Designer Profile – Ivana
Learn more about Jigsaw’s interior architecture designer Ivana, who reveals the best, worst and most overused trends in both interior design and architecture. Ivana also opens up about her greatest design achievements to date, historical design inspiration and favourite architects.
What is your idea of the perfect room?
I would imagine the perfect room with subtle lighting, beautiful textures and no clutter – just a fluid space with high ceilings and a view towards nature, maybe.
What is your greatest design fear?
Not being able to see more than one solution to a design problem, or losing the passion and fulfilment in the whole process of designing.
Who is your favourite Interior Designer?
I don’t have really have a “favourite”, as such.
What is your favourite iconic designer chair?
That would be the famous Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen. I think it has such a strong presence – rigid and masculine, yet combined with the warm soft embrace of its curves.
Brown leather Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen, image by Architectural Digest.
Are you a minimalist or a maximalist?
Personally, I aspire more to a minimalist approach, I think there is a lot of beauty in simplicity.
What do you consider the most overrated design trend?
This is more of a décor thing I suppose – random quotations on walls without much meaning like “Eat. Love. Laugh. Live.”
Open plan or separate living room and kitchen?
Open plan living – there is just so many benefits to it, but mostly I love how sociable it is.
Gold or silver?
Gold if it is brushed, Silver if it is antique, aged.
What do you prefer, pattern or texture?
That is a hard one, but let’s say I favour texture. I appreciate when more than one of my senses can get surprised by a surface – whether it is when the light hits it in certain angle, or by touch. On that note, even pattern becomes more interesting with texture, so the more I think about my answer, the more positive I feel about texture.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Note sure I can determine this for myself – in work I am often caught speaking out loud to my computer screen, due to love/hate relationship with various software we use. One will often hear me declare coffee-related wants and needs, as I absolutely can’t start a day without caffeine. Additionally, you’d often hear me refer to a stone-top or tile finish as “sexy”.
I overuse the phrases “in reality”, “realistically speaking” a lot as well, or at least that is what I am told – this applies to both my mother tongue Bulgarian and English.
What’s your current state of mind?
“Take one thing at a time” has been the best possible mindset for me at the moment.
If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
No surprise here – design really does take time, and often we don’t get enough of it in a day.
What is your greatest design achievement to date?
Having just started my journey as a designer, I think my biggest challenge and personal achievement would be the Final Portfolio Project I completed at the end of my Undergraduate course. Working on this in isolation, in the spur of the Coronavirus outbreak, and first few months of national lockdown – I think I learned a lot about myself during this time.
Portfolio project designs, courtesy of Ivana.
What do you consider to be a common design mistake?
Not looking at the bigger picture, forgetting the contextual meaning of a project, and loosing track from there.
Who are your real-life design heroes?
Undoubtedly, my father – his work focused on design and installation of bespoke kitchens and joinery units back at home. Old-school trained, highly motivated, and ambitious. He established and successfully ran his own business – his work attitude has set a great example for me. I have so much admiration for everything he stood for, and only him to thank on every step I will undertake as a designer.
What is your motto?
“Moderation is key.”
What do you most value in your colleagues?
How genuine and kind-hearted they all are is what made an impression on me from the moment I joined the Jigsaw team. Of course they are also great professionals – all of them are so talented in what they do, and I am learning something new from each and every one.
If you had to pick one interior design style to live with forever, what would it be?
Probably industrial architecture – furnishings with Brutalist elements.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
I’d like to come back as a one of those one-off trees you see somewhere unusual – on a cliff edge, or unexpectedly high-up in a mountain in my home country. I’d just be rooted there, enjoying the great view in peace with the occasional hikers coming by.
Which historical design movement do you most identify with?
Bauhaus – because of the collaboration, the focus on form/function, and user experience.
Who is your favourite architect?
Favourite is a hard one to define, but I’d say from the classics – Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Frank Gehry. More recently I have been following Arturo Tedeschi for his books on computational design, which were introduced to me in university, and I find so interesting ever since. Neri Oxman is also a great source of inspiration for her collaborative, multi-disciplinary research.