Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Ivana Lukovic ("IL") 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.
IL : 1991, Architect, MA, School of Architecture University of Belgrade, BELGRADE/SERBIA 1997-2020, Own Architectural Studio engaged in Housing projects- Interior design- Furniture design- Architectural competitions- Exhibition design, ATHENS/GREECE
IL : It is a prospect of experiencing the completed space, that is a part of my mental world, as well as the design process itself expressed through numerous sketches, drawings, models, writings, renderings, etc. The visceral feeling, created during the genesis of the idea, its evolution and realization, is so powerful and stimulating that it helps you to overcome any difficulty you might encounter throughout the creative journey and stay motivated.
IL : Since the time I was 15 years old, I am inclining towards art and architecture, expressing that through drawings, reading relevant books, visiting exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and places of interest. Hence, the choice to study architecture and become an architect came to me quite naturally and without any doubt. My parents just supported my decision.
IL : Mostly, I design bespoke, multidisciplinary residential spaces and that subject is my preference. I would like to design simple dwellings at Greek islands, situated at some challenging site, because the unique scenery and atmosphere of these places fascinate me.
IL : They should include time as a main factor in the network of possible approaches and decisions during the design process. Concerning that, I would like to refer to the part of the essay “The trout and the mountain stream” written by Alvar Aalto in which he expresses in a metaphorical manner importance of time for the maturing of our ideas. “I would like to add that architecture and its details are connected in a way with biology. They are, perhaps, like large salmon or trout. They are not born mature, they are not even born in the sea or body of water where they will normally live. They are born many hundreds of miles from their proper living environment. Where the rivers are but streams, small, shining bodies of water between mountains…as far from their normal environment as man’s spiritual life and instincts are from his daily work. And as the fish egg’s development to a mature organism requires time, so it also requires time for all that develops and crystallizes in our world of thoughts. Architecture needs this time to an even greater degree than any other creative work.”
IL : Great designer knows how to orchestrate his collaborators to achieve realization of his idea.
IL : When the components create harmonious Whole and involve all your senses.
IL : When we are surrounded by cleverly created objects and we are experiencing cleverly designed spaces, we feel positive impact on our entire being.
IL : I would design contemporary version of vacation home by Le Corbusier in Roquebrune -Cap- Martin in French Riviera, for my family. I like the idea of functional, miniature space where you emphasize the beauty of natural light, surrounding scenery and materials applied. Location could be anywhere, however, tiny Greek island would be my preference.
IL : I have just mentioned above.
IL : It is my ability to transfer personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators, thus inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner. Good collaborations make realization joyful and possible.
IL : I am inspired by a lot of people and it doesn't have to be necessarily only from the world of architecture and design, but also from musicians, poets, film and theatre directors, authors, chefs, nature and from the simple everyday events.
IL : It is a broad subject, but, personally, my favourite space is Dominican Convent Sainte-Marie de La Tourette, famous piece of architecture, designed by Le Corbusier. During my visit to this this place of silence, I was exposed, unexpectedly, to such an overwhelming spiritual power that created in my being a strong emotional reaction.
IL : It is reconstruction of the Apartment 24 in Belgrade, Serbia, because it focused on architectural qualities in parallel with the social ones. Namely, it was coordinated in three languages and supported by a few dedicated professionals from various construction fields and several countries. It was their enthusiasm, international expertise and human qualities that made realization joyful and possible, despite the challenges regarding technical and bureaucratic issues. It is, also, excellent in terms of natural light sources and ventilation, materials applied and functionality. Result is sustainable retreat that involves all senses and brings serenity to the users and visitors.
IL : I believe that they should expose themselves through traveling to the new images of architectural situations, landscapes, art exhibitions, museums, exploration of local flavors, major events regarding music or theater etc. All these subjects of interests, that improve them personally and professionally, will become part of their memory, patiently waiting to be the initial point of departure in the future creative project.
IL : Again, I would become designer!
