Designer : design elements

15
Jul

Interview with Julliana Camargo

categories Designer, Interviews    

“The biggest mistake is not to create with the heart.”

Julliana Camargo

It’s time for an inspirational interview again. Please come with me to São Paulo to meet architect and interior designer Julliana Camargo and to enjoy Julliana’s bold, warm and inviting interiors.

What does a happy day in the life of Julianna Camargo look like?

A happy day in my life starts with my family. I’m married and I have two girls, Maria who is 5 years old and Luisa who is 8 months. After taking care of my kids and enjoying this morning moment, I love running.  Every day I can I go run. Those simple things make me happy.

Do you have a daily routine?

I don’t have a routine in my job. Every day is different. Sometimes I go early in the morning to the studio and sometimes I like to go around in the city to discouver new things, make contacts. I love to feel the city, to feel the people… São Paulo is an amazing city but my job happens in the studio, so I love to stay there and see everythig happening , I love to participate in all my projects from the begining till the end.

When did you discover your love of interior design?

My family loves to travel… Since I was a like 10 years old, my father and my mother used to travel first around Brasil and then to Europe and the US… So I learned to apreciate good things in life, not just architecture, but to eat, drink, live …  I love arts and fashion too….

How did you get your first assignment?

When I just graduade from the university, I had a friend that asked me to do a project for her house. She wanted professinal work and pay me very well. Perfect for a first job :-)

Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

I think that I am infuenced by my feelings and emotions in the particular moment… If I am interest in Brazilian art, something in my project will have Brazilian art… I hear all my client’s desires and I mixed them with a little bit of colour…

How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Studying the elements and the space … It’s very important to visit the place you are working on several times in different times.

What is the biggest decorating mistake people make?

I think the biggest mistake is not to create with the heart. And sometimes a see a lot of repetition around… Why do your house have to be the same as your neighbor’s?

What do you suggest people do to transform their homes?

First of all, I suggest to contract a professinal to help. Let the professional work and if you don’t like it, ask for change. I think, this works well because you are going to have differents ideas and mixed them with your taste and your feelings will help you to complete a great project.

What do you love to do when you aren’t designing?

I love, love, love: Be with my family. Travel. Visiting a museum or an artist studio. I really love walking in the city. In São Paulo sometimes you have to make an effort to walk. I love running.  My husband is a triathete and he is my inspiration to keep running.

What are your favorite books?

I love all the books from Chico Buarque.

Do you have a favorite movie?

All movies about love.

What are your favorite places in Brazil?

Trancoso, Praia do Espelho, Ilha Bela.

What does success mean to you?

Do what you love and never stop doing it.

Imagine you’re teaching a class in the school of life. What would be your tips?

Feel everythig… Taste, smell, touch, hearing, see… Imagine differents forms. Find happiness. Believe.

photos: Julliana Camargo

1
Jul

Interview with Ramon Pleysier

categories Architecture, Designer, Interviews    

“I’d like to think that my kids might look back at my work in the future and be proud of what dad achieved – it’s not about the money.”

Ramon Pleysier

An elegant simplicity. Sleek, modern houses. Residential architecture has never been so beautiful as in the work of the Australian architecture and design practice Pleysier Perkins. I’m excited to chat with Ramon Pleysier. Ramon is in Melbourne. I – at the Black Sea. Wherever you are, I hope you’ll join us. Ramon Pleysier not only has an incredible portfolio but also four young children. The director of Pleysier Perkins Architects loves Mid-century architecture and going to the movies. Heartfelt thanks to each and everyone of you who ordered my e-book Celebrity Designers: 50 Interviews on Design, Architecture, and Life. I hope you enjoy the new interview with Ramon Pleysier as much as I did.

What does a happy day in the life of Ramon Pleysier look like?

I think, it would be time with family and friends. We entertain often and try to avoid discussing work too much. Apart from potentially boring your guests, it’s a good time to focus on more important things like life!


Do you have a daily routine?

I start work mid morning. This allows me to help out with the kids activities and I can avoid the morning traffic. We have four young children (7.5, 6.5 and 4 year old twins). So our home life is busy to say the least! I get home just in time to kiss the kids good night and then relax with the wife and debrief on the day – no work after hours. Apart from scribblers, because they are still fun.

When did you first discover your love of architecture?

