The Rules of Life: Kateryna Sokolova


ODESD2 presents a series of materials "Rules of life". These are talks with the designers of the company, where there is no place for questions - there are only the heroes' answers about their attitude to design, development and the most ordinary aspects of being. The authors of cult objects of Ukrainian design openly share their thoughts with readers, prompting everyone to an internal dialogue.

Kateryna Sokolova, architect, designer in ODESD2, Sokolova Design:

“Ukrainian designers underestimate themselves in the international market, but we deserve to be there”

My favorite objects are those that are created right now. The most favorite moment is the creative process, the very beginning of the work. The process from idea to real object is no longer so exciting, fun and inspiring. You need perseverance and strength, you must not lose the fuse: often the implementation of the project is a year or more.

I like multitasking: now there are more than 10 WIN projects. Each of them follows its schedule. The focus on one project is very tiring. When you are engaged in different tasks, you never get bored, you always have a more recent perception.

The idea of the project is important for me. Since I am against smoking, I will not cooperate with companies that manufacture cigarettes or smoking devices.

Copying in design is a violation of intellectual property rights. In fact - a real robbery, because the designer could work on something for a very long time and now loses his earnings. This is the robbery of factories that produce these items. I think this is very shameful.

Unfortunately, there are frequent cases when local architects copy my objects, put them in their projects - of course, without warning and permission. For some reason, our architects believe that no one will know anything. But we live in an open Internet environment where all projects are published and where everything is visible. They have no special excuses: everyone is so used, everyone does it, it is considered normal.

Designers are very observant people. To see all the nuances, analyze what you see is an important quality for them.

I am interested in monitoring the Ukrainian designers. I can mention Dmitry Kozinenko, Sergei Makhno - he is very original. I like what Victoria Yakusha does for Faina Design. I note the designer Yuri Ryntov from Kharkov and Sergei Gotviansky from Dnipro.

Projects for Ukrainian and foreign brands differ in their implementation capabilities. In Ukraine there are not yet many technologies or certain equipment. In Europe, there is much more technical capacity. For example, work with wood. Now I am designing chairs: in Ukraine it is difficult to find a high-quality performance of such tasks, to make the furniture durable.

The Ukrainian design community needs to unite around a certain movement. What will it be: exhibitions, contests, forums - it does not matter. We need events that will unite and give a platform for communications and competitions. In countries where there are such projects, there is a big leap in the industry.

I can not say that our guys lose in professionalism in comparison with designers from Europe or Asia. We underestimate ourselves on the international market, but we are worthy to be there. We live in an era of total globalization and the Internet. 99% of factories and brands cooperate with young designers from different countries, Mexico, China, Korea enter the arena. The chances are equal, nobody looks at nationality. Do not separate yourself and underestimate.

I am absolutely an urban person. Perhaps this will change with age, but now I'm interested in cultural events, trips to new interesting places. Though, I admit, I do not like to walk in Kiev: very disappointing. I travel a lot around the city on business, but I try to walk in parks, away from urbanization.

The Soviet legacy is more associated with the regime than with the architecture, it is slightly underestimated. Many buildings in the style of Soviet modernism do not want to protect on par with architectural monuments. But foreign tourists and specialists are very interested in these things.

Save Kyiv Modernism is a group of people, journalists, architects, enterprising young people who are not indifferent to how the city will look like. We are trying to attract the attention of the press and society. With the help of lawyers, we write letters to government organizations to protect these buildings, add them to the list of architectural heritage.

My favorite "Soviet" building in Kyiv is, of course, the "UFO" on Lybidska. Now we are fighting for this building. This is a unique and even magical building both for Ukraine and the world. I also really like Shevchenko University buildings at VDNG.

I am inspired by travel: now I dream to visit Japan and South Korea. I often visit international exhibitions, it is important for me to be in the design information field.

The strongest emotions and feelings of happiness I experience while traveling. I like to walk around the city: it's very interesting, when you are alone with the city, fully take in every side of it. I photograph a lot - I'm interested in the nuances of the urban environment.

I am a person of action. If you have procrastination, you can hang for a very long time. I think that you need to go somewhere, or change the environment.

Interviewed by Yaroslava Kobynets