Volodymyr Nepyivoda, Ukrainian architect at the lead of the studio of commercial design YOD, came to visit us at our showroom. Architect, designer, restaurateur, lighting expert .. a multifaceted person who turned our interview into a beautiful chat between friends over a good glass of wine (Volodymyr, by the way, is also a big fan of wine).
The name of your studio is YOD. Where does this name come from, what is its meaning?
"Originally, the name of the YOD studio was a verbatim transcript of the abbreviation "Your Own Design". YOD is a kind of pharmacological factor in architecture. Today, the name of the studio, as well as its appellative, joins a team of people with a certain handwriting and vision of design".
What do you mainly deal with?
«We work predominantly in the sphere of commercial design and we create projects in hospitality sector: hotels, restaurants, cafés and bars. Depending on the project, we also create and realize design objects».
Do you have "favorite" materials?
«We try to use essentially natural materials: glass, stones, copper, Cor-Ten.
For example, we have found, underwater, a 2,500-year-old oak, and we are thinking now about how to use it and in which project we can maximally emphasize all its advantages».
Tell us about some of your recent projects.
«This is the wine bar [the bar is located on Podil, in the heart of old Kiev], of which I’m also one of the owners. Its mission, in addition to the primary one, is to promote the formation of a culture of wine consumption in Ukraine. And in this case, we take care to offer our guests what they lack, that is, a glass of good wine. In addition, all furniture was made using an old wine barrel with a capacity of 10 thousand liters. The barrel's head, on the other hand, became a large round table on which we saved the serial number and the traces left by the wine».
A designer becomes restaurateur. Where did this idea come from?
«To better understand how the entire catering business works, know in person all the steps ranging from the initial idea to the opening day. To our customers, we can offer our own experience, be able to propose valid alternatives and guide them towards a final choice that is best suited to them and their business idea».
You personally take care of the choice of lighting, in what way?
«I’m more than convinced that lighting plays a key role in an interior design project. I devote much attention to studying and looking for the ideal light to enhance the environment and beyond. For example, making food more "lively" and appetizing is preferable to using warm colors».
What are your plans for the future?
«We are also starting to collaborate with foreign clientele and we have opened the Yod Group Limited in Hong Kong with the intention of making it our head office».
PHOTO COURTESY: Olga Vykhvatenko, PR-manager of YOD Design lab