Interview with Ivana Bukvic

Winner of Interior Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Ivana Bukvic shares insights


Interview with Ivana Bukvic at Thursday 3rd of May 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
IB : I haven't studied design, my educational background covers finance and accounting. But design has always been my passion and hobby. During studies I had my own fashion design studio, later I was refurbishing old apartments and than with my husband I started designing offices for his co-working space company. People say it is a talent, but I would say it's much more hard work. Talent, for sure, play big role, if there is not talent I wouldn't be a designer today at the first place.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
IB : When I design I feel free, like in my own world where everything is possible. Although, when you design for someone, it can be very difficult to meet with your clients wishes and what really is possible and would be the best solution. But what really motivates me is making people happy. After all magic is done, that look on client's face, look that says how happy and satisfied he/she is, is priceless.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
IB : Like I said, it has always been my passion. I was lucky to had opportunity to turn my hobby into a job. There is nothing better than enjoying every day of your work, no matter how stressful it can be.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
IB : We, at Ivy's design, do all kinds of interiors. Until now we have designed different offices, co-working spaces, apartments, old houses, bars and restaurants. What I truly enjoy designing are private homes, since my specialty is bringing warmth inside the space, in private homes it's all about that.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
IB : I don't want to sound like I am repeating myself but what really matter is hard work. Believe in yourself and it will come.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
IB : Anyone can be a good designer, there is no bad design. But to be a great designer you need to understand people, their emotions, feelings and needs. There is where your great talent shows up.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
IB : Feeling that design makes. My special warmth inside every space I have designed make it good as it is. Without it, it would be just average.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
IB : In interior design a lot depends on client's budget. If I see it is needed I always suggest them where to invest more money, what would paid more at the end. But it's not necessary that something cheap can't be great too. If you give a product right purpose and place you can make it good.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
IB : You have probably heard about Emily Henderson. She is my idol. She reminds me on myself, her character and personality and her design style as well.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
IB : i would probably be a tax advisor or accountant since that was what I have studied.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
IB : Design for me is more than just a job. I am emotional person and design allows you to be emotional, what means I can be how I am, and there is no better feeling than that one. Design is made for the people, and when you make other people happy by doing what makes you happy, sounds like a perfect match.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
IB : My family at the first place, my husband who believed when opportunity showed up to show my real talent. With a time, how number of projects were increasing, other people recognised my talent as well.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
IB : Realising the fact, there is always a solution for every problem and every situation. Believe and don't give up when times are hard and everything seems lost.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
IB : I would say in design, probably like in every other profession, if you want to succeed, lifetime learning is a must. Trends are changing, there is always something new coming up and someone who wants to be great in what they do must, not only be up with trends, than be one step ahead.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
IB : Nowadays with all that online world behind the screens possibilities are unlimited. Anyone can present their work today on social media and for free. Although if you are a bigger player and want to be recognised by large number of people you should consider investing some money in your marketing at the first place. Opportunity like this one, by applying for design awards is a great example how to show to the world who are you and how great your design is.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
IB : Next big project is designing new co-working spaces around USA, starting with Chicago. I am not allowed to say more about it, only that is going to be big. Keep following our social media to be updated. Other project, currently running is refurbishing more than a hundred years old house in Berlin, hat has been challenging due to protection problem since object is national heritage. All in all it is always exciting with us and I am so looking forward to what is coming next.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
IB : It connects people. When you are inside some space where you feel welcome and good, you wish to never leave it. Your positive energy is spreading among other people and makes everyone feel better now. Design inside the space is like a weather outside, when sun is shining, world looks like better place.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
IB : I am especially excited about moving my team for certain time to USA. It is going to be my first project on the other continent and for that reason also really challenging due to different laws and regulations. But more about it is coming.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
IB : Private homes. My specialty is bringing warmth inside the space, in private homes it's all about that.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
IB : It depends on the project. A lot of factors including, budget, existing condition of the object, client's wishes etc. play big role in project duration. It could be from 2 months to 6 months and more.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
IB : We always start with interviewing our clients, to get to know each other, for me to find out more about them, their personality and character. After that we have a team brainstorming, to exchange ideas and see how we can meet our design solutions with clients wishes.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
IB : We use photoshop for creating mood boards, SketchUP for 3D visualisations and ArchiCAD and AutoCAD for drawings and sketches.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
IB : All above play big role in design. Material gives expensive or cheap look, colours bring feeling inside the space and ambient is a whole picture of those two.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
IB : First reaction is I need to try it. I like to try new products by myself before offering them to my clients, so I can be sure in quality and design of that certain product.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
IB : I haven't tried yet. Maybe, one day if opportunity shows up I could try it but for now I am happy how is it going at Ivy's design.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
IB : Each space has its own story. For ErnteZeit project my inspiration was my friend, food blogger. Her lifestyle and promoting healthy eating was just what was needed in ErnteZeit restaurant. For some other projects I find inspiration in other people and things I am surrounded with.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
IB : By constantly learning new things. Always being up to date with new trends. Reading, exploring, talking with people and listening their preferences, wishes, suggestions and critics.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
IB : Like I mentioned, Emily Henderson is my idol designer. If could choose to meet someone it would definitely be her.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
IB : I wouldn't say I am famous. This is just a beginning. Ivy's design has much more to achieve in the future u´but I can't be more happy and grateful that beautiful things like this award started to happening.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
IB : Since this award is about ErnteZeit project I will say one funny story that had happened. Three days before opening, furniture has disappeared. They told us it was delivered, someone took that delivery but no-one know who is that someone and where the furniture is. It took us several days to solve the mystery, in the meantime opening had happened and neighbour bar borrowed us their chairs for the opening party. Point of this story, it is important to have good relationship with your neighbours. You never know when they are going to save you.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
IB : When you are surrounded by great people every day you don't need other motivation. And that is exactly what my team means for me, in professional life. In private life and life in general, every morning when I open my eyes and look at my kids I know what I live for.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
IB : Definitely yes! Since early years I was creating something from everything I could have found. That is why I started with my own fashion design studio during school days.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
IB : I don't like to think that far. Life is here, in front of us and we should enjoy every moment of it.