Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Mikhail Kalesnikau ("MK") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
MK : Maryna: At the age of 11, a drawing teacher noticed my abilities and suggested that I enroll in a specialized school with a focus on art and design, where she had previously taught. I was accepted after my first drawing exam. At the same time, after consulting with your family, decide on your future specialty – architect. 3 years later, she entered the College of architecture and construction. After graduating in 2006, I went to work in a small private design Studio through friends. I also decided to continue my studies remotely, studying for 6 years as a civil engineer. In 2012, I was able to fulfill my own order – it was a private residential building of 300 m2. In 2016, to receive a large order-interior design of a public area of a shopping center in Minsk, which was later awarded the "national award for the best interior". Working at such a large facility and workshop at the same time was no longer possible, so I started working for myself. Mikhail: By the time I graduated from high school, the question was who I wanted to be. I decided that design and architecture are the closest thing to me, since I like to draw and create environments. I took two months of individual drawing classes and eventually enrolled in an architectural College. Since my mother is an engineer, I have seen and understood what awaits me in this profession since childhood. After College, I was invited to work as an architect in a design organization where I did an internship while studying in College. I worked there for 6 years and gained very useful knowledge and experience. After that, I was lucky to get into a foreign design and construction company as a leading architect. There I participated in major projects, including the chief architect (not the author of the concept) of the project of the football stadium in Borisov, later this stadium entered the world top 10 in 2014. Then I was the chief architect of a large shopping center with the hotel "Green City" in Minsk. Working on such large objects, I had to look at and evaluate dozens of projects of tenants, sometimes helping them with design.
MK : We are always inventing and seeking for better and nicer way to make something. Most likely it comes from our nature.
MK : It was our decision for each of us.
MK : Interiors and furniture. We prefer to design offices and worksapces, it's really intresting to find out and then to create a comfortable office for different types of companies.
MK : Practice, the only way to become a good designer is to create more. Then to look after the result of your work learn.
MK : Great designer was more lucky. He had his right moment to become the great.
MK : Good design has a certain naturalness in all areas. It's as if nature itself created this, when you see this solution, there are no other options left.
MK : A good design will always return the money invested in it.
MK : Games and cat houses.
MK : The underwater hotel.
MK : There are no secretes. The talent and maybe some luck.
MK : Santiago Calatrava, Le Corbusier.
MK : There are so much good designs this time. It's really hard to choose and name. You can just check the list of A'design winners this year.
MK : Naturalness. The feeling it's done like should be.
MK : Our way is to be on site more. It's better to see your own eyes how this thing working, what solution is easier to produce, were you can improve some materials or use some new technology.
MK : Artist or scuplture is the alternative way for us.
MK : Functionality that is pleasant to the human perception.
MK : The design Director of a leading construction company in Belarus, Dainius Purvis, once ventured to hire me as a very young architect for a large project and gave me a shot at a large design.
MK : Fluke. But luck comes to those who are ready to catch it.
MK : The end of the construction boom in our country, which coincided with the global economic crisis. Many colleagues left the profession at this time.
MK : In a form that the client can understand.
MK : Absolutely top interior for some big international company headquarter. We wish.
MK : We like what we are doing, so the main goal to see how our design is "working properly" through the time.
MK : There completely different expectations from the architect or the designer. You never know, so you are to do the best every time.
MK : Nice look and nice feel creates nice mood. We have great experience, when in the vandal region we built modern sport arena and no one spoils it during mid season, completely no one. It was a bid surprise for local guards, so good design made someone better.
MK : Some office design and new shopping mall design. We excited to use some new technology with metal surfaces, to have some new modern look without high budget.
MK : Hard to choose, really.
MK : Improve the design level. Now, the customer often thinks that the design is just a picture.
MK : Integration of different branches of the design.
MK : At least one month, but it depends.
MK : We start from exploring the site and nearby landscape.
MK : "Need to think about it more, it might be better solution"
MK : In architecture nowadays the technologies are setting the trend.
MK : In the design process - minor, PC is an extension of your pencil mostly.
MK : CAD and 3D software to create nice picture for the client and detailed drawings for the contractor.
MK : Color creates the mood.
MK : How could we do it?
MK : We are to explore this.
MK : We are a couple either for life or for the design.
MK : After graduation, by chance, we became assistants to a famous elderly architect with vision damage. Vladimir Plyusnin taught us for 8 years. Undoubtedly, this school will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
MK : Maryna: When I was 8 years old, my father was given a book about castles and fortresses in Britain with high-quality photos. At first I looked at them, then I began to draw pictures of Romanesque and Gothic architectural monuments. There was a desire for a profession. Mikhail: great soviet book about the drawing and posters, it was a full guide how can you learn to draw and how to become an artist.
MK : To go deeper in details with every next design.
MK : We have a big list of great architects. It would be so cool to speak with them and to learn as much.
MK : We are not so famous by far. But time to time people are just come to say Hi and it's cool.
MK : Season - autumn.
MK : It's so fun to look after workers on site when they asking how was that smart guy invented this thing, like it's not possible to build. And then You can explain them in minutes what it what.
MK : Sport activity helps us a lot in motivation.
MK : Maybe for our parents. But it's hard to tell now.
MK : No one knows. Hope that good design and good architecture will last so long.
MK : It's the most interesting job in the world, but you should realize that you can't quit this. It will stay with you for all your life.
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