I always wanted to draw, one way or another. I remember being fascinating by a house just up the road from where I grew up. I could never understand why I was taken by this house (maybe it was the sports car in the driveway :-) . I still love this house today. I can still appreciate the design and how it hugs the landscape so beautifully. I never found out who designed it but I would certainly be happy to have it in my portfolio.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

I hope the answer to this is simplicity. I try to avoid following trends and aim for the homes to stand the test of time rather than having a “date stamp”, a bit like the old house I first admired still looking great fifty years on. I think the key to the success and longevity of a project is the selection and composition of materials and form. I think, this pursuit is endless.

Looking back at your first project, what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

I can honestly say that my first project was an amazing experience. I had a great builder with a client that showed amazing faith in me. I remember at the time feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility to them as a family. I still feel that sense of resposibility now but with many projects under my belt I’m more confident that I can achieve a good result.


What architecture moves you most?

I still love Mid-century architecture – always will.

What are the most important design elements?

Most important… it’s got to work! Colors, finishes and materials are nothing if the spaces are not on brief.


How does your house look like?

I have a 1960′s house that I’m slowly restoring. Flat roof, exposed beams etc. The house was essentially intact and I’m very careful to restore to the original intent rather than inflict too much of my own design on it.

If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

Hmmmm… Budget free on any project would be nice.


What do you love to do when you aren’t designing?

I love going to the movies and to see a show on the big screen.

What are your favorite books?

Sounds boring but I love architecture books…


What are your favorite places in Australia?

Hard to go past the beach particularly now with the kids.

What does success mean to you?

I’d like to think that my kids might look back at my work in the future and be proud of what dad achieved – it’s not about the money.


Imagine you’re teaching a class in the school of life. What would be your tips?

Work your ass off (unless you have wealthy parents :-) .

Don’t ever give up.

Be fair and always show compassion.

Always be there for your family and friends – they need you and you need them.

photos: Pleysier Perkins Architects

10
Jun

Interview with Claire Rose Staszak

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Confidence is the best accessory.”

Claire Rose Staszak

It’s time for an inspirational interview! Please come with me to one of my favorite cities Chicago to meet the interior designer and yoga instructor Claire Rose Staszak of Centered by Design and to enjoy Claire’s bright, authentic and stylish interiors.

What does a happy day in the life of Claire Rose Staszak look like?

Well, on a happy day here in Chicago, the sun would be shinning and there would be blue skies with puffy little white clouds. I’d start the morning with yoga class, and then grab juice or coffee with friend. The rest of the day would be filled with client meetings or design work, and everything would go off without a hitch. I’d meet my husband for dinner somewhere lovely with alfresco seating, and sip a glass of bubbly. Then I’d be in bed and asleep by 10:00 p.m.!


Do you have a daily routine?

Right now my schedule is all over the place! I’m finishing my design degree, running my business, working on client projects, teaching yoga and interning for Nate Berkus Associates for the summer! Needless to say, my schedule changes frequently. I love interior design because you can be working on something different each day. I’ve found that it’s a career that is the perfect combination of creativity, organization and detail. It’s analytical yet creative, which is totally me!


When did you discover your love of interior design?

When I think back to my childhood, I remember always loving fashion and vintage clothing and furniture. One of my aunts owned an interior design business that I always admired, but it never crossed my mind to study art or design when I was younger. It was really through my need to be more creative in my work, and a job I took at a Chicago art center that I discovered my knack for interiors (and became motivated to return to school at age 30).

How did you get your first assignment?

My job at Lillstreet Art Center involved arts programming for the community, and the center needed a larger event space. I became the project manager during the renovation process. I was not the lead designer, but everyone pitched-in and it was a collaborative process. I managed “Styling the Loft” and various marketing photo shoots as well. It was then that I realized I had a knack for interior design.


Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

I feel that literally anything could give you inspiration for a room, that’s what is so magical about interior design. I always like to create a digital mood board of imagery to help the client and myself get a feel for what we are going after. In a more practical sense, many clients already have pieces you need to incorporate into the design plan. Those pieces often set the tone for the color palette, based on if they’ll be re-upholstered or not. I do find artwork particularly inspiring, and I’ve been given the advice to always pick paint last (because there is always a paint option) – though I find that really hard to do!


