Talking About
Participatory Culture
Q.: I really like your work on 'Shukhov Tower Posters' what was your inspiration?
A.: It was a part of a social responsibility campaign against dismantling of the Shukhov Radio Tower which is also known as "Russia's Eiffel Tower". It's one of the most significant and iconic constructions of the XX century. These posters were campaigning to sign a petition against the demolition of the tower. The situation with the tower and what the government is planning to do with it is absolutely heartbreaking for many people. So among the main sources of inspiration here were rage, ire, struggle for justice and, of course, brilliant architecture of Vladimir Shukhov.

Q.: What has been your favourite project to produce and work on? Why?
A.: It's hard to pick up and just name one favourite project as all of them are equally dear to me. Probably the most favourite are the most recent ones. Right now one of my most favourite projects is a series of posters for an opera "Lazarus oder Die Feier der Auferstehung" by Franz Schubert and Edison Denisov. The music and the whole story of this opera were so fascinating that I enjoyed every minute working on these posters. I don't know what can be better than turning great music into an image, giving sound a visual representation.

Q.: How do you select what projects you want to work on?
A.: Fortunately now I have an opportunity to choose the projects I want to work on and I don't have to pursue the projects I don't like in order just to make some money. So when I'm thinking over whether to work on a certain project or not I ask myself two questions. Do I have anything new to say here? And the second one: How honest is this going to be? I mean if I have any doubts, for example, about the quality of the product or the marketing policy of the company I am supposed to make a project for I won't do it. I don't want my work to delude or mislead people.

Q.: Has participatory culture changed the way you work in any way?
A.: Not much. I mean I always have a clear vision of what I'm going to do so I don't like the idea of posting some work in progress on social media searching for advice.
Probably the participatory culture has some effect on my work, only in terms of quality. Once you set the bar high you can't fall below a certain level. You can only set the bar higher and higher.

Q.: How do you move from product to service?
A.: Usually first I receive the briefing from the client and we're discussing the possible approaches to the future work. After that we develop the visual concept and the client approves it we develop the entire project.

Q.: Do you use social media? If so, how much work does it create for you? If not, why not?
A.: I think of social media as of a good networking tool. I use it mostly to share my works with colleagues and friends and to follow their work.

Q.: How important is feedback from your audience and clients?
A.: Of course it is important and fruitful, but not crucial. Sometimes people just need some time to accept your ideas.

Q.: Do participants have any effect on your final outcomes?
A.: I'm always open to new ideas or advice and welcome all kinds opinions especially if it's reasonable criticism. It won't necessarily have any effect on the final outcome but I always take any feedback into consideration.

Q.: Supposing you were given the opportunity to generate new design perspectives within the new social media, what would be your starting point?
A.: I've never thought of this actually. I guess the amount of social media is too large nowadays and it takes too much time. So my starting point would be to design some kind of a time saving platform that could unite all the existing social media.

Q.: How would you handle a situation where your client questioned your design approach? Is the client always right?
A.: My clients usually trust me and give me freedom in developing projects. Those who question my design approach just don't turn to me and find another designer, I guess. Anyway, I think it's always important to talk the things over with the client to avoid some misunderstandings. Of course the client can be wrong. Although he pays, he is not infallible. You also pay to a surgeon, but you are unlikely to question the way he operates you on.

Q.: How has new technology, such as Adobe software, The internet and Digital media had an impact on the work you create today?
A.: I am a faithful user of Adobe software and I am absolutely in love with their Adobe Creative Cloud. Installing and using software has never been so convenient and fast before.

Q.: "Staged interactions take the participants on a guided, interactive tour through he world of the brand. While brands give the audience the chance to interact with them, they retain complete control over the experience" How if in any way does your work reflect this?
A.: Well, I take this fact as rules of the game. It's ok until the game is fair.

Questions by Jodie Bygraves

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