AVOCADO GARDEN is passionate about the role and responsibility of design, which could be used as a tool to create a better world. So today we share with you the thoughts and opinions of Julia Kononenko, an industrial and interior designer from Ukraine. Here we talk more about industrial design’s role to a more sustainable life, archaeological excavations and so much more!
Julia has her own brand called “KonONEnko ID“, so keep in mind that works with this label have much more to say: they can surprise with unexpected oasis in the product, or green wall installations for interior design. Also we noticed her preference to use less amount of material, making more multi-factional, two in one furniture.
Starting at the start, for those who do not know, please tell us a bit about yourself
I grew up in a small family, where noboday has any relations with creativity. Therefore it was a great surprise for my family members that I became a designer, although I was dreaming about making art since my childhood. I was born in Ukraine, where I graduated from art school, later from Faculty of “Industrial Design” in the city of Kharkov. After graduation, I began actively create projects and take part in competitions. Now, 80% of the projects are created and implemented jointly with my husband.
How did you get into industrial design, what captured your interest?
It came by accident. When I was submitting documents to college, my friends advised me to enter the department of industrial design. At that time, there was the strongest team of teachers with great experience. After studying for six years, I was finally confirmed in the understanding of how much I like to create things and that this was the right choice.
How do You think design can tackle the many issues currently facing the world?
Scientists can solve world’s problems, while designers can ennoble development and try to find the secondary uses of materials.
Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in your works? If so, what role does green/eco/sustainable designing play into your work?
Yes, this is important and I think about social things on a daily basis. Not only in design, but also about the correct approach to life. We do not think about buying unnecessary things, eating a lot. How much we use instead of living without it. How many resources are used for plants (e.g. water) in the process of manufacture of the product. I try to change the approach of the design in a more intellectual way, I am always in the concern about all the cost of resources of nature.
I am always trying to create the most reliable, long-lasting things. I expect them to be found in archaeological excavations in a thousand years!
Who are your sustainable industrial design heroes and why? Which designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?
Philippe Starck, based on his lectures and articles – I like his reasoning about life and things, he also creates some products which I like and want to buy them. And Nendo, his “philosophy of form” is close to my spirit.
Are there projects you are currently working on that are integrating green design in interesting and new ways?
Working on a one new object, but do not talk about it so far.
Lots of people think the term green is over used while others think green is too expensive, what’s your take on this? Do you think the green design industry has marketed itself well?
Green design is a marketing ploy.
What is a green design? For the production of something designers use different kind of materials. Some of those materials are from nature, some of them are newly created through chemical processes. It all depends on what kind of damage will be caused to the environment in the production of the product. It doesn’t matter if the damage was minimal, violation occurred anyway. Society has become a monster that absorbs everything that is available. Fueled by fashion and advertising: in the networks, on television, magazines and radio. Companies reduce the lifetime of things to reduce the cycle of life and almost every month release new models to increase market share and sales volume. It is clear that people need working places and workers need wages. But balance is needed because we will perish as a species.
Do you see design as an influential part of society and could it be used to communicate sustainable ideas?
My answer is – yes, because the design is like a tool, and if its used by skilled hands, it could achieve meaningful goals.
Do you have any go-to places or any ‘rituals’ for inspiration?
No. My cat and my family are my biggest inspirations.
What is most challenging about what you do and the most rewarding?
The best reward for me is a positive feedback and a desire of others to get my objects.
IN short. What are You:
Florence And The Machine, ONUKA, Lykke Li.
Denim pants and skirts, black dress and jacket.
Meat and salads.
Looking forward to?
Life is an opportunity to get into a car with someone you love and travel 1000 km, to sit on the beach, wrapped in a blanket and sip Prosecco. From my own perspective, it is important to find something interesting to do during days of routine. I have no children, but giving a birth and make their lifes better then my own gives the meaning to the life.
↓ The main idea was to create a lamp using the least amount of material that is easy to transport, easy to assemble and had enough structural strength, but at the same time was endowed with colorful form.
↓ Cute sofa for the living room, that can easily be transformed into a small dining-table with 6 padded stools. In terms of ergonomics it gives maximum comfort and convenience to the user.
↓ A bathroom of an innovative solution that combines the shower with a faucet in a drawing. Bathrooms are modern and multi-functional, called “2 in 1” and allows you to adapt to your individual needs and preferences, the desired amount of water.
↓ Julia’s unexpected oasis management while working as interior designer.