About Nataliya Naymark

Self-taught product designer for the last 4 years. Coming from physical-mathematics school with 8 years of technical drawing, I like to explore new materials, find new solutions and geometrical patterns. Graduating from marketing, I always think about consumer. Working as a UX strategist of digital products, I do care about ergonomics and sustainability.

Interview with Nataliya Naymark

Nataliya Naymark ("NN") interviewed on Wednesday, 21 June.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

NN : Right now whole experience is connected with individual design, where I come up with objects for flats as one piece. They are mostly multifunctional as people in big cities don't have much of a place for everything they want. I am professional wardrobe and storage designer, as I come up with ideas that either hide the whole thing or imitate the wall.

How did you become a designer?

NN : While I was at school I had attended excursion courses for different Moscow museums, such as the Pushkin State Museum of Fine arts, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Armoury Chamber, National Museum of art of peoples of the East and many others. So during profession test in school I got higher mark in arts than in math. I attended math class and won several awards in math and physics. So it wasn't obvious for my teachers and parents. So in the end I got recommendation for architectural program. The problem here was I didn't draw, at all. I was good at technical drawing, as it was obligatory for 8 year in school. Anyway I ended up in economy bachelor and digital marketing master degree. I did love working in creative company as UX strategist. I love usability and finding peoples needs and dreams. We did several outstanding marketing campaigns for Unilever and different car companies. However after turning 30 I understood I still dream about architectural job. But getting older also helps to understand your advantages and disadvantages. It drives me crazy if thing has mistakes in measures, and I feel that architecture would be a challenge. So i decided to become a furniture designer. To get in university in Moscow you need to draw composition, head, human body , column and landscape. I started learning to draw and still try my best. I couldn't go to university as I have to pass school exams and it was too much of a work. I ended up having several courses such as Kibardin Creative Synergy and Furniture Design for Beginners Online Short Course by Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London. I also a professional user of online platforms with courses. I did several programs in edX. My favourite one is Fundamentals of Manufacturing Processes by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.I also attended courses by Coursera, like Modern Art & Ideas by The Museum of Modern Art. And some Russian courses from openedu, my favourite one is History of design by HSE University. I suppose I took more than 20 different courses since 2019. I still love and learn about History of design . I also tried to do some practice work. I did several interior projects and furniture for each of them. To learn about light I did Practice with Women in Lighting and worked in different museums for different exhibitions. I started applying for different competitions last year. I won open call for The Vaults Centre for Artistic Production. In sketches and technical drawings I have more than 30 collections of furniture and light, more than 30 separate items and more than 30 tiles. To present my graphic abilities for tiles and carpets I did New years postcards for the last two years. Each of them present one of my carpet and tile.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

NN : First of all clear vision of TA and their problems. Secondly, I try to work with hands as long as possible, so I do sketches , technical drawing and mock-ups my self. Lastly I try to remember where inspiration came from, why designer of the past decided to design the way he did. Could he come up with another idea if he had other materials, or technologies ?

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

NN : It is something I can’t control. there is only subject of my research and brain that tried to manipulate and transform dream into real thing. Only after process is finished I have feelings: satisfaction or pity it haven’t worked out and it means that creative process starts from the beginning.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

NN : Cause my first education is in economy, I actually studied institutional economy, and than I had master degree is digital marketing . The most important for me is to understand the customer , find loyal audience that will be interested in item for sure. Think about leap of faith I have during invention of the item, transform it in hypothesis and try to check them as soon as possible, so you don’t waste environment and people's time with things that are not going to interest potential customer.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

NN : I want to sell my design to companies, the more the better, I would love to do some brief work. I dream of using new materials, and finding proper design for specific material. Me dream design project is to make analogue of cafe Pittoresk , made by Rodchenko, Yakulov and Tatlin, where everything will be done by me, starting from tiles ending with pictures on the walls. Real festival of Russian Avantgard.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

NN : Design is something you will be learning the whole life. There is no end to this process. Try to structure everything you do, so it will be easier to deal with it in the future Develop Research and watchfulness

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

NN : Use lean canvas, filling them helps to answer on many questions you might be asked in the future, and help shaping your idea.

What is your day to day look like?