How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

It’s hard to achieve good scale in a design, without referencing other principles of design such as balance, emphasis, movement, rhythm, etc. They all become important for achieving a harmonious looking interior. Generally, if your room is large and you have high ceilings you can use bigger, more imposing pieces of furniture. For a more dramatic look, you might use lower, more modern and sleek pieces in a traditional space (with high ceilings) to play with the scale of the room. Also, make sure to use the blank space in a room; don’t just think about filling up the space, but where the space can breathe. This helps move the eye around the room, and I particularly enjoy spaces that feel like they have just the right amount of “stuff,” not cluttered, but clean and open.

What is the biggest decorating mistake people make?

People are afraid of color so they keep everything beige! Also, I think people miss out on utilizing window treatments; I feel that dressing the windows (even simply) can really complete a space. Also, buying artwork that is too small.


What do you suggest people do to transform their homes?

I think the lowest cost and highest impact transformation is using color in your space. Paint is low cost, and can be very high impact done in the right way. I love the brand Farrow & Ball, just reading their website and painting tips, any novice can choose excellent paint color combinations.


What do you love to do when you aren’t designing?

I love to practice and teach yoga!


What are your favorite books?

I recently read WILD by Cheryl Strayed and just loved it! I tend to love memoirs of strong, independent women. All The Light We Cannot See was another recent read that I really enjoyed.

Do you have a favorite movie?

I feel silly saying this, but one of my all time favorite movies is CLUELESS. I just celebrated my 30th birthday and we had it playing on a big screen (silently) behind the party celebration. I love the fashion elements, the love story, and the lessons learned. I must have watched it 100 times as a pre-teen.


What are your favorite places in Chicago?

Too many to list! Our museums are world class and I love visiting The Art Institute of Chicago and The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. I live in Logan Square and it’s become a foodie-focused place lately. I highly recommend the restaurants Fat Rice and Lula Café. We love the tiki bar Lost Lake, and the gin bar Scofflaw. Otherwise, you’ll find me at farmer’s markets in the summer, and curled up by the fireplace in the winter.


What does success mean to you?

This is a question I often struggle with. There is so much pressure today to run not only a business, but also an outward facing brand and that your success is determined by your number of followers, press or media deals. I believe if you work hard, put forth full effort, and are good to your clients you will see your business succeed. If I can run a business I’m proud of, take care of my family, and possibly grow to employ others that would be success in my book. Also, a book deal would never hurt. : )


Imagine you’re teaching a class in the school of life. What would be your tips?

-      Confidence is the best accessory.

-      The love you take is equal to the love you make. (The Beatles)

-      The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. (Picasso)

-      Breathe more and deeply! Close your eyes, breathe and try to meditate for just a little bit everyday. Here’s a great meditation exercise for beginners.

photos: Claire Rose Staszak

18
Mai

Interview with Andrew Howard

categories Designer, Interviews    

“For me, success cannot be measured monetarily.  Success is being happy at work and home, always doing the right thing, and being able to attract great clients that are enjoyable to work with.”

Andrew Howard

Thirteen years ago, Andrew Howard walked into a design store for an interview and walked out with a job that would change his life. That day was the beginning of a thrilling journey. Andrew Howard’s bright, bold, light and stylish interiors has first grabbed my attention in 2013 when he was named by House Beautiful and Traditional Home as one of the Top Young Designers in America. I’m happy to talk with the talented designer today. I do hope you’ll join me. We are going to sunny Florida to chat about decorating, daily routine and some of Andrew’s favorite things. Are you ready?

What does a happy day in the life of Andrew Howard look like?

A great day for me involves spending time with family and not thinking about work.


Do you have a daily routine?

I try not to. I like to mix it up and always am trying to do things in a better way. The things that I did yesterday can always be improved on so I am always looking to do things better and more efficiently.


What inspired you to get into design?

Two of my four parents are designers so that was a big influence.

Is there a designer who has influenced you?

Jim and Phoebe Howard – without a doubt – have been my biggest influences.


What is the biggest decoration mistake you see people make?

Rugs that are too small for their rooms and hanging art too high.


What do you suggest people do to transform their homes?

The quickest way is painting a room a color that may be a bit outside of your comfort zone.

What do you love to do when you aren’t designing?

Hang with my wife and two sons, play golf, and running (I am an avid runner, although it may not look like it!)


What are your favorite books?

Anything by Pat Conroy, Mark Hampton on Decorating, and Jeffrey Bilhuber Design Basics.


Do you have a favorite movie?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Goonies, and Back to the Future.

What are your favorite places in Florida?

Jacksonville and Palm Beach.


What does success mean to you?

