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Interview with Sergei Savateev

Home > Designer Interviews > Sergei Savateev

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

Interview with Sergei Savateev at Tuesday 5th of May 2020
Sergei Savateev
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?
SS: I was interested in creation and creativity since childhood. I was permanently doing something by my hands. I painted scenes, I drew. I used to make furniture and had completely changed the feel of my room at my parents’ home during adolescence. But my choice of university has been done with the help of my parents and due to the circumstances. So I had came away from creativity for eight long years. But it could not last for a long time. And I have changed my life rapidly and dramatically, so that makes me proud of myself and non-regretting even for a minute.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SS: I showed a high interest to the creation and creativity from an early age. I was constantly doing something with my hands. I drew the pictures, painted. I did the furniture on my own in adolescence. But when I had to choose the University, I gave In to circumstances and my parents’ opinion. That’s why I moved out from creativity for the long 8 years. But it couldn’t last for the long time. And I had changed my life quickly and decisively; obviously I’m proud of that fact and don’t regret about it even for a moment. I have stopped doing engineering and have started doing individual interior design as a freelancer, in fact I began cooperating with architectural and development companies since autumn 2008. I had sent an application form to the prestigious design competition Neuhaus and had won the-first degree diploma in December 2009. Then I made a decision to found my own design - studio - it happened after 2 years of independent leading projects. So, I have founded my studio and recruited first employees in the autumn of 2010. We have done a number of design projects together, accumulated the experience; whereas the permanent staff has been formed. The studio was renamed as SAVATEEV.DESIGN in 2014. I have been uniting a team of high-qualified professionals over the years. Designers, 3d-visualizers, engineer, architect, draughtsman, project managers and experienced construction team work under my guidance. I manage the role of top-designer in all my projects. The Experience and professionalism allow us to bring ideas into the life. Our projects are implemented in Russia and abroad: in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Sochi, Ufa, USA, Germany, Finland and Israel.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SS: In reality, «design» for me is my input into the world’s beauty, the possibility to lose my track at this planet, to help people to live in precisely individual environment with the high art level. Design is a mission and vocation for me.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SS: My core activity is interior design of the luxury living apartments. Probably, each designer has his or her favorite working style. I do my projects in my author’s style, as I name it. I create a complex blend from the technologies, forms, materials, light and subjects.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SS: I think that I can’t highlight a certain one project, which was created by me. The thing is that I’m grateful to each created project, to each client, for whom I was working for. And I try to do my further projects better and better! In comparison with previous one. So that means for me that each new project is a kind of the challenge to myself. I hope that the project which I will name as “the great” is ahead.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SS: I have created my first interior design, when I was working as a freelancer. It was a unique work. The client asked me to create interior design, which could have something common with the style of the «Star Gate» series. He, his wife and his child would be living with that design style. I mean it should be a cozy family apartment, that is stylized with the space thematics. And I have managed with it! I had got so many gratitudes. Even the mother of my client said thanks. It was my first implemented project and my first project, that was published in the national interior design magazine.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SS: Different types of materials are used in the interiors. Its’ unique properties and quality are very meaningful for me.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SS: Finding new creative thoughts and inspiration is very big and important process. It is needed to get new visual information for inspiration, and that’s why I adore travelings.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SS: I am projecting the placement of furniture and the walls primarily. This the basement or fundament of the functional design. After everything was planned in the ergonomic and logical manner, I am imagining the global view, a super idea. And only after that I am sorting tiny details, color scheme and finally I am picking up interior subjects.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SS: The moment of creativity, creating something new catches me, fulfills me with the energy, it is very exciting period of time. As psychologists say, I feel the sense of flow.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SS: It makes me excited, when my projects are coming to the final and I begin to see all the good looks, that were existing at the paper only before, for real.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SS: Yes, I think that every designer has his or her own method, his or her unique approach. I can share with you mine. My recipe is that. While creating even the most complicated design I try to exclude unnecessary things. I suppose that it’s the hardest part. And it seems to be a sign of the premium-class. I mean the ability to see what should be left and what should be removed. In other words, the ability to determine the golden ratio and having a strong sense of proportion (what does it mean “enough”?) are “must-have” things.. 14. I think that I can’t highlight a certain one project, which was created by me. The thing is that I’m grateful to each created project, to each client, for whom I was working for. And I try to do my further projects better and better! In comparison with previous one. So that means for me that each new project is a kind of the challenge to myself. I hope that the project which I will name as “the great” is ahead.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SS: The main goal of design is creating harmonious fully artistic environment which fits for humans’ life. That means that pretty good design should aim not only for abstract objects or basis creating, but for the satisfaction of the key needs of the user, such as: -safety; -functional utility; -the compliance of the environment to the personal status; -environmental friendliness; -esthetics. If these points are realized successfully, that means that the design is really good.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SS: Design is the engine of progress. Designers set the trends, make manufacturers creating new materials and technologies. Also designers’ ideas can get manufacturers to interfere some changes in production technologies, to take ecological factors and its impact on the environment into account. These are designers, who can form new and progressive ideas. But trends and opinions could be turned to the damaging for ecology side by professional designer community. I hope that it will never happen, but designer should always think about it.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SS: Things change in the world every minute. The field of interior design is not an exception. From what I observe, I can conclude that a major part of the services of that design type, which belongs to the low and middle price segment will move to online, while the amount of designers will grow, and the bulk of these services would have a typical format, till the designing complete automatization with the usage of AI (artificial intellect). The high-level design will still remain luxury individual service. The requirements to the real luxury design will be at the high-level, and neither AI nor online-services won’t manage to substitute that, at least in the nearest future.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SS: My inspiration is about answers of my conscious to my questions. The more I ask questions or ask to show me the solution, the more new different images I need to see. That’s why the first thing, that I need to do for my inspiration, is to see, to observe, to be interested in everything around me and to communicate with different people as much as possible. Sometimes it requires to drive to a new location or to the trip. And there is one more source of inspiration for me - it’s music.

