“Earlier, the design solved problems,
but nowadays it gives new opportunities”
(Matali Crasset)

Objects of the «Diffusion» project illustrates how every single thing may be a source of inspiration and ideas — nature, modern art, habitual household items, innovative technologies, traditional crafts and geographic area.

Currently, Ukrainian design seems to make up for some lost time. And in as short a time as possible, to overcome the way which European design has made during its evolution from the beginning of 20th century.

If we will describe in more details the current condition of Ukrainian design-community in a certain point of development, then the situation looks something like this.

Like most of creative Ukrainian industries, the subject design develops rather notwithstanding to then due to circumstances. Ecosystem, wherein the European designers are accustomed to work and when the sequence of steps from idea to realized product is clear and defined, is in the early stages of development in Ukraine. Designers educate themselves, stay up to date with trends, invest their own money in development of prototypes, they find manufacturers and ways to implement the products by their own.

The main problem preventing rapid growth of the field — is inconsistency (disconnection) of all branches of ecosystem. The second and equally important issue — lack of mass culture of consumerism design products in Ukraine. Unfortunately, in Ukraine, most industrial designers do not have marketing department and they have to connect all points of the cycle independently. However, despite such global difficulties, some start-ups showing positive result have entered the market and are starting to be popular. Such tendency is also confirmed by publications about design in nation-wide secondary media.

Over the last five years, number of design-studios that not just create, but also merchandise and sale their products, has increased more than threefold. This is also evidenced by rapid replenishment of the national coffer with the Red Dot awards. In 2016, Ukrainian designers won six awards: 4 on concepts and 2 for implemented products. There are already known designers among the winners 2016 — Ekaterina Sokolova, Pavel Vetrov, NOTT design, Svoya studio. Rapid development is also can be discernible in graphics design. In 2017, Ukrainian creators Banda and Republique won Grand Prix of the competition Red Dot Design Awards for branding the Eurovision. Subjects developed by Ukrainian designers (Katerina Sokolova, Pavel Vetrov, Dmitriy Kozinenko and others) appear in collections of European brand more often.

It should also be noted that native producers implementing original ideas of designers, such as D-ART-S, MoDi, PTAHA, FILD, ODSD2, MZPA, borisov, NOOM, ZEGEN, WOOLKRAFTS, LEVANTIN, CUBE44, def, FAINA and others, become appear in Ukraine. It must be pointed out that beside furniture, the area of home décor, especially ceramics, began to develop rapidly. Such companies like Maisterenko Ceramics and Velika Bogaiha, using conventional technics and modern ideas, creates unique dishes and décor.

Along with appearance of new names, it becomes clear that design is an instrument of economic advantages and effective tool of the development of separate industry, in particular, the country as a whole. This testifies not only that the overall level of national subject design is constantly growing, but also that design and creative industries in Ukraine become an integral part of the country’s cultural brand.

This project serves as confirmation, which realizes by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and is funded within the frameworks of EU4Business initiative of the European Union.

Text by: Tatiana Telegina