Olga Sorokina – Winner of It’s LIQUID International Contest 3rd Edition

Olga SorokinaImage courtesy of Olga Sorokina

Olga Sorokina – Winner of It’s LIQUID International Contest 3rd Edition

Olga Sorokina is an architect, interior designer and artist. Graduated with honors at Saint-Petersburg State Art Academy, MSc in Arts (Interior design) in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

Luca Curci – When did you decide to be an architect and why?

Olga Sorokina – Perhaps, since childhood, when I created incredible designs from overturned chairs and tables. But if seriously, since 16 years-old, when I realized that one of the most interesting occupations is creating environment that surrounds you. You can influence it, modify it, and feel so creative and happy while doing it. Creating concepts, environments, spaces, ideas of territory development, solving urban planning tasks, facing challenges, and, as a result, making this world a better place, leaving a trace behind – that is what captivates in the profession of architect.  A city is a living tissue, an organism, built by the same laws as the man; only the material changes: space, air and stone replace blood and flesh. It’s like a white sheet for the artist; he himself wonders how his idea will be embodied, because the idea is a living thing that can transform in the process of creation, can dictate its terms, wanting to incarnate. This is a very exciting process; the man was made to create, to invent something new, something that will make the world better. Architecture provides excellent opportunities for creativity, even for boundless creativity; remember the architects-universals who could create a whole building starting from the door handle design.

Olga SorokinaImage courtesy of Olga Sorokina
L.C. – Can you talk about your work? Which are your inspirations?

O. S. – My inspiration is journeys. Change of scenery, new cultures always give inflow of fresh thoughts and ideas, give a sense of freedom and vitality, what the French people call the “art de vivre”. I love big cities, capitals, their atmosphere and architecture. My hometown St. Petersburg inspires me a lot with its canals, palaces, parks, streets, and fantastic white nights. Also art, painting, especially Kandinsky, watercolors and calligraphy inspires me. And, of course, for each artist chief inspirer, muse is Nature; it is truly an inexhaustible source of ideas. Just to sit and look at the sea, watch how during springtime leaves reveal more and more  every day, listen to the rain, study the structure of a flower. Music inspires me, I love to spend evenings in the St. Petersburg Philharmonia. Nature, sounds, colors and flowers, dance, smells, touches, even an accidental stain of ink on paper – everything can be inspiration, it is everywhere, the most important is to see it. Recently I attended a lecture by Karim Rashid in St. Petersburg, I remember his phrase: “Work is life, do not even doubt.” I liked that statement, assuming that by work he meant creativity, occupation that is interesting for you. A person in this world exists to give more than take, to create. Creativity for the artist is a necessity, a way of life; if he does not create, then he feels bad. Thoughts about projects are always with him: on the road, on vacations, even during sleep. All this does not mean that you are constantly fixed on work, it means that you just know how to notice the hidden answers, hints of life on your questions. For example, you are driving a car and see a beautiful sunset, a peculiar shade of light floods the streets and houses with gold, and then you understand how you need to set lighting in the 3DS MAX working stage to make your project look fantastic! There are many similar examples, one just needs to learn how to notice the beauty in the world.

Olga SorokinaImage courtesy of Olga Sorokina

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

O. S. – Now I am working on a project for contest “Winter city” in Copenhagen (the organizer is the Danish Architectural Center); the main task is to create a framework for an outdoor event during winter and make the urban space more exciting in the cold and dark months. Also I am engaged in painting and graphics. And now I am preparing to move to Copenhagen; I have great expectations about this city, the capital of design and innovations!

Olga SorokinaImage courtesy of Olga Sorokina
L. C. – What was the best advice given to you as an architect?

O. S. – I have a wonderful book “The architect says. Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom”; I often re-read it and constantly find new and interesting ideas. One of my favorite statements-advices belongs to Herman Hertzberger, Dutch architect and emeritus professor: “If you think you can not make the world a better place with your work, at least make sure you do not make it worse.” In my opinion, this is worth remembering for all the architects, especially for those who deal with buildings in historic city centers.

Olga SorokinaImage courtesy of Olga Sorokina
L. C. –  What is architecture for you?

O. S. – For me architecture is a second nature, nature that was created by man; it is a material display of ideas. It is also a source of inspiration, expression of creativity, combination of form and function. Architecture strongly affects one’s lifestyle, often determines it by forming habitat. Architecture for me is also a way to understand the space; it is thoughts of great architects embodied in stone, wood and concrete. Architectural masterpieces are the praise to human capabilities.

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