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?
SS: I don’t work in the only one style. In addition to design, I’m drawing pictures, as you know and in both of these spheres I also try to create authors’ images. Time to time it could be similar with famous historical styles and sometimes it doesn’t look like something else. There are so many world-recognized designers, who are working at particular genres and they are really good at it. I have chosen the way of creating something new.

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?
SS: I was born and live currently in one of the most beautiful cities of our planet, in my opinion it is Saint-Petersburg, Russia. This city has unique and diverse historical architecture. Without any doubts it had left a trace on my taste and ideas of the perfect things. Also it taught me to respect the masterpieces of the past. I’m sure that it could be very hard to realize what they did nowadays. While you are living in such city, surrounded by such cultural heritage, it’s actually very hard not to become a creative person. Saint-Petersburg is known as a cultural capital of Russia for good reason, as I think.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SS: I’m cooperating with a lot of companies - real estate agencies, development companies, various materials manufacturers, furniture and interior accessories wholesalers. Same way I’m interested in them, they are interested in my services. Our cooperation increases the quality of the service for the clients, they get an integrated approach and that’s very convenient, in my opinion.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SS: When I’m starting a new project, the first very important point for me is personal meeting with the client, the discussion of his/her preferences and requirements, acquaintance. I tell my client about the main key aspects of further work and listen to him. From the dialogue I try to build a synchronization, to feel his/her mood, to imagine the atmosphere of the interior, which he/she wants to get. If I manage with synchronization building, we can hear and listen each other, we feel mutual trust and respect, in such case my team and me are beginning to work.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SS: If I should outline only 5 favorite types of design items - I would mention pendant lamps, flooring, wall coverings, bathroom equipment and textile.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SS: My each of the days starts from working moments. I try to have all the work done since morning till 14-15 p.m. That’s coming up to 12 years. I practice interior design and everything related with these thematics every day. The second part of the day is usually spent for hobby or for new business directions development or for taking a rest.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SS: Every designer is one-of-a-kind, everyone has his or her own vision and author’s style. But, as for me, I think that the more could-do person has the better it is. And one more important thing - it’s exactly necessary to try to widen your own outlook, to make new hobbies and get new knowledge. My credo in the sphere of working processes is rather simple. Trust your intuition.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SS: When you are doing your really loved activity, you can’t consider it as work. You are not tired from that activity, otherwise, you are charging your inner batteries. But that profession has one nuance - especially it’s significant when you manage your own design bureau - it is permanent upper-level mental activity. That’s why if you would like to keep your conscious clear and prevent it from losing ideas in the extra thoughts, privacy, meditation and traveling are required.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SS: In short, «golden rule» can be concentrated in «trust your intuition, remove everything that is not important».

