Artist Interview - Tsaruk & Ahmadova

Feature Story

Belarusian designers Igor Tsaruk and Marina Ahmadova are not married, not a couple in love, not relatives, but they have been working together for more than five years. They have similar views on beauty and design in the broad sense and complement each other as professionals, which they think gives them an advantage over other designers.

They commented: “We are both architects and we were classmates at university. During the last year of our study we created our own project, ‘Fajno Design’, which specialised in industrial and interior-design work. In the summer of 2017, ‘Fajno’ started producing items we had created.” This decided them on a future as collaborative creators. They are both members of the Belarusian Union of Designers.

Brest, Belarus 

Do you regard your partner as a reliable sounding-board for your ideas or does he/she know you too well to be objective?

We have been working together for about six years and different things have happened to us. Now we totally trust each other and have great respect for each other’s opinions. We are aware that any correction in a project is for the better; it is only the desire to make the project better, not the wish to offend anybody or display your selfish interest. We believe in each other’s objectivity and know that it makes us keep our eye on the ball, be in tune with the trends and move on.

Have you heard of Design Thinking and if so do you regard it as a technique worth adopting by enterprises that have nothing to do with the world of design?

Sure, we have heard of Design Thinking and think that it is quite applicable to any sphere of life. As for us, we don’t follow any specific methods deliberately and consciously. We have worked out our own schemes of creation. We believe that any method is good if it is applicable and works in a particular situation. When we were deeply interested in various methods of work organisation, we came to the conclusion that any team has to work out their own thing and that this can lead to incredible results at that moment.

Do you agree that “two heads are better than one”? Would even more heads be even better?

We totally agree and believe that it is our tremendous power. Of course, we always cooperate with our colleagues, customers, manufacturers and designers. It could happen that we will realise that we need a third or a fourth partner, and hopefully this will be a harmonious continuation. We exclude nothing, but right now we feel comfortable with each other.

Do you have frequent disagreements and if so how are they resolved? Do you just press on regardless of criticism or do you normally end up with a compromise?

When we started working together, we were young and hot-headed. We tended to place personal selfish aims above the actual result; what is more, we were short-tempered. Now it is great to understand that we have grown out of such infantilism and we only focus on our jointly achieved result. We are deeply interested in each other’s thoughts and our attitudes to things are quite similar. We enjoy implementing each other’s ideas. We adore accepting challenges from the outside world. If misunderstandings arise, we talk them out. Criticism is never an end in itself.