Published by Junsuke Yamasaki we present a series of spreads from the Russian youth vanguard's acclaimed book
March 23, 2012
Introducing the talented Russian conceptual developer and his recent return from Art Basel
- Text by Kristina Voytovich
Sergei Starostin aka Stoyn has recently returned from the United States where he successfully participated at Art Basel. The talented poet and Stoyn laboratory creative director Sergei is trying through his designs to change people's lives for the better. And at this moment, he keeps working on Stoyn laboratory projects - ice cream, uniform, dog shampoo and conceptual perfume - and own Superbrand projects, the company recently created by Sergei and his friends at the FIRMA Agency. Superbrand wants to become an self-sufficient advertising agency that serves only its own products.
Satellite Voices: What's the main idea behind all your designs?
Sergei Starostin: This year my idea became perfectly clear to me but it has always lived inside me. It is an inorganic human state in the urban environment. The things that the people require from the urban environment and the things the urban environment gives to them are two completely different poles. For example, I want to see the wooden benches because it's always the winter here but the city offers me the iron ones, on which I can not sit more than six months. Or, I want a building with strange Kandinsky’s patterns but the city offers me only "boxes for a living". All that surrounds me doesn’t satisfy me in the terms of clothing, city, and other conceptual things. The idea is to make the world better and more interesting place for people.
SV: How do you come up with an idea to make an ice cream in the form of human heads?
Sergei Starostin: Vika Mamikonova and I are studied all the ice cream and just tried to give it life. All the production factories rejected us, so we built our own. And then I realised that any your idea obliges you to open a new production factory. Because existing plants and mechanisms can not meet the demand for new designs. The ice cream had a clear slogan: "The people make the history." We took the main clichés of the 20th century as a basis – Che Guevara’s superidealism, Marilyn Monroe’s glamour, and Darth Vader’s laughter and irony. This is all that mankind has created, and received at the output.
SV: Tell us about the experience of participation in the Art Basel?
Sergei Starostin: After this trip, I realised that all the ideas of Russian designers are so bold, so interesting that they are ready for the world community. Now the Western market is very saturated, and the entire design is very commercial. We're hungry, on the contrary. Every time we do something, we try to make it even better. And this sense of perfectionism, as well as state of an "ugly duckling" help Russian designers catching the ideas from the space.
SV: What problems the Russian designers mainly face?
Sergei Starostin: One of the weaknesses, which does not allow us to rapidly reach a leading position, is a Russian production. This concerns fashion, architecture, and design. But now a few people are developing a new concept. The production coming to an understanding that it doesn’t have a needed level is also changing.
SV: Are your products oriented to the mass market?
Sergei Starostin: The person who put his designs on the shelf is an artist. I'm not an artist, I'm a designer. I want to do things that would serve the humanity and that would have made it better. There is no social request from the public right now, so I have to do everything by trial and error. I try to understand what the community is really missing.
SV: Why did you decide to made uniforms for art workers?
Sergei Starostin: Daniil Landar and I have noticed that in the mass-market lacked the most ordinary cutting that would minimize the silhouette of a person. Moreover, with the message from Rodchenko, Milutin and Ginsburg. From the people who also tried to work with the social inquiry. Each shirt and jacket will be with my poems on the cuffs and pockets. That is a situation in which the word fills the cut and the cut inspires the poetry. At some point, I decided to narrow the target, to do uniforms for art workers, who, in fact, don’t exist now. My idea was to generate an interest in this environment and improve its quality, make a cultural worker a superhero with a new way of thinking and a strong core. He would not be afraid to take responsibility and make culture. Tattoos, clothing, piercings, hair tell more about the person than he himself.
SV: What do you like most about the time you live in?
Sergei Starostin: The question is much deeper. At what time you wouldn’t be born, you don't know what happens in a second. This is the greatest mystery in a life. This is called a life. I would also feel cool if I was born 100 years ago. What could be more unique than a life itself?
Images: Eugeny Pushkin (Daniil Landar x STOYN)
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