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SS: Firstly, interior designer should have really extensive experience of real practicing in interior creating and shouldn’t be afraid of fails at the beginning.There is a good proverb - the one who does not work is not mistaken. Surely, I have had a lot of various situations. 12 years of unstoppable practicing have taught me to look at any extraordinary situations in another way, to take them as a part of working process, and consider them just as tasks, which should be resolved. Secondly, leadership skills should be well - developed, because the designer only knows what exactly and how precisely it should be done to realize his idea for 100%, and that means that he or she should be able to communicate and explain, and even insist on something. And above all, the designer should have an open mind, because it is quite important not to miss out the main thing - it is the creative spirit.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SS: My team and me use a lot of various programs, frameworks and different technical equipment for creating a project. It includes programs for sketches and collages creating, for design drawings making, three-dimensional modeling software and applications for photo processing.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SS: Time is a very important resource. And I exactly couldn’t succeed in everything without my assistants. I spend a lot of time for not doing everything by myself, but making accurate tasks for my team. It’s quite important, if you want to be on time everywhere.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SS: The exclusive decoration projects of interiors are quite complex in the technical meaning and I’m making high demands to its’ realization. Talking about the terms, we can analyze 2 projects. The fist one is a flat in the apartment building with 140 square meters area to design and the second one is a private house with the square 340 m.It’ll take 2,5 months to make the concept of the design, the package of 3D visualizations and the set of technical drawings for the flat and house packs require 4,5 months. It’ll take 10-12 months in the «all-included» format with the authors’ control to realize the project of the flat and house designing and transforming into the reality needs 20 months in the same conditions.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SS: I guess, that the most frequently asked question, which I usually listen to as an interior designer, is «help us to start working in collaboration with you, what should we do firstly?» And «can you conduct process organization?»

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SS: I think that my most important experience is a complex of everything that I had passed through and what I had done in the design field during 12 years of practicing. It’s priceless. And if we would outline something in particular - in that case I think it was making the project of private apartments from the scratch till the complete finishing during 6-month period. It was very interesting, creative project with the complicated inner architecture. Also it was technically complex.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SS: Usually, my clients are top-managers, entrepreneurs, show-runners, famous people and people from the high society.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SS: I am encouraged by the projects, where customers are ready for the bright solutions. Thanks God, that I have had a lot of such wonderful clients and I hope it’ll be continued.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SS: I manage 3-5 projects simultaneously. To date, my team and me are preparing for the delivery 4 projects, these are 3 flats and 1 fancy private house. I’m overlooking design phase of the one interesting private home.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SS: My team, headed by me, is working on the projects. I’m a founder, leader and chief - designer of Savateev.Design.

FS: How can people contact you?
SS: I’m always available by Skype, WhatsApp and Telegram. My number is +79119221600. My nickname at Skype is @Sergio-design. My e-mail is: info@savateev.design. If you would like to call me, please, use the number of my assistant Angelina +7988 1581174. It’s also registered at WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram. Angelina can speak English.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
SS: I would like to say thank you to all the organizers and jury of Award Design Competition. You are doing a great deal! We are transforming the world to the better together!


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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