Speed Date / OLEKSANDRA BAKUSHINA, designer
Where are you from?
Where did you study?
I’ve finished architecture at the Art High School in Kiev and I have a bachelor’s degree in industrial design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava.
Who is your best teacher?
If it’s a general question, I’d definitely say my parents. But to name a specific person, it’d be docent (associate professor) Sylvia Jokelová.
Who were/are your parents?
My father was a space station constructor during Soviet times, now he is a free-lancer. My mum is an interior designer.
What don’t you enjoy in design?
Design often creates an artificial demand for design only for the sake of profit and it’s little interested in tackling problems.
And on the contrary, what do you?
I’m very happy to live in the age of technology where design becomes a sort of a connection between science and art. It’s slowly getting into every possible area and that’s why it’s always up to date.
What music do you listen to?
For me, music is a mood that always changes.
Your favourite film or cartoon?
I guess that my favourite film will forever be Dancer in the Dark by Lars von Tirer. It’s associated with a very strong childhood experience.
Who do you respect as an authority in and out of your field?
I try not to create authorities – in my field of study and in life too, I try to filter information through myself and leave just what I need. Nobody is perfect. There are many authorities and they all have one feature in common – that their work or design remains timeless.
The last thing you bought?
A new perfume for my collection.
Do you buy professional literature? What was the latest book?
I usually download books and read depending on my mood. The latest book I bought was Becoming Myself by Irvin D. Yalom, but it didn’t speak to me at all.
Do you vote?
Who throws the best parties?
The one who can call the right people.
Party dress. Made by…?
It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. It could be something from a second-hand shop, the most important thing is to feel good in it.
Your hero from the past?
We’re currently trying to build one with my husband.
Do you have any stereotypes when you work? How do they show?
It would probably be a wish that someone likes my work.
What’s on your desktop?
A photo from Art Biennale.
It’s a tough one, as we judge some things using emotions and some using reason. I think I value more the emotion – a personal experience. Such was the installation Feelings are Facts by Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong (more about it here).
What do you respect both from the local and foreign design scene? And why?
What I always respect in art is sincerity – regardless of a territory. I especially admire nonconformists who can overcome ethnical, political or social boundaries, look at a situation or an issue from a different angle. Those who can suggest a solution without being afraid of errors – losses. I keep track of e.g. Studio Makkink & Bey, Dunne & Raby as well as speculative designer Thomas Thwaits.
Morals or money?
The Box Man od Kōbō Abe.
Optimist, pessimist, nihilist?
Do you have any hobby?
I love cooking; it’s an ideal hobby, always followed by a real pleasure.
Solo or in a collective?
Slovakia as the Promised Land?
I’ve been in Slovakia for six years already and I find this country my second home. I generally believe that home is where I am at a given point. I guess I perceive Slovakia a bit more idealistically than Slovaks, which gives me a greater energy to keep going and evolving.