Success for me cannot be measured monetarily.  I think success is being happy at work and home, always doing the right thing, and being able to attract great clients that are enjoyable to work with.


What are the most important design elements?

A room that allows for good conversation and great laughs shared amongst friends and family is always a success in my book.

photos: Andrew Howard Interior Design

18
Mrz

Interview with Alyssa Kapito & Vivian Muller

categories Designer, Interviews    

It’s time for an inspirational interview! Please come with me to New York to meet the incredibly talented young designers Alyssa Kapito & Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller Interiors and to enjoy their bright, bold and stylish interiors.

How would you describe your style?

Tailored chic, with a nod towards the traditional.


What inspires you to get into design?

It’s something that was very innate, we’re both very creative people, so something artistic felt natural to make good longlasting products for people.


How did you get your first assignment?

We started getting requests from friends to decorate their homes and at some point we realized that we should consider opening up shop. We’ve been very lucky to have wonderful clients.

Is there a designer who has influenced you?

We love Thomas O’Brien, Stephen Sills, Steven Gambrel and of course some of the greats like Jean Michel Frank.


Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or the painting that sets up the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

It differs from room to room. Rugs are a great starting point for rooms but we also like to get inspiration from our client. What is their vision and how can we improve on that?


How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Sense of scale is quite difficult because there aren’t any rules, you really have to pay attention to the individual room. Observe its height, its width, its shape and let those things dictate proportion. There really isn’t a guidebook for it. One piece of advice though is to try to mix it up and avoid having all of your furniture at the same eye level.

What is the best thing about starting your own business?

The freedom to be creative in the way you want to be.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Hopefully still loving what we do as much as we do today.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Photography. Our instagram handle @kapitomullerinterior is a testament to that.

What are your favorite books?

We love design books. Thomas O’Brien’s American Modern is a favorite, as well as Remodelista’s retrospective book.


Do you have a favorite movie?

The Talented Mr. Ripley has fabulous interiors.


What does success mean to you?

If you love going to work everyday, we would consider that a success!


What are the most important design elements?

Scale, proportion and color.


photos: patrick cline for rue

2
Mrz

Interview with Juan Ignacio Ramos

categories Architecture, Designer, Interviews    

Juan Ignacio Ramos with his his children Ignacio and Soledad

It’s been awhile since the last interview. Thanks to each and everyone of you who haven’t stopped sending me emails asking when the next one will be posted. Special thanks for the lovely emails of Asa from Finnland, David from New Zealand, Annalisa from Belgium and Johanna from Sweden. I’m working on my decoration book putting decoration love into words and photos. There is no much time left before it goes to print in September. But the interviews on the blog are back. Please come with me to Buenos Aires to meet architect Juan Ignacio Ramos of Estudio Ramos.

What was the moment when you knew you would be an architect?

My father is an architect and I remember as a very young kid going to his office and scrawling on those old drawing boards. Probably since then, I thought I would be an architect. I always wonder what would have happened if my father had had a different career.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

There are several things that connect all our projects. First of all, our main focus is the well being of our clients. Through our designs, we try to make their daily lives more satisfying and pleasant. Also, in every case, we take into consideration issues of scale; in relation to our clients, and in relation to subjects of sustainability. Obviously, aesthetic considerations are fundamental: the noticeable horizontal lines, the combination of very few elements, the care for the proportions and the simplicity.


Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

I still appreciate my first project very much, the Sternberg House. It was very revealing and I learned a lot from it. I understand that my work is a long learning process, and I am happy with the innocence and freshness of that first commission.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

I enjoy the creative process and walking through a finished assignment. But if I had to choose one, it would be designing. The joy that I experience every time I finish a design is huge.

What do you love to do when you are not designing?

I love listening to music, appreciating art and practicing sports. Art is a big source of inspiration.


What are your favorite books?

Art and architecture books.


What are your favorite places in Argentina?

Buenos Aires, its suburbs and Patagonia.


What does success mean to you?

I feel very fortunate in being able to do what I like and sharing it with my daughter Soledad and my son Ignacio who are architects as well and my partners. To me, that is success.


What’s your advice to upcoming architects?

To draw a lot and to trust the lines, because the solution always comes from the drawings.


What are the most important design elements?

I believe that the most important elements are the same in architecture as in music or painting: light, color, texture, proportions and harmony.

