Ivana Lukovic

Good in Interior Design.

About Ivana Lukovic

The small-scale Studio aspires to transfer the founder's personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators while inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner. By following a creative process from the initial design all the way to its completion, it maintains intimate, tactile connection with a proposal, simultaneously adopting a unique, multidisciplinary approach to each design brief. The aura, created during that process, preserves positive psychological impact on everyday life of the user, long time after the project is completed.

  • Winner of Interior Design Award.
  • Specialized in Interior Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Interior
Apartment 24 Residential Space

Apartment 24 Residential Space

Interior Design


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Interview with Ivana Lukovic

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?
Since the time I was 15 years old, I am inclining towards art and architecture, expressing that through drawings, reading relevant books, visiting exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and places of interest. Hence, the choice to study architecture and become an architect came to me quite naturally and without any doubt.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
The small- scale Studio aspires to transfer the founder’s personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators while inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner. Following a creative process from the initial design all the way to its completion, it maintains intimate, tactile connection with a proposal, simultaneously adopting a unique, multidisciplinary approach to each design brief. The aura, created during the process, preserves positive psychological impact on everyday life of the user, long time after the project is completed.
What is "design" for you?
Design is the process where the time, along with personal feelings, professional skills and knowledge, life experience, ethical and esthetic sensibility, mind and body, eye and hand, as well as the entire persona are involved.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
It is the project that deals with the reconstruction of the Apartment 24 in my native city, Belgrade in Serbia. The 110m2 place used to belong to my late parents and the best way to deal with their departure was to transform the space filled with fond memories into something contemporary, functional, and beautiful. This decision placed me in the exciting, yet challenging position, in which I had to play both role of a Client and Architect as well. The implementation of the project inspired all those involved in the process, creating enthusiastic atmosphere at the site. Completed space became a more sustainable retreat that involves all senses and brings serenity to the users and visitors.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
It was interior design for the 200m2 apartment in the Athens southern suburb, Glyfada, that also included furniture design and design of all functional divisions.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I like working with natural, tactile materials like wood, rough stone, concrete etc.
When do you feel the most creative?
When I am alone at my five meters long desk, surrounded by different samples, pencils, colors, papers, sketches and filled with enthusiasm of creation.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
Mostly, I focus on natural light sources, together with materiality and functionality.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Genesis of the idea, its evolution and realization initiate powerful and stimulating visceral feeling that helps you to overcome any difficulty you might encounter during the creative journey.
What makes a design successful?
When the Architect, the Client and the Craftsmen are satisfied with the part they played in creating a new Whole.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
If interaction between different components creates harmonious effect.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Designer must be aware of over-consumerism of raw materials, carbon emission, overheating, water management, deadly viruses, etc. and to try to implement cleaner and more efficient processes.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I suppose 3D printing technology that is more efficient, but it is already happening, and the future is difficult to predict because it becomes present so promptly.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
I am an architect, so my exhibitions are spaces that are created by me. The last space that I completed several months ago was "JN White Space", family apartment in Belgrade, Serbia. I would love my next project to be a simple dwelling at a tiny Greek island.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Continuous inspiration is deriving from the genius loci: designing architecture as a personal dialogue with the qualities of a site, while treating complexities, constraints, and constrictions as creative points of departure. Eternal food is also found in the images from the world of art, poetry, film, literature, theatre, nature, as well as in the ordinary things of everyday life with their hidden beauties.
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?
I am treating contemporary architecture and interior design as an experience, with all senses involved. My work is based on the spatial exploration and experimentation in terms of natural light and materials. Simple color scheme is applied to emphasize atmosphere produced by the effects of the natural light.
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?
I have been living in Athens, Greece, last twenty-seven years, although I was not born here. I was born in Belgrade, Serbia and moved here in 1992 because I always wanted to live in the capital city by the sea and was fascinated by the Mediterranean and the blue horizon that follows you wherever you go. All my professional life, I benefit from both cultures but Greek light and white cubes of islands vernacular architecture have the most powerful effect on my designs.
How do you work with companies?
I have mainly private clients and collaborate very seldom with companies.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Company should select designer on the portfolio and human qualities base. Once the relationship is established, company should follow instructions of the designer for its own benefit and the benefit of the collaboration.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
Usually it begins by walking along my five- meters long desk in attempt to concentrate powers of imagination. Looking and touching different samples of materials with variety of their textures, browsing through books, trying different color pencils on tracing paper through unconscious sketches, looking at mementos of my travels, photographs, models, drawings, will always help me to be motivated in search for new ideas for the projects and to start with relevant sketches.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
It would be: 1) “Endless” indoor- outdoor modular table, designed by me. 2) “Tolomeo” lamps in different sizes by Artemide, designed by Michele De Lucchi 3) “Eames Chair DSW” by Vitra, designed by Charles and Ray Eames 4)” Balancing Boxes” side tables by Porro, designed by Front 5) Retro espresso machine by Illy, designed by Luca Trazzi
Can you describe a day in your life?
When I am not traveling, the most of the time I am spending in my home studio working on the new project with my collaborators; reading, listening to the music, walking by the sea or having personal yoga class or foreign language class, preparing some healthy meal or going out with friends.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
To include time as a main factor in the network of possible approaches and decisions during the design process. Concerning that, I would like to refer to the part of the essay “The Trout and the Mountain Stream,” written by Alvar Aalto, in which he expresses in a metaphorical manner the importance of time for the maturing of our ideas. “I would like to add that architecture and its details are connected in a way with biology. They are, perhaps, like large salmon or trout. They are not born mature, they are not even born in the sea or body of water where they will normally live. They are born many hundreds of miles from their proper living environment. Where the rivers are but streams, small, shining bodies of water between mountains…as far from their normal environment as man’s spiritual life and instincts are from his daily work. And as the fish egg’s development to a mature organism requires time, so it also requires time for all that develops and crystallizes in our world of thoughts. Architecture needs this time to an even greater degree than any other creative work.”
What skills are most important for a designer?
Among others, it would be the ability to transfer personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators, thus inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
A lot of different tools: pencils, art pen, papers, brushes, ACAD, 3DMax, art books, philosophy books, poetry books, architectural magazines.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Simply, I dedicate a lot of time to my projects, because I believe that only in that way you can achieve desired result.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
I like to dedicate about two months for the first presentation of the new project. It is the most important to allow time to the initial idea to mature.
What was your most important job experience?
It was reconstruction of the Apartment 24 in Belgrade, Serbia, because it focused on architectural qualities in parallel with the social ones. Namely, it was coordinated in three languages and supported by a few dedicated professionals from various construction fields and several countries. It was their enthusiasm, international expertise and human qualities that made realization joyful and possible, despite the challenges regarding technical and bureaucratic issues.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy designing private residences, because you maintain intimate connection with a proposal and create a close relationship with a client.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Next project would be designing a house at a tiny Greek island at a challenging site.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I develop initial designs by myself and then include collaborators in every new step of the process.

