Friday Five With Victoriya Yakusha

Architect, interior designer, and product designer Victoriya Yakusha is the founder of Yakusha Design studio among several other creative ventures. The Ukrainian talent is also behind the furniture and decor design at FAINA Design and owner of the design lecture hall Ya Vsesvit. Victoriya created all of this in an attempt to put Ukraine’s design industry on the map.

“I believe that inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look with your eyes wide open. With the feelings of sincere love for my national roots, I dedicate my works to my homeland. Through my product design at FAINA and interior projects, I want to reflect the whole life force of energy that has been encapsulated over the Ukrainian land for centuries – as I feel it, in a modern interpretation,” she said.

Today Victoriya is joining us to share five of her favorite things in Friday Five!


1. Ukrainian Modern Music
I admire contemporary Ukrainian musicians who find inspiration in our traditional folklore songs or use traditional musical instruments, like buhay, trembita, and tsymbaly, in a contemporary way. It sounds really fresh and interesting. My favorite musicians today are Onuka, DakhaBrakha, Jamala, Alina Pash, Marina Krut, and many others.

Maria Primachenko

2. Ukrainian Decorative Art
I have been passionate about decorative art for many years. It has become my source of inspiration for design – from the ancient painted vases and embroideries in our traditional cloth to hand-woven woolen carpets called “hutsul lizhnyk”. I love their rich patterns and wild textures, and they tell us so much about the rituals, traditions, and beliefs of our ancestors.

I especially love the work of Ukrainian self-taught painter Maria Primachenko, naïve and fabulous mythological beasts which take root іn folk legends and fairy-tales. Picasso once said after visiting a Primachenko exhibition in Paris: “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.”

Photo courtesy of OWENSCORP

3. Rick Owens and Michele Lamy
Such a talented tandem of designers in many ways, they create a strong signature which cannot be confused with others. I love the interiors of their fashion showrooms, furniture collection, their style, and graphic design – everything is so powerful. I always visit their showrooms whenever I travel in Europe or the USA.

Dima Sergeev

4. Handicraft
I love crafts from all over the world, things that have been made by hand with non-mechanized tools, knowledge of previous generations, and with respect to nature. Five years ago I discovered traditional Ukrainian crafts, many of which are endangered due of lack of interest in them and very low profitability. So I asked myself, what can we as designers do to preserve local crafts? Our solution was a design expedition, involving famous foreign artists and press, that helped us bring attention to this issue on a national and global level. On our first trip we highlighted Roberto Bachiocchi, architect of Prada, La Perla, Miu Miu boutiques, Annaleena Leno, talented interior designer and stylist from Sweden, editor of ICON magazine and many others. This year we took the project to a national level with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and received over 14 international design experts from all over the world – USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, Finland, and more. Sharing my passion of Ukrainian crafts with others inspires me.

5. My Family
My biggest support and inspiration in life is my husband and 4 kids. I love to spend holidays together in our forest house, preparing barbecue, and playing with our dog. These moments are precious and I value all of them as the biggest treasure in my life.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.