07 February 2011

Svilen Gamolov and Petar Zaharinov

My weekend was a bit crazy, so the post meant for Saturday will be posted in the past.  It will conclude the fantastic Music Week, which I loved because Niemen was a fantastic find.

Today begins Design Week!  Next week's theme will be FASHION.  I'm keeping it fresh and creative over here because they attract more interest than the political posts (not that they will disappear forever).

Today's post is on the only Bulgarian designers I could find anything on: Svilen Gamolov and Petar Zaharinov.  I hadn't highlighted Bulgaria yet and today was the day.  Design is a bit of a tricky topic because that includes a lot of mediums: architecture, interiors, products, graphics, industrial, etc.  I decided to focus more on products and furniture because I want to do a separate week of architecture and the rest feel too unwieldy as topics.  The design of everyday objects will be a great foray into the artistic yet pragmatic side of CEE. 

Poison Bar Stool, Gamolov (cgart.bg)
Gamolov (cgart.bg)
The first designer is Svilen Gamolov.  He is located in Varna, Bulgaria and designs primarily furniture.  His CGA profile is here, but you can also see a great breadth of his work via Googe image search.  The CGA profile keeps listing his work as "concept design", which means the products have not yet been produced.  I think this is a great shame because the designs are funky, modern, and playful, and they're designed by someone from Eastern Europe––I can think of a few demographics who would buy it. 

I like his work and the bar stool to the upper right reminds me of hyperbolic planes (Note: this video is Vi Hart).  If you need a more basic overview of what that is, Wiki can help you.  Though the back of that chair looks mighty uncomfortable, I love the molded foot rest.  I would like to see that incorporated into more furniture.  I love this chair as well because it is so plant-like while not being utterly absurd.  The origami feel of this coffee table is beautiful, though I would prefer it to be out of a material that's more like paper.  I don't know what that would be, but I'm not the designer.  I would love a sturdy paper feel to the table.  I saw some chairs that were designed out of recycled newspaper while searching for designers, so that's an idea.  I could go on and take you through more of his work, but click on the links and you'll find a lot to look at.

Interlocking table (pesheto.org)
The next designer is Petar Zaharinov.  I couldn't find a photo of the lad, but I found his conceptual website.  His primary interest is the application of puzzles in design and architecture.  The website features his two main projects: interlocking Burr puzzles and sliding interlocking Burr puzzles.  This video here shows you the opening of Praktrik, where attendees had the opportunity to assemble the furniture themselves.  After viewing it, I realized Zaharinov took self-assembly to Rubik levels.  If you order his Burr pieces, you can assemble it yourself too!  In his virtual store, each piece has a difficulty rating.  Unfortunately, the cooler ones are also the more difficult.  It's not so unfortunate if you're a puzzle person.

What I like the most about his work is that it adds a playful element to furniture.  It's not like Ikea where you assemble furniture yourself with some tools, but it's like a Rubik's cube that you have to figure out on your own.  It also brings back the art of joinery without adhesives or metal.  I wish there was more of Zaharinov to drool over, but that's all I found. 

If you're interested in finding a few more Bulgarian designers, you can browse here.  I must warn you that sections of the website are in Cyrillic with no translations.  I also searched for some on a design website, so more are available here.

For architectural design, look at Zoom Architectural Studio.