IL : Design is the process where the time, along with personal feelings, professional skills and knowledge, life experience, ethical and esthetic sensibility, mind and body, eye and hand, as well as the entire persona are involved.
IL : My late parents, my husband Dario, my wonderful friends, my cats.
IL : Strong belief.
IL : I prefer to think about obstacles as advantages.
IL : Impeccable presentation is important as it shows the time and emotions that you invested in your project. It also shows the respect towards the client which is the foundation of the successful collaboration. I believe that the print version and electronic version are both important and should be provided.
IL : Next project would be designing and executing humble, experimental dwelling at a tiny Greek island at a challenging site.
IL : To improve myself every day as an architect and as a human being by involving all senses.
IL : Dedication to the project and desired outcome.
IL : Designer must be aware of over-consumerism of raw materials, carbon emission, overheating, water management, deadly viruses, etc. and to try to implement cleaner and more efficient processes in his creative journey.
IL : Currently, after completion of family apartment in Belgrade "JN White Space", few months ago, I am dedicating a lot of time to further reading and drawing and it brings me a joy and peace in this period of self- isolation. I see it as a preparation for the new, exciting project.
IL : I enjoyed the most designing private residences, because of the possibility to maintain an intimate connection with a proposal and to create a close relationship with a client.
IL : For me, as a sensitive human being and as an architect, I would like to see, urgently, transformation of our day to day existence like solving existential human question, need for Shelter ( with capital S) for all. The importance of that matter is beautifully expressed in the following text by Gaston Bachelar "Poetics of the space": "Our house is our corner of the world...it is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word. ...It is an instrument with which to confront the cosmos."
IL : I suppose towards more efficient 3D printing technology that is already happening, and the future is difficult to predict because it becomes present so promptly.
IL : It takes about two years from the first sketch, through drawings, models, permissions, construction site, etc. to the moment when you are able to experience the completed space. It is quite a journey.
IL : Usually it begins by walking along my five- meter long desk in attempt to concentrate powers of imagination. Looking and touching different samples of materials with variety of their textures, browsing through books, trying different color pencils on tracing paper through unconscious sketches, looking at mementos of my travels, photographs, models, drawings, will always help me to start with relevant sketches in search for the new ideas for the projects.
IL : Follow your beliefs.
IL : I believe that trends are ephemeral and really good design is eternal.
IL : Initial sketches are always by pencils and different drawing tools because I enjoy the contact with them, after that comes technology that is necessary for other qualities.
IL : Auto CAD for Windows, Adobe Photoshop, 3DMax
IL : To achieve desirable atmospheric space, it is important to establish harmonious interaction between color, materials, light.
IL : I like them to feel the space more then to pose questions about my design.
IL : I feel joy for the creators of these great designs.
IL : I am more solitary type of architect but I like collaborating with different people once when I established the path that I would like to follow. I believe in co- design but still it didn't have satisfactory result when I tried.
IL : Discussions with some Professors during my studies, my colleagues and friends. These conversations were not necessarily only about architecture but about a lot of other subjects as well.
IL : The list would be very long, but "Parallax" by Steven Holl was one of the books that I was reading and re- reading because it made enormous impression on me. The author explores in a poetic way the relation of a spirit in architecture and discoveries in science and perception. It is beautifully written in short, essential sentences and accompanied by artistic photographs of natural phenomena and architecture, sensual water colors and architectural drawings of Holl's projects.
IL : Gradually, willing to improve my Studio.
IL : Le Corbusier and Leonard Cohen come first to my mind.
IL : No comment.
IL : Red, Folegandros island in Greece, anything from the sea, end of summer and early autumn, Caran D' ache metal pencil, Vitra
IL : It is always funny when clients wish to provide you a drawing so you could have a point of departure.
IL : Colorful, healthy breakfast,classical music, scents of Mediterranean herbs and plants from my terrace, piles of books and surrounding filled with natural light, are always motivation to start creative process.
IL : I always wanted to be an architect.
IL : I am focusing on present which is already past the moment I am writing this.
IL : Thank you for your time and attention.
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