Extended Interview with Ivana Lukovic

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
1991, Architect, MA, School of Architecture University of Belgrade, BELGRADE/SERBIA 1997-2020, Own Architectural Studio engaged in Housing projects- Interior design- Furniture design- Architectural competitions- Exhibition design, ATHENS/GREECE
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
It is a prospect of experiencing the completed space, that is a part of my mental world, as well as the design process itself expressed through numerous sketches, drawings, models, writings, renderings, etc. The visceral feeling, created during the genesis of the idea, its evolution and realization, is so powerful and stimulating that it helps you to overcome any difficulty you might encounter throughout the creative journey and stay motivated.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
Since the time I was 15 years old, I am inclining towards art and architecture, expressing that through drawings, reading relevant books, visiting exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and places of interest. Hence, the choice to study architecture and become an architect came to me quite naturally and without any doubt. My parents just supported my decision.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
Mostly, I design bespoke, multidisciplinary residential spaces and that subject is my preference. I would like to design simple dwellings at Greek islands, situated at some challenging site, because the unique scenery and atmosphere of these places fascinate me.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
They should include time as a main factor in the network of possible approaches and decisions during the design process. Concerning that, I would like to refer to the part of the essay “The trout and the mountain stream” written by Alvar Aalto in which he expresses in a metaphorical manner importance of time for the maturing of our ideas. “I would like to add that architecture and its details are connected in a way with biology. They are, perhaps, like large salmon or trout. They are not born mature, they are not even born in the sea or body of water where they will normally live. They are born many hundreds of miles from their proper living environment. Where the rivers are but streams, small, shining bodies of water between mountains…as far from their normal environment as man’s spiritual life and instincts are from his daily work. And as the fish egg’s development to a mature organism requires time, so it also requires time for all that develops and crystallizes in our world of thoughts. Architecture needs this time to an even greater degree than any other creative work.”
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
Great designer knows how to orchestrate his collaborators to achieve realization of his idea.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
When the components create harmonious Whole and involve all your senses.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
When we are surrounded by cleverly created objects and we are experiencing cleverly designed spaces, we feel positive impact on our entire being.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I would design contemporary version of vacation home by Le Corbusier in Roquebrune -Cap- Martin in French Riviera, for my family. I like the idea of functional, miniature space where you emphasize the beauty of natural light, surrounding scenery and materials applied. Location could be anywhere, however, tiny Greek island would be my preference.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
It is my ability to transfer personal enthusiasm for each new architectural challenge to the clients and collaborators, thus inspiring them to contribute to the project in the best possible manner. Good collaborations make realization joyful and possible.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
I am inspired by a lot of people and it doesn't have to be necessarily only from the world of architecture and design, but also from musicians, poets, film and theatre directors, authors, chefs, nature and from the simple everyday events.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
It is a broad subject, but, personally, my favourite space is Dominican Convent Sainte-Marie de La Tourette, famous piece of architecture, designed by Le Corbusier. During my visit to this this place of silence, I was exposed, unexpectedly, to such an overwhelming spiritual power that created in my being a strong emotional reaction.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
It is reconstruction of the Apartment 24 in Belgrade, Serbia, because it focused on architectural qualities in parallel with the social ones. Namely, it was coordinated in three languages and supported by a few dedicated professionals from various construction fields and several countries. It was their enthusiasm, international expertise and human qualities that made realization joyful and possible, despite the challenges regarding technical and bureaucratic issues. It is, also, excellent in terms of natural light sources and ventilation, materials applied and functionality. Result is sustainable retreat that involves all senses and brings serenity to the users and visitors.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
I believe that they should expose themselves through traveling to the new images of architectural situations, landscapes, art exhibitions, museums, exploration of local flavors, major events regarding music or theater etc. All these subjects of interests, that improve them personally and professionally, will become part of their memory, patiently waiting to be the initial point of departure in the future creative project.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is the process where the time, along with personal feelings, professional skills and knowledge, life experience, ethical and esthetic sensibility, mind and body, eye and hand, as well as the entire persona are involved.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
