural, constructive and finishing all the engineering topics and author's supervision of construction), the course is a team of specialists in different directions.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
PN: Yes, there are such projects. We are currently working on two, no three objects in parallel. One of them is the object of social purpose for older people, which recently received an expert opinion, building permit design and issued working documentation for construction. Another object is a multi-functional complex, where the town-planning concept has been approved by the government and we embarked on the development of urban planning and design documentation. Another project is not very big - the reconstruction of facades of administrative buildings, where in this period of time we are now preparing project documentation.

FS: How can people contact you?
PN: It is quite elementary. The company has a website: www.alpn.ru. There are also the company and I personally have pages in social networks Facebook. We are open for contacts and collaboration.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
PN: The company ALPN knows how and likes to work.


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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