We are so excited to share with you an interview from one of our favourite Ukrainian design studios, Z River Studio. Founded by Husband and Wife, Zakhar Zibrov and Diana Zibrova, they are a powerful couple that consciously work to help the environment in every way they can. While being away in Europe for a month we saw many architectural wonders but still I come back to Z River Studio and think; their eye for detail has put them in a league of their own, especially when it comes to simple, clean and natural design. Enjoy x
– Where is your design studio based?
Z RIVER STUDIO was founded in Kharkov, Ukraine. Now we are based in Kiev. We are interested in working with different cultures and mindset, focusing on expanding the geography of our projects.
– When did Z River Studio come into fruition and how?
The studio was founded by a married couple Zakhar Zibrov and Diana Zibrova in 2014. Common projects in the last courses of the architectural university laid the foundation for collaborative work. A common vision and views on the design, life priorities and goals formed the basis for the creation of the studio.
– What type of design do you specialise in? Is it mainly Interior Design?
Currently, most of our interiors are the residential projects, but we also take on commercial interiors and architectural design. We are quite selective in the projects. We are keen on projects which are close to the spirit and philosophy we stick to, such projects allow us freely follow our vision and convey the individuality of the client. We’re always looking for the new ideas and solutions. In an ever-changing world you need to be one step ahead, constantly review your attitude, look at yourself from the outside without losing your individuality and uniqueness.
– Name the one design job that your studio is most proud of?
We are delighted that one of our latest projects, Modern Zen, has received great recognition from the audience as we tried to put our philosophy and vision of future trends in its design. In a noisy, densely overpopulated modern world full of visual advertisements, non-recyclable materials, excess of different objects – people need to find out their own Modern Zen. This project is about introversion, digital detox, reflections on purity, mindfulness of choice. It makes us think over the surroundings and who we are.
Confronting the informational squall, we want to have a visually pure interior. We strive to find calm and peace in the midst of noise. The possession of more and more material things is no longer perceived as a guarantee of happiness. Seeking a shelter does not mean a categorical rejection of objects. It is a matter of clearly formulated appreciation, functional design objects and only high-quality concepts. Life at the speed limit implies a desire to find a “shelter” in the house and digital detox.
– How many people do you have working in your studio?
Our studio consists of two people, Zakhar and Diana. Zakhar is responsible for the architectural and administrative components of the project, Diana – for the design and aesthetics. This approach allows us to combine a subtle sense of color, materials and textures together with three-dimensional spatial composition, and projects implementation. Our studio is structured as a creative one, and we periodically attract people to the team depending on the qualities and skills required for a particular project.
– As a business we like to do what we can to leave a lighter footprint, what do you do to support this?
Nowadays, a huge amount of materials used for repair and construction contains substances harmful to the environment and human health. Therefore, we are actively exploring the issue of a safe and environmentally friendly construction. In particular we could apply this to the full extent in residential house design.
In our interiors we’re trying to minimize the use of such substances and work with natural materials such as wood, stone, glass, even recycled materials. Just now many designers and young brands are focused on creating materials from recycled plastic, glass, equipment and other waste. We appreciate this movement, and use such materials in our projects.
In terms of architectural design we strive to use a combination of building materials with alternative energy sources. Also, we set the goal for ourselves to make a contribution to the formation of a healthy environment from the standpoint of cleanliness and order.
We believe that objects should be given a lot of meaning in the future. Now things exist more often as color spots, artistic strokes, perform a filling role. Our task is to clear the space of excess and stop constantly accumulating unnecessary waste. Since the world suffers from overproduction and consumerism, designers and decorators cannot but to pay attention to environmental pollution and the overrun of rare materials. In the interior more attention should be paid to a design that would remain for a long time. There can not be the fast fashion.
– What inspires your design studio to be forward thinking?
We take the inspiration from many things: untouched nature, places full of freedom and natural strength, cleanliness and order combined with the unique character of things, honesty in space, and people’s relationship are among them. People who have defined their vocation and who are interested in self development and make the world a place better, are a great source of inspiration for us as well. We like simple and strong solutions. Minimalism as mindfulness of choice and self-confidence.
For a long time, in our country, an expensive interior has been associated with ostentatious luxury but now the situation is changing for the better, thanks to young designers. We are really inspired by the idea of creating the future look of a modern interior. It is a space with no excessive decoration and props, a place with awareness of choice and understanding of what is really important. The space here is dominated by meaning, purity, order and air.
We are always interested in a non-standard view of things based on a sensual, deep experience. This becomes immediately evident when we talk about unique aesthetics, about what really makes the heart beat more often, what subconsciously delights us. In such cases you understand everything on the quiet. And of course our main inspiration is our little daughter.
– Are there any new exciting projects we should keep an eye out for in 2019?
Some of our special projects are nearing their completion soon. We have been working on them already for year and a half ,cause we’ve been focused on each of the details. We ourselves are intrigued and we will share the result of our work soon.
Written by: Alison Godbier
Photography: Z River Studio