ELIA NEDKOV

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I was born in Yambol, and graduated the High School of Mathematics in Sofia, but I wanted to be an artist. I painted for many years with the idea of applying to the National Academy of Arts. But life had different plans for me and right after high school I found myself in West Berlin (when there were still two parts – western and eastern). I settled finally in Austria. That was where I gradually got drawn to fashion, fabrics and clean details. And I graduated fashion in Vienna only to realize I was much more intrigued by architecture. So I went to study architecture in Graz. When I opened my own studio in 1997 all those various interests combined together under the common denominator of design, be it architectural, product or graphic.

Do you remember what you dreamt of becoming when you were a child?

Yes, to be a painter and an artist overall.

Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your professional development?

Life is changing constantly. I’ve been impressed by various things in my different periods of professional development. In fashion, for example, at the beginning of the 90-s, I was truly impressed by the Japanese trend set up by Issey Miyake, Yoshi Yamamoto andRei Kawakubo. In architecture, the names would be Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, Alberto Campo Baeza, Tadao Ando, Luis Barragan. I like Antonini’s movies. The winning of a certain international competition back in 2003 gave me the possibility to open my own studio in Milan, where I began to seriously develop my professional career.

How would you describe your work?

I look for the value, and I skip the effective tricks.  I try to approach the topic in a sensitive and delicate manner, and in the same time I want to implement and deliver a sense of sophistication. My style is restrained, but refined.

Tell us more about your work process:

My approach is architectural. From large scale to small scale, from the generals to the details. Usually my studio is the place where I live. Things overflow. I love my job so it’s not a burden to me. I like letting things mature gradually – either in my sketchbook or in the form of a prototype. I observe them and change them with time, discard the unnecessary, refine them. I often renew old sketches and try to realize them. Very often I think of spaces, volumes and surfaces in their primary form.

I don’t follow a rule when it comes to choosing when to work – during the day or the night. Sometimes I have to work all night, but this is usually the last stage of the project. Once I’m there, there’s no calming down until I finish it. But there are times when it takes time until the project ripens and this may take a lot of time.

I also don’t follow working hours or days. I try to treat with the same respect both pleasure and work responsibilities. For me, it’s all part of the process and I can not split it. A walk can be more valuable than countless hours in front of the computer. I like to surprise myself and run away from the routine.

Who are some of the other Bulgarian designers whose work you admire and follow?

It would be too much to say I’m following somebody in particular at the moment. But I like the work of Ani Vasseva and her theatre group meteor, Neva Balnikova and Nikolay Sardamov, and as a designer – Viktor Vassilev.

What is the professional achievement you are most proud of? 

In my role as an art director of the brand Viero. I transformed it completely, starting from zero and the results are such that they keep me satisfied, happy and willing to upgrade my work for the brand over the years.

What is your dream project?

Every new project is very important to me. I’m open to new tasks and try staying away from cliches.

What are some of your most recent plans and projects?

I,m not waiting for something to come. For me – there is now and what has to come – will do so. But what is now, can became a creative project if I put my conscious and responsibility. I hope to be able to continue to putting into practice what I feel like my style in architecture, design and everything else.

What do you expect from your Milano participation?

To share with the audience what has moved me.

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