The Rules of Life: design studio “Dorogaya”


Igor Pinigin and Sergey Chebotaryov, design studio “Dorogaya”:

“Product design is not a fetish for us”

Design is an incredibly wide field: you can face it, whatever you do.

We met more than 15 years ago while diving - in a scuba diving camp on the Mediterranean Sea.At that time there was no industrial design market in Ukraine. At least in a in the standard meaning. We started with graphic design, software, and then moved to the product design. From the very beginning we decided that we would be engaged in non-standard solutions.

We do not have fast projects. Sometimes they drag on for years, with rare exceptions. An extra week, an extra iteration, do not affect the process.

If the opinions in the work do not coincide cardinally, we try to close the project and never return to it. But usually our differences are not a reason not to complete the project. In addition, it is the difference in views that stimulates the creation of a better iteration.

There is never a fact the design is complete. We do not hit the bottle on the side of the chair. This is a long process.

The customer often doesn’t imagine how much effort you need to invest in the work on the object. Especially if he does not have experience of similar work. We have several projects with electronics: they contain an additional stage of work beyond our competence, and delays, as expected, occur. The finished electronics market is a very fast cycle.

We first met with ODESD2 at the SALON magazine exhibition in 2015. It was immediately obvious: their design has a practical charisma, professional approach. The bureau was open to cooperation with Ukrainian designers, and after a while we decided to work together. We chose the direction, style - and now, after dozens of iterations, months of edits and several samples, an industrial prototype for OM has been prepared.

Implementation of the project is like a dance, everyone should interact in tact. Initially, our object (OM chair - ed.) did not fit into the concept that ODESD2 could realize. It is rather nontrivial, with very difficult forms. But over time, the bureau chose more significant, more charismatic objects.

The OM project is well implemented, but we cannot say that we are 100% satisfied with it - as we are not satisfied with any of our objects. The reason is in the realities of our country. In Ukraine, there are certain limitations: technological, industrial, financial. Our product requires a complex engineering solutions and serious technical facilities and experience, which is difficult to find in Ukrainian production.

It was an interesting experience for us. He demanded a deepening in the modeling of objects, we had to master some engineering work that we previously gave on outsourcing.

The orchid mantis, which served as the inspiration for the OM chair, combines not only danger and aggressiveness, but also stunning aesthetics. We see the same thing in our product: unusual shapes, elements, while there is also plasticity. At certain angles, its steel frame really resembles a mantis.

The magnetic calendar was the best-selling among all of our objects, and, interestingly, most orders were from Moscow. The customer stopped working on it at the finish line, and we did not give it the abyss. It was this calendar that got the Red Dot.

Once, when we were still an advertising agency, we became market leaders of the year. At about the same time, we received Red Dot and many other awards. And cooled down. When you see a reward, you understand its ephemerality, its syntheticity. Now we have other criteria for success, we are doing another favorite thing.

Ukrainian product design is in the wake of the rise now. When we started, it was an empty field. In the modern world, many professions do not have state borders. However, the development of design inside the country occurs when there is economic development.

Despite the fact that we are engaged in the product design, it is not a fetish for us. Favorite object can remain favorite for a very short time. In each of them you can see what could have be done differently and made it better.

It is difficult to say what or who inspires us as product designers. On the one hand, nothing inspires. On the other hand, absolutely everything.

Interviewed by Yaroslava Kobynets