His quest for material purity is in any challenge. It can be an interior of a house or a development of a product. The love for clean and minimal geometries and shapes led Victor Vasilev, Milan-based architect and designer, to establish his reputation in the industry and work for several design companies like Boffi, Living Divani, Antrax and MDF Italia. Born in Bulgaria in a Jewish family he moved to Israel after the fall of Berlin wall in 1990. There he learned to cultivate an open-mind and an active curiosity that made him decide to move to Milan, Italy, to study the language and architecture at the Politecnico. Before graduating he spent a year at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was deeply influenced by the style of nordic architects. In 2011 he was awarded at first price in the MDF+Cristalpant design contest for his MAMBA shelf/desk project.
We chat with him about design, role models and his MAMBA.
D: How did you come up with the idea of Mamba?
VV: The Mamba shelf / desk was born as a proposal for a competition organized by MDF Italia and Nicos International, the company which has developed the material called cristalplant. The brief was addressed to young designers (under 37) that had to realize a product, in cristalplant, which could interpret the spirit of MDF Italia.
D: What was your inspiration?
VV: The idea came out as an answer to some simple questions. What should a desk look like in the age where we, no longer, write with a pen on a sheet of paper ? Every house has a laptop or an iPad and we need to offer new furnitures designed for this digital era.
D: Who were or still are your role models? Those who have been crucial in your training?
VV: I am a big fan of the Bauhaus School and its philosophy. I still believe that those principals are valid and useful today.
D: When you have to start a project, what do you do?
VV: Every project starts with a brief. However, the final result is always part of a long and uncertain process of questions and answers. I begin with the physical development (through drawings and models) only when I know what it has to be achieved.
D: Are you working on a new project for MDF Italia right now?
VV: Winning the competition gave me the possibility to get acquainted with the people behind the brand. We have common views and this became the basis for other new products after the Mamba. The exchange of ideas is still going on and I hope to present some new things next year.
D: What's design for you?
VV: Design is a process which is always part of the creation of an object. Good design improves the relationship between a product and a person who is using it both physically and emotionally. If something is functional but it’s not beautiful, that means that the product is not functional at all. If something is beautiful but it’s not functional, then it is clearly not as beautiful as we thought. A design project must be functional and beautiful at the same time.