The young Ukrainian designer Nastasia Amai is a founder and director of AMAI designlab. In her lab she creates things that evoke emotions, surprise and bring joy and fun. She participates in many competitions, specialized design exhibitions. Her works are published in the leading magazines about interior and object design.
Could you please share your opinion on whether emotional design is more important than aesthetic or functional one.
I never believed that emotions are more important than functionality or aesthetics. I think that the design changed, and it is not enough to make 100 000 copies of functional and beautiful products. Market is overloaded and designers need to find new ways. So why not to add an emotion to your product?
Your works have been shown at the "Bologna Design week" in 2015. What attracts foreign audience in modern Ukrainian design today?
We have been really competitive with foreign design for a long time already. The problem is that we are not well promoted. Sometimes Ukrainian projects are more creative than European ones. It happens because for our society the aesthetics (on mental level) is much more important. We are accustomed to do as much as possible and almost to fight for everything. We are very creative.
Who are your clients? Please describe them. For whom do you work?
It sounds like a question for business plan :-) Well ... I would like to say that I work for everyone, but it is not true. I have realized that my work is for intellectual people, who travel a lot, ironic ones. I would say that these people are friendly to their environment.
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What are three important components needed for creation of the design object for you?
Kind of obsession is always important. It directs and pulls everything you need. Your mood is also important, all these feelings, emotions you share with this world when you create something. And it is important to understand why and for whom you create the object.
Should the industrial design be utilitarian or exclusive?
Industrial and exclusive designs differ fundamentally in terms of their concepts. In industrial approach it is important to think not only about the object itself, but also about the process of production and the resources it will take to finally launch this product. Exclusive design for me is an art object, and, maybe, there is no need to think about its profitability. On our market usually we talk of exclusive things.
Do you have any crazy idea that you would like to implement?
It is not entirely related to the design, but who knows ...:) I want to build a reserved area of outstanding natural beauty. In fact, I have a lot of crazy ideas, but everything has its time. I wanted to publish a magazine that would inspire people, but now I have an opportunity to give some master classes and lectures.
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Who is the authority for you?
I always welcome the constructive criticism of experts, people who have already done something impressive in this area. I never had real idols, but of course, if Zaha Hadid comes and says: “Nastya, well, it isn’t good!”, apparently, I will follow her remark.
What is the future of Ukrainian design?
Ha! And what is its present? The concept of Ukrainian design has not been born yet, we are only working on it. Now we are much influenced by western ideas or by national motifs. There are 2 extremes. We need time for development. I remember when I started 4 years ago, there were just few designers. And now things change for better. There are more and more good designers. I hope that tomorrow we will be able to say: “That’s the Ukrainian design!”