Arcbazar talked with Architect Marina Dil about her career experiences including her work with Arcbazar.com. Read below as Marina discusses some of her favorite projects, and lends advice to anyone who may be thinking of remodeling or redesigning their space.
Where are you from/ where do you work?
I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, where I live and work as individual architect nowadays. I work out of my studio which is located in my home.
How long have you been an architect?
I have been actively working as an architect for 16 years now (at studios for firms), but I have only been designing with computer architectural programs (software: ArchiCAD, Artlantis) for six years. That step really changed my professional life and opened great new possibilities.
How did you get into the field? What keeps you excited?
I grew up in a family of artists. Visual arts and design always existed in my life from my childhood. Also, I really enjoyed geometry at secondary school and logical problem solving. Provided that, it was not hard to decide what profession to choose. After years of working as an architect my passion for architectural design is ever-growing, especially when working with computer programs.
What is your specialty? Style?
If necessary, I can a adapt to many different styles and different types of tasks (except urban planning projects), but I prefer contemporary minimalistic style, especially when remodeling and renovating existing old buildings. My main inspirations come from contemporary minimalistic Japanese architecture and Scandinavian white interiors.
What is your favorite type of project to work on and why?
Remodeling and renovation projects in which there is a junction of extremely contemporary (even avant-guard) style with some kind of old. I love to change old into new. I like open space in interiors that give the feeling of freedom. Often I lose Arcbazar competitions where it might have been more practical to arrange more storage rooms and closets instead of open space.
Do you have one specific project that you are most proud of?
After more than a year of actively working with Arcbazar, I would mention the “San Francisco Loft” competition project. I am very satisfied with the design, as I tried to adhere closely to the specific vintage style of a traditional San Francisco Loft mixed with modern elements. I was very pleased with the way my design met many of the client’s expectations.
Why do you enjoy using Arcbazar?
Arcbazar is a unique opportunity for designers to consistently have interesting work. It is possible to choose the competition for the projects of your dream and creatively express yourself (quite often being able to win the competition and get some prize money). I think Arcbazar, to some extent, has changed the lives of many designers who consistently work with Arcbazar – I believe that many find themselves as active successful practical designers.
Is there any specific advice that you would give to homeowners relating to your expertise or past experiences?
I will not be the first to say: for homeowners planning to work with designers it is necessary to be prepared for the process by having a good idea of what you want, and what style of design you are most comfortable with. Designers have their own taste and stylistic preferences that could absolutely differ from the clients, but having correct information designers can create a project of client’s desire.
My very personal advice: when choosing a project I think it is always more practical to choose simple plans (layouts), especially in new or reconstructed buildings; this will allow one to change the interior easily after years without drastic changes such as adding light elements or adding/ subtracting furniture.
Also I would suggest to clients to be more attentive to aesthetical concepts of remodeling projects. The purpose of architectural design is not just construction or mending of buildings. Without aesthetical principles it is not actual design. You could not live comfortably in apartment with good layout if it has ugly interior decoration. Interior decoration is very hard work which takes a great deal of time and frequently requires the special skills of a designer. It is important for clients not to ignore this during the construction/ remodeling process.
Are there any tips or tricks that you would lend to those who might be thinking of hosting a contest on Arcbazar?
I would like to suggest that during the process of describing your design project, if you have any specific furniture, painting, rug, or wallpaper you like, to post that information for designers- they will put them into the project and you will be able to visualize those desired elements in the new environment.
Are there any common misconceptions that homeowners have about what you do?
Usually I very successfully collaborate with clients. Yet, I have seen problems arise during the Arcbazar contests when clients begin to alter their requests for the project during the contest. Typically, a contest starts with one set of directions/ stipulations; yet, these may be amended or altered as the contest proceeds in the event that there is a good amount of discussion between designers and the client. I would urge clients to understand that any changes made after the launch of the contest will be increasingly more difficult to adapt to as the contest draws to a close.
Do not be afraid of choosing non-standard projects. Very often, non-standard projects work better than traditional. When making a decision about choosing the winning project, try to involve your friends and relatives in the process who could be helpful in suggesting a more atypical design. Very often in Arcbazar competitions I feel that some of the best and most practical designs are overlooked because they are a little less traditional, a little more unconventional, even though to me they appear to be the best fit.
I would like to thank all of those with whom I have worked on Arcbazar, especially those who have chosen my projects as winning projects. Should anyone wish to contact me, visit my Arcbazar page here.