Name: Sergei Tchoban
Company: nps tchoban voss
Position within company: head
Tell us a little about your background in design
I started off drawing in early childhood, went to art middleschool and received my degree in architecture at the Russian Academy of Arts in Leningrad, Soviet Union. Developing and realizing projects in the fields of both architecture and design, as well as in Russia and Germany, has shaped my artistic attitude over the last few years. And also, it premanently influences my work ethic tremendously. It’s a bit like a game with a double sided hand of cards, being constantly challenged to play the appropriate side.
How would you describe your personal design style?
The observer’s eyes are to be satisfied, gradually while approaching. So detailing is tremendously important.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
The local spirit, the traditions and emerging trends of a place, and not least my personal roots strongly contribute to my ideas. The impact of mere space, a visual richness and depth dominate my perception, but at the same time the imaginary and the associative appeal a lot to me.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
The design term itself has worn out, because we experience too many procedural steps from the initial idea to the final employment of an object. Its value does not necessarily keep up with that kind of supercharge inflation. To me craftsmanship is becoming more and more important. Bridging from established and proven forms and practice to new and useful technical methods and devices, that add convenience and sustainability to today’s lives is what I am after when creating new designs.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2014 and beyond.
Apart from fashion and market considerations, good design appeals by making conscious – its origin, its purpose, its conceptional involvement, its location, its materiality, its connotations etc.
How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I believe the Awards help architects and designers to have a global voice. They can widen their recognition within the business and among clients. And sharing success with other participants could lead to beneficial contacts and new challenging projects.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have an average capacity of twenty projects at nps tchoban voss Berlin plus another ten to fifteen at my architectural studio SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov in Moscow, which does not mean that each of these projects is an all-new construction. But there are currently quite a few very charming designs being realized, and a handful of developing projects such as the new Leipziger Platz in Berlin, a small Russian orthodox monastery, the completion of the Federation Complex in Moscow or the new fair grounds for St. Petersburg. In this year’s summer the foundation, that I was lucky to establish by late 2009, opened its venue in Berlin with the exhibition of 15 amazing Piranesi drawings loaned from Sir John Soane’Äs Museum in London, and at the moment we are presenting a selection of works from our own collection headed “Architecture in Cultural Strife” that gives an insight into the conflicts of the two main architectural currents in Russia – Neoclassicism and Constructivism – between 1900 and 1953.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue to create architecture that captivates people, and to enjoy the privilege of working with professionally skilled and highly productive teams for a range of smart, passionate and solvent clients.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession? a pencil and a sketchbook
Your favourite holiday destination? Places that are worth being drawn
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar? Any, as long as I’m in good company
Your favourite book / film / song? Books by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, movies by Andrei Tarkovsky, songs by Leonard Cohen
Your favourite food and drink? Mediterranean food and drink
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? Walks through the city
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? Movie director
Anything else interesting? I collect architectural drawings