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Interview with Ivana Lukovic

Home > Designer Interviews > Ivana Lukovic

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ivana Lukovic (IL) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ivana Lukovic by clicking here.

Interview with Ivana Lukovic at Monday 11th of May 2020
Ivana Lukovic
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?
IL: Since the time I was 15 years old, I am inclining towards art and architecture, expressing that through drawings, reading relevant books, visiting exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and places of interest. Hence, the choice to study architecture and become an architect came to me quite naturally and without any doubt.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
IL: The small- scale Studio aspires to transfer the founder’s personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators while inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner. Following a creative process from the initial design all the way to its completion, it maintains intimate, tactile connection with a proposal, simultaneously adopting a unique, multidisciplinary approach to each design brief. The aura, created during the process, preserves positive psychological impact on everyday life of the user, long time after the project is completed.

FS: What is "design" for you?
IL: Design is the process where the time, along with personal feelings, professional skills and knowledge, life experience, ethical and esthetic sensibility, mind and body, eye and hand, as well as the entire persona are involved.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
IL: Bespoke, multidisciplinary residential spaces.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
IL: It is the project that deals with the reconstruction of the Apartment 24 in my native city, Belgrade in Serbia. The 110m2 place used to belong to my late parents and the best way to deal with their departure was to transform the space filled with fond memories into something contemporary, functional, and beautiful. This decision placed me in the exciting, yet challenging position, in which I had to play both role of a Client and Architect as well. The implementation of the project inspired all those involved in the process, creating enthusiastic atmosphere at the site. Completed space became a more sustainable retreat that involves all senses and brings serenity to the users and visitors.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
IL: It was interior design for the 200m2 apartment in the Athens southern suburb, Glyfada, that also included furniture design and design of all functional divisions.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
IL: I like working with natural, tactile materials like wood, rough stone, concrete etc.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
IL: When I am alone at my five meters long desk, surrounded by different samples, pencils, colors, papers, sketches and filled with enthusiasm of creation.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
IL: Mostly, I focus on natural light sources, together with materiality and functionality.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
IL: Genesis of the idea, its evolution and realization initiate powerful and stimulating visceral feeling that helps you to overcome any difficulty you might encounter during the creative journey.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
IL: Tremendous joy!

FS: What makes a design successful?
IL: When the Architect, the Client and the Craftsmen are satisfied with the part they played in creating a new Whole.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
IL: If interaction between different components creates harmonious effect.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
IL: Designer must be aware of over-consumerism of raw materials, carbon emission, overheating, water management, deadly viruses, etc. and to try to implement cleaner and more efficient processes.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
IL: I suppose 3D printing technology that is more efficient, but it is already happening, and the future is difficult to predict because it becomes present so promptly.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
IL: I am an architect, so my exhibitions are spaces that are created by me. The last space that I completed several months ago was "JN White Space", family apartment in Belgrade, Serbia. I would love my next project to be a simple dwelling at a tiny Greek island.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
IL: Continuous inspiration is deriving from the genius loci: designing architecture as a personal dialogue with the qualities of a site, while treating complexities, constraints, and constrictions as creative points of departure. Eternal food is also found in the images from the world of art, poetry, film, literature, theatre, nature, as well as in the ordinary things of everyday life with their hidden beauties.

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?
IL: I am treating contemporary architecture and interior design as an experience, with all senses involved. My work is based on the spatial exploration and experimentation in terms of natural light and materials. Simple color scheme is applied to emphasize atmosphere produced by the effects of the natural light.

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?
IL: I have been living in Athens, Greece, last twenty-seven years, although I was not born here. I was born in Belgrade, Serbia and moved here in 1992 because I always wanted to live in the capital city by the sea and was fascinated by the Mediterranean and the blue horizon that follows you wherever you go. All my professional life, I benefit from both cultures but Greek light and white cubes of islands vernacular architecture have the most powerful effect on my designs.

FS: How do you work with companies?
IL: I have mainly private clients and collaborate very seldom with companies.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
IL: Company should select designer on the portfolio and human qualities base. Once the relationship is established, company should follow instructions of the designer for its own benefit and the benefit of the collaboration.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
IL: Usually it begins by walking along my five- meters long desk in attempt to concentrate powers of imagination. Looking and touching different samples of materials with variety of their textures, browsing through books, trying different color pencils on tracing paper through unconscious sketches, looking at mementos of my travels, photographs, models, drawings, will always help me to be motivated in search for new ideas for the projects and to start with relevant sketches.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
IL: It would be: 1) “Endless” indoor- outdoor modular table, designed by me. 2) “Tolomeo” lamps in different sizes by Artemide, designed by Michele De Lucchi 3) “Eames Chair DSW” by Vitra, designed by Charles and Ray Eames 4)” Balancing Boxes” side tables by Porro, designed by Front 5) Retro espresso machine by Illy, designed by Luca Trazzi

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
IL: When I am not traveling, the most of the time I am spending in my home studio working on the new project with my collaborators; reading, listening to the music, walking by the sea or having personal yoga class or foreign language class, preparing some healthy meal or going out with friends.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
IL: To include time as a main factor in the network of possible approaches and decisions during the design process. Concerning that, I would like to refer to the part of the essay “The Trout and the Mountain Stream,” written by Alvar Aalto, in which he expresses in a metaphorical manner the importance of time for the maturing of our ideas. “I would like to add that architecture and its details are connected in a way with biology. They are, perhaps, like large salmon or trout. They are not born mature, they are not even born in the sea or body of water where they will normally live. They are born many hundreds of miles from their proper living environment. Where the rivers are but streams, small, shining bodies of water between mountains…as far from their normal environment as man’s spiritual life and instincts are from his daily work. And as the fish egg’s development to a mature organism requires time, so it also requires time for all that develops and crystallizes in our world of thoughts. Architecture needs this time to an even greater degree than any other creative work.”

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
IL: I see only positive sides of being designer.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
IL: To follow your beliefs.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
IL: Among others, it would be the ability to transfer personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators, thus inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
IL: A lot of different tools: pencils, art pen, papers, brushes, ACAD, 3DMax, art books, philosophy books, poetry books, architectural magazines.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
IL: Simply, I dedicate a lot of time to my projects, because I believe that only in that way you can achieve desired result.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
IL: I like to dedicate about two months for the first presentation of the new project. It is the most important to allow time to the initial idea to mature.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
IL: What is the cost of the project? (Quite ordinary)

FS: What was your most important job experience?
IL: It was reconstruction of the Apartment 24 in Belgrade, Serbia, because it focused on architectural qualities in parallel with the social ones. Namely, it was coordinated in three languages and supported by a few dedicated professionals from various construction fields and several countries. It was their enthusiasm, international expertise and human qualities that made realization joyful and possible, despite the challenges regarding technical and bureaucratic issues.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
IL: My clients are mainly private .

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
IL: I enjoy designing private residences, because you maintain intimate connection with a proposal and create a close relationship with a client.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
IL: Next project would be designing a house at a tiny Greek island at a challenging site.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
IL: I develop initial designs by myself and then include collaborators in every new step of the process.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
IL: No, not at the moment.

FS: How can people contact you?
IL: By e-mail: ivana@architectiva.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
IL: I would like to thank you.


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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