Mikhail Kalesnikau

Good in Interior Design.

About Mikhail Kalesnikau

  • Winner of Interior Design Award.
  • Specialized in Interior Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Interior
VR Club Amusement Park

VR Club Amusement Park

Interior Design


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Interview with Mikhail Kalesnikau

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Maryna: I was born with pronounced abilities. Other children ran along the street, and I loved to sew and draw and sculpt. At the age of 13, I completely decided on the profession of an architect and entered a specialized school with special training in the field of art and design. At 16, I went to Architecture College. Mikhail: since childhood, I loved to draw, and my classes in the children's Studio of technical creativity gave me an understanding of working with materials. So I chose architecture as a combination of creativity and function. And I love it.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
We are independent designers with an extensive network of partners. This allows us to offer the customer flexible terms of cooperation. We can work directly with the customer as independent specialists. We can offer cooperation with design and construction organizations and perform turnkey projects with design, engineering and construction solutions. Under any conditions of cooperation, we accompany the object up to the opening.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
Objects that are not similar in purpose to the previous ones. Even better, what no one has done before.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
We started with private homes. And at the same time, we worked as hired architects in design organizations, where we were engaged in civil and industrial objects.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Glass. It can be anything, a facade, partition, furniture, lighting.
When do you feel the most creative?
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. is the most productive time. No one and nothing disturbing you at this time of the day.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
On the movement of people, on what trajectory they will move and what they will see and feel moving along it.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Not so much emotions to be honest. Our way is to imagine this design like it’s already build and work to make it as clean and natural as possible. Impression should match to the purpose of the design.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Joy. It is very nice to see the finished work and hear customer feedback. And then we start thinking what could have been done better. After all, you can do better always and endlessly.
What makes a design successful?
No compromises, no complexity, and maximum attention to the customer.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Functionality and originality, the lack of superfluous complexity.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
In the Soviet school of architecture, there was a concept of "social request". We are taught from the first courses to think about what society needs. Saving resources, saving the budget, certainly using the right materials in terms of ecology and durability. The designer must understand the environment and use cases of their design.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
In the modern world, good design is a necessity and it's great. You always need to attract professionals, both in design and in other areas of life. The world has long understood this and felt all the advantages. In Belarus, the design market is also steadily growing, everything "new" is now simply required to have a good design.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
We exhibited at the Moscow house of the architect interior design week in autumn 2019. We plan to participate this year as well.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
From any thing and shape around you can make a design. You just look for it in the space around you. And of course in the history of architecture, in nature.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
In the first place, of course, the function. The object's ownership must be obvious to the requester. Our style-the result should be such as to become the style of the customer, if it was not there before. Our customers should feel this design is very natural to them.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
We have a very good architectural heritage, the city was almost completely destroyed during the WWII and its restoration was approached with the maximum degree of care and professionalism. This is visible to all guests and it certainly affects us a lot. Therefore, the requirements for an architect in our city are very high. The architect must understand engineering, materials, structures, legislation, and take into account the construction procedure.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
To get the most out of the design, you need to do your homework and then tell us in the most complete and detailed way about your expectations and the desired result. To roughly understand the level of the designer, you need to compare the project of a previously built object with its implementation. If the project and reality match, the designer is probably a good one. The next level of comparison is how much the object has changed over time, whether everything has tripled in this work of the customer.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
The process is not really unique. We start from the conversation with the client, to find out what should we have as the result, some preferences in style and materials. Then the most hard and energy consuming stage of creating a concept and negotiation with the client. Lots of intresting but not realistic ideas was cut on that stage, because we are always trying to critisize each other, to fing all complications and drawback in the idea on next stages. Also the image creation (rendering) is a big and important part of this stage. Local clients prefer to have high quality images to understand our idea on paper, way before it could be build. Final stage of the design it’s a detailed drawings. More attention to details – safer your idea will be in the hand of contractor, higher a chance to get perfect result. And the pleasant stage of this job – following to contractor on site. Here we can slightly fix or improve our design.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
As for architects - five items it almost all that we have at home ;)
Can you describe a day in your life?
To minimize the routine is a goal for every day. So regularly we have some meetings with the client in a first part of the day, than we can explore what new on site, ask for feedback from this client if he’s happy or we need to change or improve something. And the evening is a good time to create new concept, to think about new idea. If we need to work on drawing it will be done late evening or even at night. Because it’s the most quite time of the day when you can focus 100%.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
We are not really old, but for who are younger we can only suggest to take any opportunity in their life. To be close to the client and to the site. To see and understand how this process looking from the client’s point of view It will be the fastest and the most effective way to grow as a professional.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
We should say, that it’s so adorable feeling to create something new. To be useful, to suit all client’s expectation and to exceed it. Negative moments are professional deformation and criticizing of everything around. As a professional you can notice even tiny defects, all this not crucial dents and scratches in the design, that could stay hidden for a regular customer.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Search for a clear shape and repeat its outlines through the entire design.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Ability to hear and ability to explain. The ability to cast aside preconceptions and look at everything out of the box.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
The most important thing is paper and pen. The designer must be able to draw, be able to show his idea to others. All these programs and digital technologies are just an addition to the good old paper.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
In this case, the main thing is to start. And can not just stop creating, new ideas are coming even if you working with some other things.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It depends of the object. But definitely not faster than one month, because our work adds time to coordinate with the customer, he also needs to understand and feel everything.
What was your most important job experience?
We were working in as a client on different big sites. It’s really important to understand what is to be a client, this experience helped us many times in our job.
Who are some of your clients?
Founder of a newly created business, Director of development of an existing business. Foreign companies opening their branch in our country. We try to look for complex and large tasks.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Reconstructions. They are more often, oddly enough, more original than new construction, and the tasks to be solved are more complex, which means that they are more interesting.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Like for the rest of the world – to survive during this virus situation. Thankfully we have few designs in progress.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
We develop the design in constant communication with other participants in the design and construction process. The design team gathers for each object individually, depending on the needs. In our business, you need to try to know all aspects of the work, but at a high level it is better to bring highly specialized specialists, for example, for the development of engineering systems.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
We just finished the design of the local residence of international designing company “SoyuzNefteHimProekt”. Now the site will start and we are to be involved. It’s a big Russian company and the idea of this residence – to provide the ground for international meeting on the very high level of CEO’s.
How can people contact you?
Contact via e-mail, or send us a message in "Linked In"

