Victoria Yakusha is a Ukrainian designer and architect, an author of numerous residential and public interiors, the head of Yakusha Design studio. She is the holder of 15 national and international awards. Since 2002 she has been implementing projects of varying complexity in Ukraine and abroad.
Tell us about Victoria Yakusha? First of all, I am an architect and interior designer. I have got a degree in design both in Ukraine and France. I am the CEO of Yakusha design studio http://eng.yakusha.com.ua/about that developed over 150 projects over the last 12 years. 3 years ago I also launched the ethnic furniture collection FAINA where I can express myself also like a product designer. In addition I am leading the design school “Interior Study” http://interiorstudy.com where we have small groups of interior designers who want to improve their background with practical and ultimate knowledge in design.
What is your background? Besides Ukrainian architectural university in Dnipro city, I also finished at the architectural faculty at Institut national des sciences appliqués in France.
What are your creative philosophies? Laconism, naturalness, functionality – 3 columns in my design philosophy. I like working with natural materials: clay, greenery, wood, wool. Also I love laconic minimalist forms and you may see it in 99% of my interiors or design objects. I don't like interiors that are mixed and complicated, I prefer to make any project "emotionally pure", so that the image is understandable to anyone.
What are your inspirations? My main source of inspiration is nature, particularly in Ukraine, as we have so much of it – The Black sea, Carpathian Mountains, endless fields and wild forests. I was born on these lands and of course feel a strong connection with our nature, our roots and traditions.
Tell us about your brand? FAINA was born in 2015 as an artistic response on important social processes that started during that period in the Ukraine. In the middle of the battle of our people for the recognition of the Ukraine as an independent country with its own dreams and choices, I was thinking of how I could help, to make a contribution. My answer is FAINA - a collection of furniture in the style of ethno-minimalism, a modern view on Ukrainian history and traditions. With FAINA I intend to put Ukraine on the design map of the world, not to be a copy but to bring new vision and ideas. And I hope my dream will come true.
What changes have you noticed in your industry? For these 3 years in the area of furniture design, I have been developing a lot – visiting all the biggest trade shows and also being an exhibitor myself in Italy, The Netherlands and France. I see the reaction of visitors and colleagues in Europe to FAINA collection, all of the interest in Ukrainian rising designers and it makes me feel that we are moving on a right direction. Most of all, FAINA collection attracts the attention of lovers of minimalistic interiors who, in an age of globalization and ubiquitous spam, appreciate "more space" and silence in their homes. I am trying to create design objects honestly, using natural materials, and being responsible for the environment.
Tell us about some particular highlights of your career so far. One of my interior projects was included in «BEST HOME DESIGN» - list of TOP 40 world’s best home interiors in 2014. Furniture collection FAINA won first prize at the Bologna Design Week (Italy) 2015. In Ukraine some of my projects won such design competitions as «Interior of the year», Architectural Awards.
If you could change some things in your industry what would they be? I would allow young designers more opportunities to develop their ideas – they are the creatures of our future! I think we need more support on the development of new intelligent materials and sustainability in architecture. With ecological crises people will value natural materials more and more but we have to think about the recovery of resources, smart consumption and responsible architecture and design. The industry of design should also work on developing shared spaces, integrated urban constructions as populations in big cities are growing dramatically.
Why makes you different? I love every project I do, this maybe doesn`t make me different from others but it definitely changes the attitude and the result in the end.
What projects have you got coming up? We are working on new objects for the furniture collection including some which were presented for the first time in Milan 2018.
What do you love about your homeland? I live in Kyiv, the greenest capital in Europe. Of course, I am enjoying the great number of parks and forests that we have. I can say that this city is very comfortable to raise kids and as a mother of 3, I am trying to spend every free moment with my family in the nature.
What trends can you see coming ahead? I believe there will be 2 different trends (as everything in our world – to have balance): one – more and more globalization, integration and unification, and second – back to our roots, individuality and culture. As designer I am working on the second one in order to create “our own face” in design, to present our culture to the world and open doors for future Ukrainian talents in this field.