Design Time magazine
- What is the concept of your studio and how does it stand out from others?'
An authentic approach underlies in all our developments. Firstly, we begin our work by establishing a design problem. This allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the preconditions in order to launch a new fundamentally changed process. In other words, at first, we try to clarify the reasons, then we design a solution. We are multidisciplinary bureau, we do architectural interiors, interactive and product design,industrial design, design of private houses and public centers. In addition, we have several graphical works in our portfolio. Such approach is the result of our design methodology – through the process of development we crate holistic system, which is primarily conceptual, figurative, aesthetical and engineering. It is impossible to do without engagement into the process at all levels.
- Tell us about your studio name. What does it mean?
The concept of our studio name originates from the methodological framework of Soviet architect and theorist Evgeniy Abramovich Rosenblum, more particularly the “Senezhskaya studio” he founded. His works, in turn, relate to German philosopher Martin Heidegger and to his core concept “Dasein”. “Dasein” can be translated as “being there”, it points to the place (Da) of presence (Sein), which is human existence itself. It is very essential concept for us because it identifies the centrality of the human person in our design.
Dasein points to the place (Da) of presence (Sein)
PP Furniture System
Outdoor furniture and demountable terrace
DS Chair Prototype.
Portable chair prototype.
From mobile lifestyle programm.
- Who does your team consists of? How many people are there? Who are these people “in spirit”?
We founded our bureau in 2014 and since then we have been working together. There are four designers in our studio plus one student is interning here. Ilya Medved and Tatiana Maximenko from our studio are architects graduated FEFU. We are opened to cooperation and we are always in search for people who are will be able to enter our team. We often work with other bureaus. Our relationship with Japanese designer Suzuki Kazuaki became especially important for us. Besides, we are closely watching what the young specialists are doing. It is difficult to find people able to meet our work standards of quality and dedication. Regarding the question of our coworkers “in spirit”, we believe the answer lies in our understanding of design process or project activity itself as a discipline. We don’t much like the Russian appellation “Дизайнер” (Designer). It is not only because the understanding of this term is blurred in Russia. This word often has nothing in common with project activity. We prefer the term “Проектировщик” (Projector), where core “projectus” from Latin means precipitate. “Проектировщик” or “Projector” sets a future reality with clear awareness of responsibility. Therefore, our coworkers are concerned people “in spirit”, striving to progress, having an authentic thought and willing to improve the situation.
“Projector” sets a future reality with clear awareness of responsibility.
- Tell us about your projects.
Every project is the result of interaction between bureau and a customer. Customers often contribute more to the results of the projects. And it is not only the matter of taste. There are number of restrictions and conditions that define the space of future project. These conditions are: willingness and level of perception on the market, level of productive capacity and the budget. And we believe that it is a common task for everyone in the industry to extend the boundaries and shape new conditions allowing to create far more quality solutions than what we currently have in Vladivostok nowadays. Responsibility for our living space and quality of life rests with ourselves. That’s why we always try to build long-term warm relations with our customers. For example, we have been working with one of the largest in the Far East catering company since our foundation. We realized several projects together and grew up significantly since then. One of our decent and groundbreaking projects are Local History Museum concept and furniture set “Rock Chairs” for Japanese restaurant “Tanoju”.
We are concerned about the level of responsibility our environment being created at.
OFS Furniture System
Complete furniture system
for office spaces.
- Are there any general trends in what your customers want?
Basically, our studio works with corporate clients and novice businessmen. There are also global companies among our clients - we recently designed an office for KFC. We suppose our customers are united by the desire for the effectiveness of the solutions that we develop for them. The product should work and be optimized in everything. Most of the customers seek to reduce costs. And for sure nobody needs beautiful images that do not fulfil their purpose.
- Do you follow fashion in designing interiors?
We carefully monitor what is happening in the world, but we never use fashionable solutions of other designers. Each project in our bureau is done on a specific problem with a clear task, therefore our design solutions have an authentic character. It cannot be borrowed from somewhere, as it simply will not work. Fashion will pass, but the solution will remain. And you will have to live in it, work with it. Good design must serve for years, especially considering that construction requires serious financial and time costs.
Fashion will pass, but the solution will remain.
DS2 Table & PP Black
Table in special black finish,
DS Furniture System
- How would you describe the furniture you create?
Almost all our furniture has a character of furniture system. We strive to create a holistic system that allows us to solve all the problems in the interior: aesthetic, functional and spatial. This is clearly noticeable in our office system – you are buying not just a chair, table or shelving but a stylistically unified and expressive solution, in which various components are designed as harmonious and accurate system. The features of other products, for example, “Rock Chairs” is in their conceptual relevance. Here we create a strong artistic image. Such products are made to be included in the interior and, with a strong expressive language, form the image of the space. We also design products, including furniture, for our customers like manufacturing companies that produce a serial product.
The Rock Chairs
Furniture set for Tanoju Restaurant, Tokyo.
- What do you think about situation with Design in Vladivostok? What do we need to change?
We are concerned about the level of responsibility our environment being created at. That problem applies to all areas. However, we are particularly concerned about prevailing architectural practice and how architects and developers manage the places for future buildings. Hardly anyone gives due attention to local terrain. Technology lags for decades. As a result, it significantly increases the cost of houses, increases construction time and burdens for owners to constantly develop their space to a livable statement. We think we need to focus on development of the culture of living and our perception of human space. It concerns not only individual space, but also public spaces, places of communication, work and leisure activities. It could not be solved only by design tools. We need holistic approach that covers all institutions, primarily education.
We need holistic approach that covers all institutions, primarily education.
Flat-pack low table.
- In your works you use a lot of wood, why?
We use materials that are well suited for the project, as well as those we can properly process. Wood is a truly versatile material with good characteristics. It is very close to our physicality. It has a centuries-old history of processing and generally interacting with human activity.
- What are you inspired by? Where are you looking for inspiration?
The main sources of our inspiration are man and nature. Moreover, the place where we live is very important for us. The Far Eastern authentic character is essential to us. Our sea, our landscape and even climate. Our cultural heritage. For instance, we love the fortifications of the Vladivostok Fortress. The level of engineering and construction quality that we can see there is an example of what Russian Architecture can be. Especially now, while the military function is not so obvious, and nature, defended its place, has naturally been integrated into architecture.
The Far Eastern authentic character is essential to us.
- How is the Russian Product Design doing? What problems do you face nowadays?
“Russian Product Design” is an ambiguous concept. There are several bureaus in Russia engaged in the Product Design of consumer goods. Their activity is closely related to “Skolkovo”. As for furniture, we can observe some progress in Moscow and St. Petersburg lately. Young studios are actively developing products, some of which even become serial sellable ones, they also start participating in international exhibitions. On the other hand, few of The Russian Product Designers were able to design and produce a serial product that has its own unique character and language. We see these objects most often as copies of western analogues or simply as not related to the idea of Product Design. Speaking of Vladivostok, here we are facing the fact that many people even don’t understand what a "Product Design” is. Not even to mention the demand for products or production capabilities. Unfortunately, as in many areas, we now see the total problem of low production culture. More often than not, we just cannot produce our products in necessary quality and at a reasonable price.
Product Design directly form the quality of the environment where we live. A good Product Design can develop the company for which it is made, increase sales, optimize costs and simultaneously launch a really needed, durable and effective product. We believe Russia like no other country needs a strong Product Design. Probably, firstly we need to create a truly distinct understanding of “Russian” Design and then it will be possible to talk about in terms of the whole country. This is a challenge not only for Design Bureaus and not only for Design.
Published May 2019
Design Time Magazine
Vitaly Sosnin, Dasein Bureau