26
Mai

Interview with Kasper Salto

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Don’t count on inspiration. It will not happen. Good design is just like other areas: pure hard work. A quote from Vincent van Gogh: Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

Kasper Salto

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with Danish designer Kasper Salto. I’m drawn to his work and its focus on a simple and distinct design language. Kasper Salto graduated from the Danish Design School and lectured at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. He has continued the Danish tradition in industrial design and was awarded several significant prices. Kasper Salto is inspired by the thought behind things. He loves tennis and reading biographies. His favorite places in Denmark are Copenhagen and Rørvig. Enjoy the interview! I sure did.

NAP chair for Fritz Hansen

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer?

After graduating as cabinetmaker I decided to apply for The Danish Design School.


What is your design vision?

To make good longlasting products for people.


You don’t design by impulse but by relevance. Can you describe it further?

Inspiration is impulse, relevance is a long search for what we actually need in this world. To try avoid making “just another chair”, but really try to improve things surrounding us.

Rosendahl timepieces MUW watches Red Dot Design Awards 2013 by Rikke & Kasper Salto

Is it true that you don’t believe in inspiration? You just get into the work and try to get the small things together or to see the big picture?

Don’t count on inspiration. It will not happen. Good design is just like other areas: pure hard work. A quote from Vincent van Gogh: Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.


What is for you the perfect chair?

It’s comfortable, lightweight, strong and affordable.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Thinking, drawing and making, and then discovering all the errors, and then again, thinking, drawing and making….

The Nosy T Lamp by by Salto & Sigsgaard

If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

I love my limits!


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Spending time with my family.


What are your favorite books?

Biographies. Especially, the one about Steve Jobs.

Ice Chair for Fritz Hansen by Kasper Salto

Your favorite places in Denmark?

Copenhagen and Rørvig.


You have been awarded several significant prizes. What does success mean to you?

New jobs comes a little easyer than before.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Making things better than before.

28
Apr

Interview with Tim Cuppett

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Success is making a difference and having fun while doing it.”

Tim Cuppett

It’s Monday morning and time for an inspirational interview. Please come with me to Austin, Texas to meet architect Tim Cuppett.

What was the moment when you knew you would be an architect?

In the second grade.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

If it doesn’t add to the solution, get rid of it……edit, edit, edit.


Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

The way its drawn is the way it gets built (if you have a good contractor). Problems don’t work themselves out in the field.

What do you enjoy most in your work?

When I know it’s just right, my hair stands up.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Looking around and trying to figure out what makes a place great.


What are your favorite artists?

Cannot identify “favorite”artist.  Music and Architecture both use rhythm, crescendo, harmony, etc….to affect the way we feel.

What are some of the most amazing buildings you’ve seen?

Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, Gaudi’s Barcelona Cathedral, Pawson’s Monestery at Novy Dvur, Tadao Ando’s Modern Museum in Ft. Worth.


What does success mean to you?

Making a difference and having fun while doing it.


What’s your advice to upcoming architects?

Travel and work as far away from home as possible.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Relation to context: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Aristotle

16
Sep

Interview with Andina & Tapia

categories Designer, Interviews    

“The most important design elements? Everything that awakens senses… materials, textures, colors, art and emotions.”

Mónica Andina & Fernando Tapia

It is my pleasure to welcome Mónica Andina and Fernando Tapia of Andina & Tapia – one of Madrid’s leading interior design duos. I am impressed with their creativity. Whether houses, restaurants, commercial spaces or boats, they are spot on. Andina & Tapia’s signature look? Casual design that awakens senses. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic, functional, casual, fresh or sophisticated, depending on the project, we love shifting from one to another…


What inspired you to get into design?

Monica: As a kid I used to make houses with my father´s cigar boxes creating models without noticing… Also I was lucky enough to get a close view to Mexican interior designers and architects, who captured me into this world.

Fernando: I have always loved art, antiques and spaces. When I was young I have never thought of it as a way of life and suddenly I found myself decorating other peoples’ houses.


How did you get your first assignment?

We where invited to design the lobby of L´Oreal offices in Madrid… After that friends of friends of family…


Looking back at your first project what decorating knowledge do you wish you had back then designing the interiors?

The most important would have been the experience of years of work… But also, less fear and more strength when saying the no´s. Maybe an administrative partner would have made the beginning easier.


Is there a designer that has influenced you?

Monica: At the beginning Barragan, Yturbe, Legorreta; after, an endless list of designers, all who on their own style create projects with soul.

