Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Natalia Komarova ("NK") 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.
NK : I have come a long way. In adolescence, I was fond of style and fashion, but I went to study for another profession. In parallel with studying at the university, I began to learn professional photography. After a while I decided to become a designer. The accumulated experience over the years of study has been very useful for me and helps in my work now.
NK : In general, I have always had a thirst for creativity. In addition, I feel the need to make the lives of those surround me better, to create something that can benefit a lot of people. I have been searching for myself for a long time and finally realized that I want to do design.
NK : Becoming a designer was my conscious choice. I went to this for a long time and I understand that this is my mission.
NK : I do the design of furniture, lamps, accessories and interiors. At the moment, I would like to devote more time to the design of upholstered furniture and engage in its production.
NK : Because of my modesty, I do not consider myself as a design legend. But I can advise novice designers to be persistent and confident. Take part in contests and exhibitions, show your work to as many people as possible in order to find your target audience. You need to work hard and constantly improve your skills.
NK : There are a lot of good designers, but only a few are great. These are people who have not only learned to do something at a sufficiently high level, but are able to identify trends, are in the vanguard and set new rules of the game.
NK : Good design speaks for itself. It is self-sufficient and complete. It should have a clear message, a structure built and nothing superfluous.
NK : Good design helps the development of human culture, as well as any creativity in general. Through design, humanity receives more convenient, practical and perfect things that help at different levels of everyday life.
NK : I would like to design large public and commercial spaces, such as exhibitions, museums, restaurants and hotels. I would be interested in working together with leading architects as an interior designer for the spaces they create.
NK : I have several such projects that I would very much like to embody. One of the first dream projects was and remains the restaurant of healthy food. I imagine a large space in eco style, equipped with modern terminals for ordering food. I have not yet been able to realize this project, but I hope I will have such an opportunity.
NK : My secret is to present familiar forms in a new way. I strive to create non-standard solutions, without resorting to excessive complication of elements. Simplicity of the design does not mean carelessness, I carefully think through every detail until I get a desired result.
NK : I am very inspired by projects of Patricia Urquiola and Tom Dixon. I am genuinely amazed at the skill of Zaha Hadid. These are people from whom I try to learn and their creative path has discovered a lot for me in the design world.
NK : I like a lot of furniture projects created by Patricia Urquiola and Marсel Wanders. For me, their work is a perfect combination of a unique idea, a sense of taste and an incredible match in the choice of color. Their style is so recognizable that you can only know a few of the works of these designers, but when you see their new project, you can guess exactly who it belongs to. These people create their design universes and they do really inspire to create. Their projects repeatedly prove that the design is able to change people's life and the author himself.
NK : I strive to find the golden middle. I always try to make the project combine interesting materials and the work of high-level manufacturers, but so that it has its own zest. It should evoke positive emotions from his future owners. But it is difficult for me to find some favorite project, because in each of them I invest a part of myself.
NK : I attribute my progress to the constant efforts that I put in learning new aspects of design. During the time that I was engaged in projects, I read a lot of design books, looked through thousands of magazine spreads and studied terabytes of video. Proper selection of forms and materials, the arrangement of light and color accents, well-built composition - all of this is of tremendous importance and it is necessary to study hard.
NK : I would become an inventor and developer of innovative products. I am the winner of business innovation technology competitions and would devote myself to innovation management or business planning.
NK : Design is a creative process in projecting buildings, furniture, accessories, etc. In a broad sense, design helps to solve important social and technical problems through the improvement and rational construction of a subject environment of a person.
NK : I am very grateful to my team, which supported me throughout the whole creative way. In addition, my parents helped me a lot with their faith in my success. Without all these people who surround me, my path to the peaks would have been much more difficult and longer.
NK : The desire to create, the feeling that I was doing the right thing and innate diligence helped me to develop designer skills.
NK : I have long started to have various ideas and solutions. But to translate my ideas was not easy at first, because I did not have the full range of tools and skills needed to be a good designer. Over time, through my mistakes, I began to understand how to better present my design, make it interesting and catchy.
NK : A presentation should be clear and clean to not complicate the perception of a viewer. An idea and a creative message should not contain anything excess. Best features of a design must be brought to the fore, designer should think over its presentation and the content of a color palette and light.
NK : Now I am working on the design of a new lamp, which, it seems to me, will be able to attract the attention of a potential buyer with its unusual and original form.
NK : I wish to expand my team, improve my professional level. I want to continue to create stunning and beautiful things that improve the life of people. I hope that I can develop beautiful interiors and furniture that will outlast me. Perhaps my path will inspire even more people to be bold and go towards their goal to do what they love.
NK : I can assume that those who already liked my design are waiting for me to continue to engage in such projects and continue to develop my style. It is important to always move forward, because progress does not stand still, and therefore it is expected that subsequent work will correspond to the spirit of modern time and respond to the actual needs of society.
NK : Design offers solutions to social and domestic problems. Through design, you can draw people's attention to difficult situations and make them think about important things. High-quality design can greatly facilitate the life of society, offering a more convenient and thoughtful way of existence being surrounded by household items, architecture, etc.
