Viccarbe Talks – Ukranian design

Viccarbe Talks – Ukranian design

8 July, 2022

In our Viccarbe Talks section, we share projects, initiatives, and stories that inspire us and are aligned with our mission of spreading collaboration globally.  Today, we want to showcase the story of Ihor Havrylenko, a ukrainian designer who founded Hi Atelier design studio, specialized in creating tranquil interiors with organic shapes, raw materials and neutral tones contributing to evoke peace, calmness and serenity.

1. Who is Ihor Havrylenko and Hi Atelier?

I was born in Slovianoserbsk, Ukraine, in 1994. In 2020, I founded Hi Atelier, a Kyiv-based studio that works in the fields of architecture, residential and commercial interior design, product design, and art direction. Blurring the boundaries between precise architectural shapes and nature, we create timeless designs that have been nourished with our five senses. In our projects, we collect functionality, comfort, and feelings. The deep individual connection between a person and the design aesthetic is a prime part of our philosophy, giving us the opportunity to create calm, original and different creative solutions.

Viccarbe Talks – Ukranian design

2. Where are you based?

Right now, we do not have a physical office, but the team is in Kyiv and its region, they have been working from home since the first wave of COVID-19. This sanitary situation has given us flexibility and the ability to organize ourselves more efficiently.

With everything that is going on right now, not all of us can work from home. The war changed everything. We left Kyiv and moved to the central region of Ukraine.

3. How has the war affected your routines?

All our lives and business stopped at the same time due to the war. During the first month, we couldn’t work at all. Actually, we couldn’t think the way we did in our life before this. All our thoughts were exclusively about the war, we checked on the news day and night. Sometimes, it felt as if it wasn’t real, like a nightmare. Some of our friends have lost their homes, some were isolated with no communication or phone for days. I thank God that all my friends and relatives are alive. I remember the first morning, I woke up from the sound of explosions and couldn’t understand what was happening. There was no information on the news. The first hour was tremendously frightening.

Almost all our physical projects are currently on stand by as future is uncertain. Currently, we are working on two great projects that will launch very soon. Three months without work is really a lot for people like us, who are constantly thinking in new ways to create and raise design. All our priorities have changed: we value the small things such as spending time with our important people: friends and family, simply appreciating life.

4. How is the design community keeping up right now?

Ukrainian designers are designing furniture and temporary homes for settlers. Some work on houses for people who have lost their homes, others are creating memorials about the war. Some of my friends and colleagues are working on NFT collections, donating the money they earn to help people and others pitch journalists and media to speak out loud about our situation, making sure the world knows what our country is going through.

Many companies have shut down. A lot of my colleagues and friends who are still in Ukraine have lost their jobs, forcing them to move abroad. Many people are now volunteering. No one thought that a real war like the one we are living could happen. This has made us think in the architecture of our buildings, upgrading to more resistant and durable materials and even designing bunkers.

Viccarbe Talks – Ukranian design

5. Where do you find inspiration to maintain your creative spirit?

For me, nature is the best source of inspiration as I’m kind of an introvert. A walk through the old forest, unwinding among wildflowers, enjoying the view from the cliff. This is what moves me. I highly recommend Burberry`s “Open Spaces Film” presented in 2021. It is a great example of how to combine nature with modern art and fashion.

I am also inspired by a good movies, music, and contemporary art, of course. And people, I love looking at how people interact with a certain space, furniture or with others. It is fascinating.

6. In what type of projects are you focused on?

Our studio works in the fields of architecture, residential and commercial interiors, product design, and art direction. We have a very high criteria for selecting a client as we only work with projects that inspire us and go in line with our philosophy. Most of our projects are made in calm tones and organic materials, but now we are thinking outside the box, working on several objects that are completely different to what we used to do.

7. Let us know the best way to hire and support Ukrainian designers.

Many talented Ukranian designers are listed in digital platforms such as Behance. Here people can hire them as freelances or donate and buy their creations. The following platforms are very popular right now:

  1. RE: Ukraine is a refugee houses project. The aim is to maintain and give a decent lifestyle for people who have been forced to leave their homes due to the war. The initiative runs under Balbek Bureau architectural group. For financial support see the following link.
  2. Suppport Ukranians Now is a crowdsourced information platform with a comprehensive list of resources to help Ukraine and Ukrainians. – link
  3. “Come Back Alive” is a Foundation providing competent assistance to the military forces. – link
  4. The National Bank of Ukraine has decided to open a special fundraising account to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.- link
  5. A friend of mine, Dmytro Avdieiev, a Ukrainian Director, created “Volunteers of Culture” is an volunteer organization that also purchases equipment that helps saving the lives of the Ukrainian military. – link

In these difficult times, any support is crucial. Just choose the best way for you, we greatly appreciate any gesture.

Viccarbe Talks – Ukranian design