Please introduce yourself in a few words
I’m a Ukrainian architect, interior designer, ceramist and art lover. I’m also the owner of the Sergey Makhno Architects design studio and of the first product design gallery in Ukraine, the Sergey Makhno Gallery.
I travel a lot and want to visit every country. I’m a devotee of minimalism and of wabi-sabi Japanese philosophy.
I also collect ceramics. There are already 500 unique objects in my collection, among which are Trypillian bowls, Ukrainian zoomorphic ceramics and vases collected on Japanese flea markets.
Where do you work?
In my opinion, Sergey Makhno Architects is the workshop of modern Ukrainian design and architecture. Meter by meter we create new worlds. With trees growing in a living room and lamps the size of a man. Where the bathroom can be in a glass box and where the tiles recreate the form of a bird. We think that our realizations have to amaze people. We create art that is pleasant not only to look at but also to live in.
What does it mean to you to be a designer working in Ukraine?
The philosophy of our company is “We art the word”. We strongly believe that beauty creates beauty.
And location doesn’t change anything, whether it’s in Ukraine, the USA or Bali… We have completed more than 500 projects in 16 countries. We know we can change the world around us by sharing Ukrainian culture, our vision of beauty and our philosophy.
What is your favorite project so far?
My favorite project so far is the biggest Japanese restaurant in Ukraine and one of the biggest ones in Eastern Europe, Yoshi Fujiwara, here in Kyiv. That is our big crush. We’ve put a lot of work in this project, the inspiration comes from Japan of course. Underlining the interior with Ukrainian ceramics is a knight’s move in my opinion though: every time you enter this restaurant, you’re already home.
Where do you find inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my family: my beautiful wife Vlada, my little Tadao, a bit older Hikaru, and my oldest son Ivan, who started art school in Rome this year. At every moment they give me something I cannot miss or ever forget. They give me a kind of love I could only dream about. And this love is the purest feeling that empowers me to live and create.
Which are your top 3 favorite objects at your place or workshop and what is their story?
A Cucuteni-Trypillian vase “Zernovyk” at my home. It is a large ceramic vase that reminds me of my grandmother. I love it for two reasons, as a nice memory of my ancestors and as a great sample of the ceramic art of my country.
The sculpture “Rain” by Ukrainian artist Nazar Bilyk at our office. It’s about the connection between the people and nature, a sacred connection that will always dictate its rules. A large raindrop on the face of a tall bronze figure is a symbol of a calm yet profound dialogue between humankind and our environment. A dialogue that should happen as fast as possible. At least it already exists in this work of art.
A ceramic cup made by Ukrainian artist Serhiy Radko at our office. It is made in a special raku technique and it is my favorite cup to drink Japanese tea. I admire the works of many of my friends. What they create is the light in Ukrainian modern art.
What is your latest crush on Ukrainian creativity (cinema, music, arts, literature, location?)
As I said I’m an art-lover and I have a great collection of modern Ukrainian art to prove it! Ceramist Serhiy Radko is my old friend and an inspiration. Every time I have a free day here in Ukraine I go to his workshop.
Could you please describe your dream Ukraine?
People full of kindness and love for each other, for art, for the things that really matter. Clean green cities with good infrastructure and amazing architecture. Houses with great design with happy people living and working there. And my personal big dream: a Ukrainian MoMA, a museum of modern art in the heart of my world and the owner of my soul, Ukraine.