— You work a lot. Where does the energy come from?
— You see, designing a façade is a hundred percent collaboration with the client. When their tastes coincide, the client is inspired to work together and communicative.
Pleasing customers who are focused on results, who have the courage to trust the architect, who are open. With such customers you get successful houses.
And the process of creating pleases me in itself. So the first thing that makes me happy is the interesting process and as a consequence the good result.
— And you are a relaxed person?
— Yes, I am a mild introvert. Both in work and in life, I try to resolve everything without conflict. I set myself up for a proper dialogue. If there is no common ground, I review everything from the beginning, trying to understand what happened and why there was a conflict.
With clients you need to conduct a dialogue so that he understands: the work is taking into account his wishes, his opinion is listened to.
If a client has a completely different vision, I study their requests and try to make a harmonious design. A different point of view expands the horizons.
I always want a complex teamwork to be completed and everyone to be happy.
— Speaking of the team, does it help you?
I've had experience designing alone, so I can compare. Teamwork is a different matter. Technical issues come up, and it's great to have the knowledge of other people. You always feel the support and assistance of a colleague here, and you know that they will always help me. I see only positive aspects in the division of labor.
— What is important in design?
— You have to try to balance the desires and aspirations of the person and the current state of affairs. Merge with the beautiful surroundings or vice versa stand out from the crowd.
Even in the simplest of houses, to find an image that is unique to it. Originality in detail, zest, an unusual combination of materials.
You have to communicate your thoughts on paper properly so that they are clear.
I know how to show why it is a good design. It seems to be important.
— How do you manage the creative process?
— It's important to me to organize the space. I have a big table, lots of light, the right materials at hand, access to the Internet. Sometimes good quiet music. I have my own drafts and examples of good drawings on the wall. There are photos of architects.
I like to take breaks and change projects, so my eye doesn't get wet and fresh ideas come in. I work in the morning and afternoon, sometimes late at night - I want to sit down and draw, shutting off from conversations and noise.
After negotiations, I have to think about what the client wants; to think quietly, to explore possibilities, to look at photos, to be inspired. I try to draw a lot of different options so that the client has the freedom.
Sometimes I can't get into the mood for work straight away, so I draw for myself and analytically analyze the techniques and how the best examples of houses are made.
— Where does the inspiration come from?
— I am lucky to live in beautiful St. Petersburg where you can walk around, go inside houses and admire the details. I go to plein air, I paint the city with my colleagues. I love Northern Art Nouveau, Art Nouveau. I know what's going on, I look at exhibitions, themed events, museums.
I look at architectural catalogs and follow contemporary art news. It's all important for my breadth of vision.
The tools and gadgets themselves for painting. Beautiful sketchbooks, watercolor paper, art supplies stores.
When I travel, I take pictures so I can remember the experience later. This kind of detachment helps me see things in a new way.
I study Spanish, and I read textbooks and light books in Spanish.
— What fears does a person have to overcome?
— I struggle with the fear of change in my life. It's scary to open up to new things, to things that are upside down. Sometimes you have to overcome comfort, fixation. It's great to evolve and overcome challenges, to discover new aspects of life and work. And this is associated with change, fear of losing money, being unemployed.
If we talk about general fears, there is a lot of disturbing information right now. I shut myself off from political news, and from communicating with "negative" people. I don't immerse myself in this momentary information, so that it doesn't backfire. Emotions have an impact, you don't need heavy feelings in private architecture.
Interviewed by Alexey Vatavu