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Interview with Jenya Lykasova

Home > Designer Interviews > Jenya Lykasova

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

Interview with Jenya Lykasova at Friday 20th of May 2022
Evgenia Lykasova
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?
JL: Interior design is my life. I wanted to be an interior designer since I was 15, when I first saw a popular TV show about apartment renovation. After that I entered an art school. I've also got education in the Art College with a degree in creative arts. The next step in my professional path was higher education, I chose the Faculty of Architecture of the Belarusian National Technical University. I worked in a small design studio during my last year of school, where I managed to work on a rather large project by those standards - the interior for one of the bus stations in Minsk. Having successfully completed it, I got a job in an architectural bureau. All these steps were a conscious path to one goal - to become an interior designer by combining the artistic and engineering approach in my work.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JL: My studio does design and implementation of interiors in Europe and the UK. We provide services from furnishing and decorating of the already finished interiors/spaces to the complete development and implementation of a full renovation (including drawings, 3D, virtual reality tours, site supervision, furnishing procurement & installation and decoration). Team members are architects, designers and project managers. We pay close attention to all the details in our projects at every stage of work. It is important for us to make sure that the ideas are implemented in the best possible way and customers enjoy being in the spaces that we have developed for them. Over the years of work in the interior design industry, we have implemented a number of successful projects that have received awards in the leading design contests, including the European Property Awards, SBID, design et al, Archiprofi, CENTRSVET Award and PinWin. I participated in the international construction and interior exhibition "BATIMAT Russia" as an exhibitor with the MOON NIGHT project. I also took part in the popular Russian TV shows where we created cozy and modern spaces out of ordinary apartments and separate rooms - all of it being a complete surprise for the owners.

FS: What is "design" for you?
JL: For me, design is a way to change reality, bring comfort, harmony and aesthetics to it. This is what makes the world more beautiful, and helps people experience positive emotions.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JL: I have two favorite stages in the design process. The first is the first acquaintance with clients, an attempt to understand them from the inside, to feel and create a concept that reflects their world. And the second favorite part is construction. I really enjoy being on the site, involved into the implementation process, knowing every detail, feeling the concept turning into reality.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JL: I really love simple minimalistic spaces filled with textures and air, where simplicity is built on complex calculated proportions. It is very difficult to create such spaces. In this design, one mistake can cost the whole project. And I also really love lively natural forms in as art objects in such spaces. For example, a table made of brass and a rough piece of stone - if this stone was brought fresh from nature and a brass top was added to it.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JL: It is difficult to say what I did first for the company, since the company is myself. But the first thing I created as an interior designer was an apartment for my friends’ parents. I was still a university student. It was difficult and interesting and everyone was satisfied with the result in the end.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JL: I really love smart storage solutions to keep everything organized and hidden. For example, a veneered wall with invisible doors leading to a large dressing room or a pantry so that no one would notice them at first glance. Therefore, I love the modulnova factory very much. They have very interesting hidden storage systems.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JL: When I'm overwhelmed with emotions. And these emotions do not have to be positive. When there is an explosion inside, I want to throw it out, and a lot of ideas come to mind during these moments

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JL: Сomfort of use and harmony.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JL: When I’m working on something, I am completely passionate about the process, I forget about all other things (for example, that I haven’t eaten all day) and I want to quickly transfer the ideas in my mind onto ‘paper’.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JL: It is a very good question. This feeling cannot be compared to any other and it is very difficult to describe it. When a project that you had only in your mind becomes a reality it’s so touching and extremely exciting.

FS: What makes a design successful?
JL: I approach each project very individually and try to convey the inner world of my clients. Each project is like a piece of art for me, it is special and must carry its own unique idea. I try to "tell a story" or "paint a portrait of a client" using interior design tools.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JL: The first is the idea. What do I feel when I see this space? What did the author want to say? The second - how harmonious everything is, how materials and colors are combined and finally - the proportions of all elements in the space. The third criterion is comfort. It requires more time to catch it, while the first two can be seen right away. And the fourth criterion is the ‘aftertaste’. How memorable is this project? Will I remember it in a few days or a week?

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JL: Designers and architects have an important mission. By creating spaces, they shape the environment and the way people think and perceive the things around them. It is important for architects and designers, like no one else, to understand the responsibility that lies on them and that everything they create should contribute to making this world a better place.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JL: I think the design strives for simplicity, for reasonable consumption and the removal of everything that is redundant, unnecessary. Designers are increasingly aware of their responsibility for the planet, and in the choice of materials, the issue of durability, environmental damage and recycling of materials is gaining momentum more and more.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JL: In the field of interior design, exhibitions of the designers themselves do not happen so often. But we were lucky enough to act as designers of our stand at the BATIMAR RUSSIA exhibition in 2020. It was an unforgettable and exciting experience. We will gladly take part again if we are invited.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JL: You never know where your design inspiration might come from – it’s always unexpected! However, I’m usually inspired by enthusiastic clients who work with our studio. Nature and architecture are strong sources of inspiration too – the emotions I get from exploring new places are then, one way or another, reflected in new interiors. The work of recognized professionals is another way to get inspired for me as an architect: it’s not about replicating the details, but discovering new directions and approaches our studio might consider and take.