NK : Now I spend a lot of time creating unusual light sources that will help decorate an interior and bring a touch of comfort to the atmosphere at home.
NK : Those projects, when I and the client both liked the result. Mutual understanding and comfortable work on a project make design process the most effective. Such interaction between a client and a designer is most preferable in work and allows you to create interesting solutions.
NK : I would like to see more design institutes with a focus on a practical use of acquired skills to open in many countries. It will allow to accumulate more people in this area and help to bring global design to a new level.
NK : More and more designers are paying attention to environmental problems, they are looking for materials to replace natural ones. Some use recycled materials for their products. There is a creation of complex materials from different components and we can see the development aesthetics of complex new combinations.
NK : The specifics of a project determines the amount of time spent on its implementation. Something can be done in a few weeks, and some large projects need a year to be finalized.
NK : I start working on a new project with an interview with a client. It is necessary to understand well what he wants and determine his needs. Then I develop technical specifications and proceed to create sketches.
NK : My motto is to enjoy the design process and let others enjoy the result of this process. I strive to bring benefits to people and give them bright emotions, so I understand that I am fulfilling my mission.
NK : I believe that trends and design mutually influence each other. It is a process of interpenetration, in which sometimes one element becomes more important, and sometimes another, depending on the situation in the design field.
NK : Technology certainly strongly influences the design process, helps to achieve the set task faster and thus facilitates the process. 3D modeling, for example, helps to quickly form an image of the final result, in order to prepare the necessary plans and presentations for the manufacturer.
NK : I mainly use Autodesk Autocad and 3d max - it solves most of the tasks associated with visualization. Corona Render, used in this program, is very convenient to use and gives a very juicy and realistic picture, so I prefer it. For the formation of folds and other small elements of a model, which in 3d max is problematic I use the program named Marvelous Designer. An image obtained after render is processed in Photoshop in order to give it artistry and add certain visual effects.
NK : Probably any professional in this field will say that a skillful use and complementarity of the color, materials and ambient in design is one of the most important elements for both designer and customer.
NK : It would be interesting for me to speculate on how my ideas are born, where I take inspiration, what way I used to work. I would like to discuss these questions with people interested in design as well as me.
NK : I feel joy. I like to see the evolution of design. It is nice to know that there are people who develop design as a whole, from whom you can learn something.
NK : Everyone has their own vision and their own style. It is not always possible to come to a common opinion, but it is important that the other person could critically refer to your work and help to improve it. For me, such people are members of my team.
NK : My parents had a very big influence on my development as a designer. Mom always paid attention to aesthetic issues, and dad to issues of construction, as he himself is engaged in this. Therefore, I equally pay attention to constructive and external aesthetics in a design process.
NK : I read and continue to read a large number of books. These include fiction, educational books, fashion magazines, and monographs of people from the world of design and fashion. It seems to me that it is not only literature that influences my design, but all the accumulated life experience in general, and therefore it is difficult for me to select a particular book which influence turned out to be the greatest.
NK : I am a person obsessed with her work. I devote all my time to working and improving my skills. I try to participate in all stages of work from interviews and sketches to the final result.
NK : As I have already said, Patricia Urquiola is my idol in the design world. I would be glad to meet her in person, to communicate and work together. I consider her a very inspiring person.
NK : I do not perceive the victory in the competition as the accomplished fact of my formation as a designer. I do not concentrate on this and continue to work. I always understand what I still need to learn and what to strive for. Victory is a pleasant moment of life, but I try not to take it very seriously.
NK : The neutral colors inherent in warm materials are closest to me. Such as terracotta, ocher. My favorite place is home, where there are parents and a special atmosphere. In terms of food, I have no particular preferences. For me, it’s not so important what I eat, but in what company I do it. My favorite season of the year is the middle of spring. In Russia, the change of seasons is very noticeable. After a harsh winter, when everything is covered with snow, the onset of spring literally marks the birth of a new life. Nature comes to life and it gives a charge of new forces and bright emotions. My favorite thing is a pendant around my neck, which I have been wearing for over 13 years. My dad gave it to me as a charm. It always keeps the warmth of a loved one who gave it. I am inspired by the projects of Cassina. It collected in itself the work of great designers, each of whom is a self-sufficient person. Together they create a mix of ideas and forms that evoke a lot of emotions. In general, there are a lot of brands that inspire, but the first one that comes to mind is Cassina.
NK : In the first office, we painted the walls ourselves. The front door was open and everyone passing by could see us in polyethylene, respirators and paint. About two hours after the start, a woman came into the office. To my question: “How can we help you?”, she answered - “You would rather need help!”. This situation then made us laugh and we realized that it was time to take a break from work.
NK : If people around me like what I do, it motivates me to create even more interesting decisions.
NK : No, I did not understand. I was a child, for which the most frequent question was - "why?". A lot of things in the world interested me. I drew attention to various deatails that other people were not interested in, and partly it formed in me those qualities that helped me become a designer.
NK : I believe that the space-time frame will change. People will explore the space of the universe, cross vast distances in search of new worlds. The world that seems to us large will seem to descendants as small as a grain of sand. Our modern ideas about the world in thousand years will seem to be extremely primitive.
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