Agata Ostrowska (she/her)
I am an interior designer, but I am also interested in graphic design. In my practice, I try to combine these two elements. In designing I am inspired by nature, travel, and people, which I often combine the need for communing with nature and social problems, from various perspectives and factors. When designing, I take into account not only the final product, which is an interior design, but also the whole process whose task is to create aesthetic and functional solutions intended for a particular recipient. An extremely inspiring person for me is Ilse Crawford, often called an architect of senses, whose views and philosophy of design are very close to me. Its design idea assumes that human needs are the center of everything, and in designing it is important to create an environment in which a person simply feels comfortable and it is not only about ergonomic comfort, but also a huge sphere of psychological comfort. Because the psychology of space and the bond that people make with a given interior, not only of their own home, but of the places they visit daily, is very important to me, in my projects I look for solutions that will help everyone feel comfortable and safe.
I enjoy the challenges of designing space and experimenting with aesthetics with a particular focus on natural materials, ecological solutions and neutral colours. The result is the following project Utopia Living.
Utopia Living/Artist Co-living Apartments
“Earning enough to make a living from your art is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to overcome as an artist.”
The project includes two types of design: residential and hospitality. In the current crisis related to housing prices, and the pandemic that prevented many artists from having a steady or sufficient income, which in turn translates into life stabilization, mental health, and a sense of security. As well as building an international community, by the nature of art work, exhibitions, and temporary projects, many artists travel the world, often forced to stay in poor housing conditions. The Utopia Living project solves the problems of temporary accommodation by offering rentals from a month to 6, thus focusing on the local community through location and affiliation with local artists and those traveling to Glasgow. In the era of a pandemic, by isolating society, we can observe difficulties in making new friends, and thus it can also be a challenge to live in a community. The project explores and understands different personality types and provides a solution to the common space from the private one.
The project is located in The Pipe Factory, which is part of the historic The Barras market, which is strongly connected with the art community in Glasgow, therefore, due to its location, it offers many opportunities for development and work in the city. The second part of the project is a restaurant, located in a smaller part of a 3-part building complex, which offers catering for residents and operates as an independent business that helps by selling, paintings, and other forms of art.
The project also explores the locations as well as the problems and challenges faced by the building. Due to the nature of the market and the waste crisis, it can be seen that it is not the cleanest area in Glasgow, so the project aims to minimize waste, and take an ecological approach by selecting natural materials, such as smile plastic, recycled terrazzo or glass. It is known that due to the character of the project, frequent relocations of tenants and enhanced use of space, the elements will wear out more often.
The residential design assumes the maximum use of space, which is why it is based on the idea of smart storage design and micro-living. Analyzes and understands the needs of residents through a universal aesthetic that is visually flexible to create your own space, and to store personal belongings and art. Each bedroom is unique and has its own arrangement and individual furniture design, through different types of bedrooms are divided into accessible ones, so as to suit everyone’s needs.
In addition, the building includes a co-working studio where artists can work together when they cannot afford to rent their own. And reception desks with a common space, which enables building relationships, social and business meetings.
The design of the restaurant is an aesthetic contrast as it is rich in colours and patterns. The seat structures are inspired by Japanese joinery and traditional Japanese architecture, thus combining modernity and diversity. The restaurant serves Japanese Street Food and drinks, and the exhibition features works by local artists for purchase. The building is designed to connect different communities and support local businesses in the East End.