@FEDORIVHUB FILES: Designer's Diary


On 1 November 2019, @FEDORIVHUB hosted an event featuring three masters of their craft: Sergey Makhno, Yevheniia Dubrovska of Balbek Bureau fame, and invited speaker Mykhailo Shaposhnikov.


Mykhailo Shaposhnikov is a designer with a history of creating interiors all over the world.

Since he started sharing the insights from his work online, he has garnered an audience of more than 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.
The channel was conceived to give a sneak peek behind the curtain of the interior design process. There is an educational aspect to the videos, too, because even those who paid maximum attention during their interior design studies tend to make the same mistakes.

‘For years have I been teaching the same contemporary interior design methodology to our designers at Hot Walls studio. Everyone who tries to pass our test assignments, our interns and employees—everyone is taught the same way. Every single one of them initially makes the same mistakes. What I do is help them stop.’

Yevheniia Dubrovska is an architect and designer with Balbek Bureau, an architectural interior design workshop.
She has a history of 8 years in design and architecture, during which she did everything from concept development to 3D visualizations to working on particularly demanding residential and commercial real estate projects.

Yevheniia’s creations have been featured in reputed electronic and printed specialized publications such as Archdaily, Yatzer, Interior Design.net, Design Milk, Elle Decoration, and Architectural Digest.

Sergiy Makhno is the founder of Sergiy Makhno Architects, a Ukrainian design and architecture studio. The studio has completed projects in 17 countries, with its creations featured in Dezeen, Design Milk, and Yatzer.

It all began when a friend once offered Sergey to create a design for their café. And now his studio works on the projects in 16 countries, the lighting fixtures and carpets he designed are exhibited all over Europe, and his projects are featured in Dezeen, Designmilk, Yatzer, and Frame.
He travels a lot and wants to visit every country in the world.
Also, he is a proponent of minimalism and wabi-sabi philosophy.

Some believe that the three ended up in the spotlight by sheer luck, but it is not the case. Let’s take a closer look at their work.

Some believe that the three ended up in the spotlight by sheer luck, but it is not the case. Let’s take a closer look at their work.



How can one bring to life the ideas their client doesn’t like?
By building the house of their dreams.

What about unconventional solutions?
A thatched roof’s right here if this is what tickles your fancy.

Want clay walls with tea and herbs mixed in?
Sure, why not?

Sergey decided that he had enough of living among the things that slowly kill us.
He told us an inspirational story. The thing is, he used to dream about building a museum, an institute or a church. And one day he was asked to do just that—to create designs for an institute from scratch over 6 months.
One might wonder if this was possible at all. However, Sergey’s team rolled up their sleeves and set to work—over the last three weeks of the project, 900 people were working on-site at the same time! And, most importantly, they managed to meet the deadline.

We also learned how the client’s whims become a reality.
Need to elevate 1 hectare of land by 5 metres? No sweat!
Just bring in a lot of lorries loaded with soil, and you’re all set.

‘Technology and trends show us that there’s always a solution for any problem—you just need to search thoroughly enough for it.’



‘I’m just a small cog in a huge system that is balbek bureau,’ this is how Yevheniia began her presentation.
Then she proceeded to share some kick-ass case studies—her company’s as well as her own.
Among them were Banda’s office, Bursa Hotel, a church in San Francisco, Kyiv Food Market, the Sto Rokiv Tomu Vpered restaurant, the BARVY restaurant, and several exciting designs for flats.

She also showcased the flat design, which took her and Slava Balbek 2.5 years to complete.
It was then that she realized one thing:  you need not be afraid to go deeper.
They tore down the flat and discovered gorgeous brick masonry, which they decided to leave exposed to spice up the interior.

Also, Yevheniia suggested discussing every tiny detail with the client to avoid any confusion. Confusion is something you definitely don’t want to happen when it comes to interior design.

Sending everything to your client should become an element of designer hygiene for you.
If something goes wrong, you can always cover up the Italian kitchen furniture and start welding a cantilever (or whatever).

Yevheniia insists that you can’t just do what you do—you need to be passionate about your craft.



Can you start your career as a designer without any field-specific education and on the market with prices at about RUB 350/sq m? That’s suicide!
And what if we told you that you will earn 100 times more in three years? There’s no way it is possible!

Still, Mykhailo’s experience proves otherwise.

The most important thing is to compile an outstanding portfolio to show your prospective clients what they are paying for.
You need not wait for clients with great ideas, just make a design for your own flat, for example. Just do something.

At some point, Mykhailo discovered Amiran Sardarov’s YouTube channel A Wog’s Diary (Дневник хача) and decided that people would find a Designer’s Diary (Дневник дизайнера) much more enjoyable. The channel started with on-site videos. A bit of shameless self-promotion never hurt any starting business either. So, he promoted his channel, thereby promoting his business.

Mykhailo likes to make judgments in the categories of ‘BS or not BS’. This kind of attitude helps greatly in his work—all he needs is to find something ‘OK-ish’ and start digging there to find the real gold.


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