Extended Interview with Mikhail Kalesnikau

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
Maryna: At the age of 11, a drawing teacher noticed my abilities and suggested that I enroll in a specialized school with a focus on art and design, where she had previously taught. I was accepted after my first drawing exam. At the same time, after consulting with your family, decide on your future specialty – architect. 3 years later, she entered the College of architecture and construction. After graduating in 2006, I went to work in a small private design Studio through friends. I also decided to continue my studies remotely, studying for 6 years as a civil engineer. In 2012, I was able to fulfill my own order – it was a private residential building of 300 m2. In 2016, to receive a large order-interior design of a public area of a shopping center in Minsk, which was later awarded the "national award for the best interior". Working at such a large facility and workshop at the same time was no longer possible, so I started working for myself. Mikhail: By the time I graduated from high school, the question was who I wanted to be. I decided that design and architecture are the closest thing to me, since I like to draw and create environments. I took two months of individual drawing classes and eventually enrolled in an architectural College. Since my mother is an engineer, I have seen and understood what awaits me in this profession since childhood. After College, I was invited to work as an architect in a design organization where I did an internship while studying in College. I worked there for 6 years and gained very useful knowledge and experience. After that, I was lucky to get into a foreign design and construction company as a leading architect. There I participated in major projects, including the chief architect (not the author of the concept) of the project of the football stadium in Borisov, later this stadium entered the world top 10 in 2014. Then I was the chief architect of a large shopping center with the hotel "Green City" in Minsk. Working on such large objects, I had to look at and evaluate dozens of projects of tenants, sometimes helping them with design.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
We are always inventing and seeking for better and nicer way to make something. Most likely it comes from our nature.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
Interiors and furniture. We prefer to design offices and worksapces, it's really intresting to find out and then to create a comfortable office for different types of companies.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Practice, the only way to become a good designer is to create more. Then to look after the result of your work learn.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
Great designer was more lucky. He had his right moment to become the great.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
Good design has a certain naturalness in all areas. It's as if nature itself created this, when you see this solution, there are no other options left.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
There are so much good designs this time. It's really hard to choose and name. You can just check the list of A'design winners this year.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Our way is to be on site more. It's better to see your own eyes how this thing working, what solution is easier to produce, were you can improve some materials or use some new technology.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
The design Director of a leading construction company in Belarus, Dainius Purvis, once ventured to hire me as a very young architect for a large project and gave me a shot at a large design.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
The end of the construction boom in our country, which coincided with the global economic crisis. Many colleagues left the profession at this time.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Absolutely top interior for some big international company headquarter. We wish.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
We like what we are doing, so the main goal to see how our design is "working properly" through the time.
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
There completely different expectations from the architect or the designer. You never know, so you are to do the best every time.
How does design help create a better society?
Nice look and nice feel creates nice mood. We have great experience, when in the vandal region we built modern sport arena and no one spoils it during mid season, completely no one. It was a bid surprise for local guards, so good design made someone better.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
Some office design and new shopping mall design. We excited to use some new technology with metal surfaces, to have some new modern look without high budget.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
Improve the design level. Now, the customer often thinks that the design is just a picture.
What is your life motto as a designer?
"Need to think about it more, it might be better solution"
What is the role of technology when you design?
In the design process - minor, PC is an extension of your pencil mostly.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
CAD and 3D software to create nice picture for the client and detailed drawings for the contractor.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
After graduation, by chance, we became assistants to a famous elderly architect with vision damage. Vladimir Plyusnin taught us for 8 years. Undoubtedly, this school will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
Maryna: When I was 8 years old, my father was given a book about castles and fortresses in Britain with high-quality photos. At first I looked at them, then I began to draw pictures of Romanesque and Gothic architectural monuments. There was a desire for a profession. Mikhail: great soviet book about the drawing and posters, it was a full guide how can you learn to draw and how to become an artist.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
We have a big list of great architects. It would be so cool to speak with them and to learn as much.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
We are not so famous by far. But time to time people are just come to say Hi and it's cool.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
It's so fun to look after workers on site when they asking how was that smart guy invented this thing, like it's not possible to build. And then You can explain them in minutes what it what.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
No one knows. Hope that good design and good architecture will last so long.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
It's the most interesting job in the world, but you should realize that you can't quit this. It will stay with you for all your life.

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