Fernando: Hoffman, Hicks, Douquette… so many designers, periods and artist.

Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the colors palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

It depends, some time the space itself, some times a piece the client has, a fabric we saw and both loved or a great piece of art… after that the rest seems easier.


What do you do if you want the room to feel calm and serene?

We try to balance the layout, use clear colors and tend to use a lot of fabrics and natural materials like woods or stones.


How do you achieve a good scale?  Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Scale is very important not only to achieve, but also, sometimes to break with some XL piece to create an statement. I think Scale and proportion come naturally after a lot of work, study and contemplation.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Monica: I find very exciting the begining of the project, adapting spaces for the people who use them and achieving surroundings to be enjoyed.

Fernando: At the end of a project when you get the chance to see and evaluate your own work. When designing a restaurant… the first time I eat.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Monica: Spending time with my family, watching my kids grow, traveling, above all having fun

Fernando: Entertaining and being entertained, traveling, flip through magazines…

Who are your favorite artists?

Monica: Each artist is special and unique on its own, at the time Paul Lisak surprises me a lot.

Fernando: Russian Constructivism, Abstract expressionism, Spanish Court Painters… So many artist and styles


Your favorite books?

Monica: Depending on my vital moment I look for a different literature, the greatest thing about books is that they can create a parallel space or enhance a real emotion. Lately focused on research books.

Fernando: Again, so many… choosing a favorite is impossible… I re-read Woody Allen a lot… so funny and easy!


Your favorite places in Madrid?

La tulipe (our latest restaurant design), Juan March Foundation, The Retiro Park, the city as a whole and off course… home.


What does success mean to you?

Being able to work in what we love and taking care of our personal life and family… Sometimes more work doesn’t mean more success.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Everything that awakens senses… materials, textures, colors, art and emotions.

18
Feb

Interview with Borislav Ignatov

categories Architecture, Designer, Interviews    

I think that creative people have to do what they believe in, not what is expected from them.

Borislav Ignatov

Equinox Passive House

I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of the Bulgarian architect Borislav Ignatov. Licensed architect in New York and Bulgaria, principal at Ignatov Architects, graduate of Columbia University and University of Architecture in Sofia, Architect of the year 2010 (Stroitelstvo Imoti Magazine), Grand Prize winner of the Biannale of the Union of Bulgarian Architects 2012… I love the Equinox House designed by him. Great architectural design in relationships with landscape, light, human and environmental, deeply integrated with its site. Borislav Ignatov loves traveling, the Northern Black Sea coast and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

Conservatory House

What was the moment when you knew you will be an architect?

This moment is still to come, hopefully. I am working hard on it and I keep my fingers crossed. :-)


Is there something that connects all your projects?

I try to approach every new task open-mindedly without any preset solution or ready answer. This gives me the chance to listen to site and program and analyze what they need and allow. I believe this is the way to make purposeful and lasting architecture. Understanding the site and program always pays back because it results in specific and unique architectural object.


Your last project – The Equinox House near the Thracian Cliffs – looks like a part of the landscape. How do you achieve this?

The prevailing harsh northern winds almost blew us to the sea on our first site visit last winter. This made me think of seeking shelter in the slope by embedding the future house there. Naturally the green roof provided for 100% site recovery and things fell in place.


How do you think the role of the architect will change over the next years?

The architect’s role has always been to analyze the conditions and lead the design process by providing a holistic harmonizing approach to all building aspects. I don’t think this will change; we just need to do it better and faster each time which is very demanding and sometimes exhausting.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

I love traveling and practicing sports. Visiting new places makes me happy and gives me a lot of inspiration.

Taiwan Tower Competition Entry

Your favorite books?

The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Universe, and many others…


Your favorite places in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is an incredible country with great nature and it is really hard to narrow my favorites down. First things that come to mind are the Northern Black Sea coast and Melnik.


You live and work between the Black Sea and New York. You have received the highest award for Bulgarian architecture. What does success mean to you?

The award means to me professional recognition and support for my efforts. This is very motivating for me and I am really grateful for it. I don’t qualify it as a ‘success’.


Spirit of the site, simplicity, sustainable design, green architecture, sea, light, authenticity. It was a delight to watch your interview on the Bulgarian TV SAT. What’s your advice for architecture students?

I think that creative people have to do what they believe in, not what is expected from them.

My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Design is the art of purpose. So, art and purpose are the most important design elements to me.

photos: Ignatov Architects

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