NN : In the morning I take care of main working things. I need to answer emails, do design processes. In the afternoon I surely do a walk, and check all the information regarding industry - magazines, websites, lectures. And then in the evening I come bak to work, answer email again, make edits, and do plan of 5 important things to do for the next day. So I can start working fist thing from the morning.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

NN : Most of information I get from magazines, such as World of interiors, Design anthology, Apartemento, Frame, Openhouse. I also work with instagram, as you can teach it want interests you and get great recommendations about what is trending right now. However it is more just to monitor what is happening, and be happy if something you created is in trends, but most important is to be timeless, so your item makes person happy whatever trend is popular now.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

NN : There are several people whose opinion matters to me, and I can understand whether my design is good, just by seeing their faces. They shouldn’t say anything, I just see question in their eyes and it means, I have't thought something out. As for works of others, I think right now my watchfulness on one hand works out, and technical understanding on the other hand. I try to think about TA and potential interior, and if I can think about several of them, it is great. It means that it is something worth spending time.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

NN : I think that my design is ready when it is well organised in presentation, all the questions that are important are answered , all the technical drawing and prototypes are in place. However it doesn’t mean that I won't come back to it in a year or so and change it. Cause I learn something new everyday, and if I come across some new technologies, patterns or materials, it can change the whole projects .

What is your biggest design work?

NN : I am very fond of a fireplace bench Aalto. It was designed for individual house. It could be used in bedroom as a bed bench and make the room cosy with artificial fire. It also can be used as shoe rack and entrance table in a hallway, or a room divider between kitchen and living room. A fireplace-bench has bar table, so that it can have additional space in bars in case someone wants to use it there. However for the project I did it , this object was used just as a bench for bedroom.

Who is your favourite designer?

NN : My favourite designer changes from time to time. When I first started I was in love with Bauhaus and thought it will be the only way I will be designing in the future. However as soon as I learned about Vkhutems I started to love works of Melnikov, Rodchenko, Bykov, Tatlin and many others. More than a year ago I came across article about Sottsass and it was total love, I did several things in Memphis style. Right now I am learning again about Modernism. I love works of Aalto, and Pierre Jeanneret. I think that Aalto inspire me with his minimal design and unique feel for materials. As for Pierre Jeanneret there are care for folk crafts and French conciseness and lightness. I also really want to learn more about Charlotte Perriand, I haven't done anything yet inspired by her works, but I really want to dive into them in near future.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

NN : Right now I live in Serbia. I lived most of my live in Russia, I have jew roots and love England. I have mix of cultural heritage, I get easily inspired by a new place, and it is the most interesting how people see objects in different places, how they care and approach them. When I was into Vkhutems I made quite a number of things inspired by Melnikov and Rodchenko. And I think Russian heritage are for sure in many of my things. On the other hand I find Scandinavian design quite impressive and probably my Mordva heritage take place here. As I feel like a multinational person, my works also reflect this. If I am working with hands, I might listen to lectures through Arzamaz , It is a radio with lecture about history, art, politics, etc. If it is something I have to think about words (like right now) I do listen to music. If it is a new idea, I need complete silence, Walk and nature.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

NN : People think I am very strict and always afraid to go in projects with me, however as soon as I solve problems between technical, design and brand point of view, people always want to have me in all their projects. And yes I am very strict with numbers, it is something I am not ready to let go, but can change if it influences ergonomics or sustainability. I do think that people are professionals in their field, and it is important to listen to them and take into account . And I love work in groups.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

NN : My project of the curtains , fingers crossed it will work out . I designed it them to reduce hit during summer, and reduce usage of electricity for light during winter. I also made a special edition for 3d countries, with minimal cost of production, so it can improve living comditions, in my portfolio it is the only project right now, but I really want to have more of them.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

NN : I actually have to thank Kibardin who helped a lot for me to participate in this award. He taught about importance of reading all the papers carefully. It is huge honour to be between winners, as I don’t have any formal education , I am self-taught and during my education I didn’t have much of feedback about my way of thinking and designing. Having such a huge feedback and actually getting an award is amazing. I still have days when I wake up and check again that it wasn’t just a dream.

Nataliya Naymark Profile

Dorothee Becker's Hand Wall Bedside Unit

Dorothee Becker's Hand Wall Bedside Unit design by Nataliya Naymark


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