My late parents, my husband Dario, my wonderful friends, my cats.
How do you think designers should present their work?
Impeccable presentation is important as it shows the time and emotions that you invested in your project. It also shows the respect towards the client which is the foundation of the successful collaboration. I believe that the print version and electronic version are both important and should be provided.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Next project would be designing and executing humble, experimental dwelling at a tiny Greek island at a challenging site.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
To improve myself every day as an architect and as a human being by involving all senses.
How does design help create a better society?
Designer must be aware of over-consumerism of raw materials, carbon emission, overheating, water management, deadly viruses, etc. and to try to implement cleaner and more efficient processes in his creative journey.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
Currently, after completion of family apartment in Belgrade "JN White Space", few months ago, I am dedicating a lot of time to further reading and drawing and it brings me a joy and peace in this period of self- isolation. I see it as a preparation for the new, exciting project.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
I enjoyed the most designing private residences, because of the possibility to maintain an intimate connection with a proposal and to create a close relationship with a client.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
For me, as a sensitive human being and as an architect, I would like to see, urgently, transformation of our day to day existence like solving existential human question, need for Shelter ( with capital S) for all. The importance of that matter is beautifully expressed in the following text by Gaston Bachelar "Poetics of the space": "Our house is our corner of the world...it is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word. ...It is an instrument with which to confront the cosmos."
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I suppose towards more efficient 3D printing technology that is already happening, and the future is difficult to predict because it becomes present so promptly.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It takes about two years from the first sketch, through drawings, models, permissions, construction site, etc. to the moment when you are able to experience the completed space. It is quite a journey.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
Usually it begins by walking along my five- meter long desk in attempt to concentrate powers of imagination. Looking and touching different samples of materials with variety of their textures, browsing through books, trying different color pencils on tracing paper through unconscious sketches, looking at mementos of my travels, photographs, models, drawings, will always help me to start with relevant sketches in search for the new ideas for the projects.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
I believe that trends are ephemeral and really good design is eternal.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Initial sketches are always by pencils and different drawing tools because I enjoy the contact with them, after that comes technology that is necessary for other qualities.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
To achieve desirable atmospheric space, it is important to establish harmonious interaction between color, materials, light.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
I like them to feel the space more then to pose questions about my design.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
I am more solitary type of architect but I like collaborating with different people once when I established the path that I would like to follow. I believe in co- design but still it didn't have satisfactory result when I tried.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
Discussions with some Professors during my studies, my colleagues and friends. These conversations were not necessarily only about architecture but about a lot of other subjects as well.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
The list would be very long, but "Parallax" by Steven Holl was one of the books that I was reading and re- reading because it made enormous impression on me. The author explores in a poetic way the relation of a spirit in architecture and discoveries in science and perception. It is beautifully written in short, essential sentences and accompanied by artistic photographs of natural phenomena and architecture, sensual water colors and architectural drawings of Holl's projects.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
Red, Folegandros island in Greece, anything from the sea, end of summer and early autumn, Caran D' ache metal pencil, Vitra
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
It is always funny when clients wish to provide you a drawing so you could have a point of departure.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
Colorful, healthy breakfast,classical music, scents of Mediterranean herbs and plants from my terrace, piles of books and surrounding filled with natural light, are always motivation to start creative process.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
I am focusing on present which is already past the moment I am writing this.

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