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?
JL: I’d say it’s figurative minimalism, as I tend to design comfortable, soft interiors. Of course, all the interiors we deliver are different – depending on the customer, it might be more of a Scandinavian style, loft, or even classic. However, picturesque minimalist details and patterns are still present in most of them. I strive to create simple spaces without over-saturating them with unnecessary elements. But for now, I'm just on my way to it.

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?
JL: Recently I have moved from Belarus to England. In the future, it will be clear whether the rich English culture will influence me. So far, I am completely influenced by Italian design. From the very first years of my work I have been visiting design exhibitions in Milan and this had a great influence on me and continues to be my source of inspiration.

FS: How do you work with companies?
JL: We have experience working with developers. It was very interesting and challenging as there are many constraints such as time, budgets and specifications. But everything is doable. Therefore, we can say that we have successfully worked not only with private clients, but also with large companies.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JL: In my opinion, it is very important to choose a designer based on his work. If the Company did not review the portfolio and did not talk about the design project approval stages, this can lead to disappointment in the result. Recommendations and experience of working with other companies are also important. The presence of experience suggests that the designer understands the difference between working with private clients and large companies.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JL: The first stage is the study of needs, the collection of information and the preparation of terms of reference. Then we start developing the concept and provide clients with moodboards, collages and layout solutions for approval. The next step is a detailed study of the project in 3D. We prepare not only images, but also virtual reality tours, so that customers understand as best as possible what exactly we offer them. After the 3D is approved, we proceed to the drawings and study of the entire interior filling, find suppliers, and work with the project budget. When the drawings are ready, the stage of author's supervision begins. We constantly visiting at the construction site and control the implementation of the project in accordance with the drawings. When all the construction work is completed, it's time to furnish and decorate the interior. After that, our work on the project is completed.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JL: My morning starts with answering the team's questions about current projects. Then I parse the mail. Zoom calls can then be assigned with suppliers, contractors or other professionals. After lunch, meetings can also be scheduled, or I can go to the salons to select items for projects. It's also design time, so if I'm at the interior concept stage during this period, I'll dive into the creative design process in the afternoon.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JL: I would definitely recommend attending more exhibitions and traveling and communicating more both with colleagues and contractors (which implies learning new technologies), as well as just with ordinary people. Interiors are created for people and it is important to understand modern needs,the use of technology, but all this must be full of beauty, and for achieving this goal you need to improve your artistic level constantly.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JL: As a positive, I would say that work in design sphear is means you always make something new, unusual, and you never know what will happen tomorrow. Of course there is a routine as well, but it is not comparable to other professions. The downsides are stress. It can be attributed to the fact that this is a rather stressful activity. When it comes to construction, it is important to have good stress tolerance and the ability to find a solution in the most hopeless situations.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JL: The main principles that are the basis for interior design for me are always a combination of three components: - the uniqueness and individuality of the interior owners, their vision of the world, life principles and philosophy - ergonomics of space, comfort of use and compliance with all the necessary functions - harmony of proportions, materials, colors

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JL: For an interior designer, it is important to have a sense of proportion and space, composition and color, knowledge of the design and engineering features of buildings and interior elements, creativity, empathy, and of course stress resistance.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JL: Designers, like other creative people, often find it difficult to work under tight deadlines, as the creative process is very unpredictable. But I like to organize everything, to put things in order, to create task lists, to use software to help me build project schedules (like Gantt). This is also helpful for my team to be able to track the progress and make adjustments to the timeline if needed. Multitasking is another skill necessary for a designer, since very often you have to connect different specialists together. .

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JL: It all depends on the object we are working on. For example, we implemented one of the showroom projects in 2.5 months - from concept to full implementation. If we are talking about working on the interior for a big house, such a project could take up to 3 years.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
JL: The most difficult project was my first project. I was part of a group and we designed the interior design of the bus station. I remember how I was given the task of making the layout plans for the building, all the walls of which were not at right angles to each other, and there were no corners themselves at all, because the walls passed into each other with radiuses. Now a special device can easily cope with this task, but I did everything manually, it was very difficult. But I did it.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
JL: We work with developers (А-100 Development), commercial projects in the retail sector (LaTrika brand, SELFMADE brand) and private clients. Currently we are also working on the design of a furniture collection for an Italian furniture factory.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JL: I am really interested in retail interior design and other public spheres. I must mention that I enjoy creating interiors that contain impressive elements, as the interior of a public space should be emotionally bright, unique and memorable, while the interior of residential spaces should be cozy, conducive to relaxation.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JL: Since we opened an office in London, our plans for the future are to promote the company in the UK and European markets. This is not an easy task, but we believe in success.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JL: I’m the founder of the studio and I have eight people with my team. All processes in the company are separated, so we have architects, designers, managers and procurement managers. This helps to run projects as efficiently as possible.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JL: We always share everything that is allowed by our clients. At the moment we are working on a very interesting project, but we will be able to talk about it only after completion.

FS: How can people contact you?
JL: On our website www.lykasova.co.uk there is a form to fill out, or you can send an email to info@lykasova.co.uk. Or you can call us at +44 1438 94 0809. We are also presented on instagram, facebook and linkedin, where we always answer all messages.


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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