Who is Yuri?
I am a designer. Thanks to the language of design, I am able to communicate what I think is most important. Philosophy is a fundamental part of my work. Simply put, everything in my life revolves around our relationship with nature, a relationship I have been cultivating since I was a child.
How did your studio come to be?
I created a design studio 25 years ago that has now evolved into an architecture studio. Little by little, I realized that the interiors I was designing were composed using pieces designed in my own workshop. Over time, these items naturally became their own collections and found a home in other interiors.
Since we are here in your workshop, would like to show us your favourite piece?
I love them all, they are like my children, so I cannot choose one. They are all the products of my profound reflections on the world. I would love to see people be more careful with our planet, to perceive it like a true environment for life. To help people understand that we depend on nature and that together we are one organism, that is my objective. I have always felt upset by people’s ignorance regarding the environment and I am trying to change this attitude through my work.
How could your creations change the perception people have of nature?
People are looking for novelty. But why? Frankly, this bothers me. I want to say: «Stop and look around!» Does a blossoming tree have less value than a new table? My tables are made of wood and it may seem like I am contradicting myself, but a table built in my workshop reflects the absolute beauty and energy of this organic material. I try to make you really feel its texture, its veins… A table like that can be contemplated for years, just like a tree growing in your garden. And you wouldn’t just chop it down because you’ve had enough or because you’re bored with it, would you? That’s why I build pieces that never lose their true value: objects that are made to last which will never need replacing.
What inspires you?
Our planet, silence, children, as well. Nature gives me immense energy. Walk on the ground with a whisper — this is what my designs illustrate.
How would you describe your ideal Ukraine?
I wish it was more peaceful, harmonious, and that its citizens would become more aware. My dream is simple: I wish we could learn to better know ourselves, to stay sincere. I hope my designs can be a kind of a guide in this direction.