Interview With Nataliia Gogolieva From Ukraine

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Nataliia Gogolieva | ENGI Interior Design studio

Nataliia Gogolieva

Nataliia Gogolieva and her team’s goal is to save and preserve Ukrainian cultural inheritance and its unique interior design.

Interview With The 2022 MUSE Design Awards Winner – Nataliia Gogolieva

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
ENGI Interior Design studio was founded by Natalia Gogolieva in 2014 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The operation team is experienced and has an outstanding knowledge dedicated to an interior and exterior design development for commercial real estate, apartments and buildings. The team’s goal is saving Ukrainian cultural inheritance and unique interior design development in Ukrainian style.

Many Ukrainians build their houses and make up their interior design in versatile styles without utilizing Ukrainian style. Our company designers and architects wish to change it. ENGI Interior Design studio has successfully implemented over 200 projects in different styles since 2014.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

All I loved when a child was painting and drawing. When I started my university education, I didn’t choose the designer’s major at once, but in a couple of years my compassion to this activity turned me 180 and I quit my education in Kyiv Polytechnic Institute by Sikorskiy, where I studied chemistry engineering and applied to Mykhailo Boichuk Kyiv State Academy of Decorative-Applied Arts and Design to study the environmental design.

My profession gives me the sense of my existence. When I develop a design, I realize that this is the place developed by me for someone and a shared a part of my soul with my customer. I wish that when someone comes home – to the apartment, house, restaurant – he would feel what I have given into this design.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

We are a design studio, founded in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2014. We develop many architect designs all over our country – interior and exterior design of buildings, restaurants, offices and apartments with further implementation. We plan to go overseas now. The main thing in ENGI Interior Design studio to deliver what the customer expects and for the reasonable price, of course.

I always disliked in my profession, that there were many constrains and argues for a customer during ordering design of a house or an apartment. E.g.: “if you pay this price, you will get only one picture. If you want more, you should pay more”. Then you have no idea how much the professional’s work will cost you. Or: “we don’t do this or that. You may not to order, if you don’t like it”.

Such an attitude to a customer drove me mad. So my goal became to create a high level design studio, where “a customer is always right”. There are peculiarities, of course, but they are so minor, that they cause no problem to a customer. Also, our studio has taken up a high-scale challenge – a synergy of Ukrainian style with a modern design in interior and architecture worldwide. we’ll strive for our success.

4What does “design” mean to you?
Designing is a professional field where creative guys with engineering mind come together and where they solve many global issues. The main essential solution for the human is a beauty, comfort and utility. No one is ever interested how it was achieved but everyone simple uses the result. Therefore, design became essential, as it is worthwhile.

I have chosen this profession namely for this reason - I feel that I can be useful to this world and will do the best I can. So that the design that our ENGI Interior Design studio makes could give joy and comfort in everyone’s life. So that our ideas would be the foundation for global solutions and would help people.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
Architectural design, of course. When I was at school, I loved exact sciences – maths and painting with compassion. I guess it determined this kind of design as my favourite.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
When the spirit is invested in the project. I dislike when professionals work as designers just for money or because it’s fashionable at this moment.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
It’s a building design made in Ukrainian style based on Petrykivka painting elements. Petrykivka painting is a historical heritage of Ukraine. This manner was used by artists to paint on the houses in their area, which made a house look brightly and pleasantly. The main element in this kind of painting is a flower.
8Tell us about your design process.
We need to split my creative activity into two categories - when we work on a project for a customer under a specified SOW and when we implement our own project for people. I can tell you about the second one. First, you get a cool idea. Then, you do all what is needed to make it come true.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Of course.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
This is the just the beginning of our way that we have successfully started. Our idea is to tell as many people as we can about our country and what cool ideas can be used on the facades of their houses. We are grateful to the jury and the team of MUSE Design Awards for supporting and giving us such an outstanding start for our project.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
The JYTTIA is a large project consisting of three parts. It is an architectural part directly named JYTTIA, an interior design named JYTTIA Inside and a subjective design composed of a series of paintings named JYTTIA Kvitka. The name of the project is the word "life", which is written in Ukrainian but transliterated in Latin. I have chosen the project name myself, because those tragic moments that Ukraine is experiencing are immersing people’s lives in blackout. JYTTIA project is a flower, which will certainly blossom when the sun rises.

We took this project up to show the world that we reborn, that we have a great history and that there are great professionals, who make Ukraine blossom and defend on their frontline, as well as those who keep Ukraine independent. We were too short of time to present two other parts for the award this year but we would certainly like to surprise you one.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
To show genuine Petrykivka decorative painting in a modern perception of design.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
First, we worried a lot when nominated our project for the MUSE Design Awards, because we did not know what the reaction would be. We felt a great responsibility. Now, after receiving such a high award, many people get interested in our project. For us, this event has become a great pulse and an evidence that we don’t do it in vain.
14Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
In my opinion, now a design tends to simplify everything - in forms, in colors, in composition but at the same time it lacks something what gives a home comfort. Therefore, I cannot say where the design will come in 5-10 years but I know exactly that many factors influence this field, including natural ones, that encourage constant changes and solution of more and more global problems in society. Perhaps, in 5 years we will design and develop houses on other planets. Who knows…
15If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Not to be afraid. If there is a feeling that the project is valuable, even if it is small or there is no feeling that this project is in line with others, always remain faithful to your idea and only advance forward.
16What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
Create, because the idea is the sense and source of a project. I heard a phrase in one film: “We can do everything, even magic”.
17Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I’ll tell you, when it appears.
18Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Zaha Hadid, Elon Musk and my husband.

Zaha Hadid – as when I was a I was very impressed with the scale of the idea, which this outstanding architect was could develop and create its unique style to.

Elon Musk, because my thoughts are very similar to his. The movement that he began, the ideas that he initiated and is developing are simply phenomenal. The most inspiring is that no one had done such a difficult task before him, and he had the courage to start and not to quit. That's awesome.

And my husband, because he is an inventor. He cannot but create, he is not interested to do something that brings money without the sense for society, he wants to be the one who developed a device by own drawings. The greatest award for him when people use it. He will design exactly what he thought of and would never retreat, because it is the meaning of his life.

19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
When I develop a project I always invest my heart in it and do it as for myself.

Winning Entries

Jyttia | 2022


In spite of the fact that Ukrainian applied art in decoration of facades and interiors has been used for many years …
(Read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Nataliia Gogolieva

Nataliia Gogolieva and her team’s goal is to save and preserve Ukrainian cultural inheritance and its unique interior design.

Read more about this article with Florentina Tsakiri, the Silver Winner of the 2022 MUSE Design Awards.