Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Denis Elianovsky ("DE") 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.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

DE : My name is Denis Elianovsky. I hold a Master of Design and Service of Microprocessor Based Systems from Mendeleev University. I am the founder of opium.pro software company. We work at the intersection of software design and engineering, creating sophisticated IT solutions for some of the largest companies in Eastern Europe

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

DE : I was good at it, and naturally gravitated into the field. My world view has been largely shaped by the perspective that we spend too much of our precious little time on monotonous and unfulfilling tasks. Considerate and thoughtful design can do it's part to circumvent these conditions.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

DE : My Father passed away when I was quite young, which necessitated that I find work earlier than most. Having tried my hand in laborious positions, serendipitous circumstance landed me in a design position, at which, somewhat to my surprise, I naturally excelled and felt most comfortable.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

DE : We design and provide interaction between people and complex computer systems. We have a lot more quality we’re eager and capable of delivering.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

DE : Immerse yourself in projects that you care about. Build a project around something you love. Be it a tv show, a sports team, whatever. Just get started and from there your passion projects will grow, and you will treat every assignment with the same personal attention to detail.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

DE : Their objective. You can be a talented designer and make functional work, but if your objective is simply it’s completion, you have missed the point. Quality products enamor the user to return, for the seamless experience of using the service.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

DE : To quote Futurama, If you do things right, no one will be certain you did anything at all. Good design becomes an innate part of every life, providing an invaluable convenience.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

DE : Good design can enable greater personal liberty. Time is fleeting, and no one wants to be suffocated with technocratic clutter. We should be free to practice and partake in discourse, dialogue and democracy, free of mundanity.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

DE : I know it's corny but really there's really nothing I'd rather be doing that building my own company.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

DE : The old maxims are true. Success is a mixture of hard work and luck. The latter is in the lap of the Gods, but you must do your part. If you are unsure of your abilities, say goodbye to that version of yourself and fake it until you make it. It can feel dubious at first, but better that than inaction.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

DE : I think it best to take inspiration from a variety of fields, not just agency design. The original artistic work of Chris Cunningham, the Dutch designer Marteen Baas, or product design of Naoto Fukasawa for example. I'm a sucker for MUJI stationary.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

DE : We are improving all the time. Although we are proud of every project, the newest one is always the opportunity for improvement. Our latest baby is a design for our own startup — 3+5

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

DE : I actually wanted to go to a military academy for some time after school. Not so much to play soldier, but rather it seemed a streamlined opportunity to get into q hands on engineering position. Ultimately, I settled for a less greasy form of engineering.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

DE : Design is an extension, and satisfactory realization of a desire.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

DE : Every bully, every doubter. That’s the best motivation.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

DE : Just adapting. Despite my early engineering aspirations, my complete and utter clumsiness, and inability to work with my hands forced me to look elsewhere.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

DE : It’s important to be true to yourself. Imitation, however flattering it might be, is a fine starting point, but it is a shallow end point. Few things are more refreshing than designers who can march to the beat of their own drum.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

DE : Big things on the horizon. We are launching our own financial startup in EU. http://3p5.app

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

DE : There is no goal, only the path

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

DE : Generally, both customers and partners expect to get more money working with me. But I really love those rare and sophisticated projects which are very hard to accomplish and the customer chooses the best of the best to be sure that the things will be done as they are supposed to be done.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

DE : Convenience purely for more consumption is the antithesis of a healthy society. I think convenience so as to facilitate greater personal control and time management are a fulfilling consequence of good design.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

DE : There is so much focus on AI and it’s inevitability. Not without some nervousness. However, the hand of the maker will never be exempt. Further I hope the reasons why we work, not just how we work, will also change to better reflect a healthy society.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

DE : Usually it takes at least 3 months. But sometimes it can take a year or more. The emphasis is on delivering quality. Designing for failure disrespects both the customer and provider alike.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

DE : At the end and work backwards. Meaning I have identified what’s missing, and strive to make it manifest.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

DE : I think design and trends exist independently of each other, and it is people who fight for what sets what depending on their bias.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

DE : It’s fundamental. Beginning with the technology of a pen, paper, rock and coil, and ultimately the establishment of communication between a human and a technology.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

DE : For now we make use of the Figma app. But honestly we just as often simply use pen paper. Making the process tactile and familiar, this encourages a sort of personal value and association.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

DE : Speaking of software and interface design, I would add the quality of internet connection and user's device to the list. Fast internet and modern device make any app better.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

DE : “Where can I get more of this?”

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

DE : Again, people who march to the beat of their own drum, and pursue their own goals. We find the best results by respecting peoples' personal space and not creating needless bureaucratic boundaries.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

DE : Trial and error. You cannot start from nothing, imitate work you know that works, and repeat it until you develop your own distinctive style. The more influences the better. As long as you are keeping momentum you are developing as a creator.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

DE : My own stressed out and worried family, just to reassure them that things are going to be fine.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

DE : I could get used to it. It’s an invaluable learning experience. There is so much talent out there, and it’s s joy to be a part of.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

DE : I cannot answer this I’m sorry. All these things are transient and subjective to time and place.. ok fine..red, the forest, spicy, summer, my headphones and..brands in general?.. Lego.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

DE : When we had just opened a studio opium.pro, our first customer was a large wholesaler of bathroom furniture. They never worked with the internet and wanted to try it out. So we started to make an e-market for them. We had to do some somewhat unconventional stuff, even taking photos of all their production for them. Their warehouse was placed in a village some 200km from our city. So I took a photographer and my old car and at 4am and we hit the road, for 4 hours. We knew that they had a lot of stuff and we were ready to spend the whole day there. When we finally reached the place, a customer's employee met us and walked us into the warehouse. He opened a huge door and we saw a great wall of toilet bowls. The wall was at least 15 meters high. To get a single photo, workers would unstack and present a bowl, we'd photo it, and then they'd take it away and put it back. This process repeated all day, and we had a fascinating day taking photos of endless toilet bowls. By the end of the day, we hadn't even started with photos of baths and sinks. Good thing this was in the summertime. We decided not to spend 8 hours more driving home and then back again. So we slept in the car, accompanied by the lamenting howls of the warehouse guard dogs, under the looming shadows of porcelain toilet bowl mountains.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

DE : The arc history is full of peaks and valleys, but ultimately the trend is a progressive one. I am not a utopian, yet I am optimistic looking at how far we have come, and grateful that we might contribute to better future.



Salto Rondata Mobile Application

Salto Rondata Mobile Application by Denis Elianovsky

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