We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Marina Begman ("MB").

Designer Profile of Marina Begman

Begman Marina is a qualified interior designer from the Kazakstan who practises of interior, product design. Her works always start with the investigation of culture heritage, and materials research to a define a shape of objects This approach, almost environmental, allows based on the traditions and experience of previous generations to create a new product, and also purposes of production as well as possible perspectives for artisans in remote areas of the country.

Marina Begman Designs

We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Marina Begman.

Hair of Umay Rug

Marina Begman Design - Hair of Umay Rug

Designer Interview of Marina Begman:

DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?

MB : I am grateful that my parents supported my early interest in drawing and spotted my passion for beauty watching how I built houses for my dolls, animals, and painted everything around me. They inspired me to pursue art professionally at the age of 12, when I entered an art college at the age of 12 in Kazakhstan. By the time of graduation, my passion for art crystallized in a decision to study interior design, so I focused on it in my undergrad. In 2015 I built on my education my obtaining MA Interior Designer from London Metropolitan University.

DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?

MB : Design studio «Marina Begman Design» has been successfully working for 11 years and is engaged in the development of private and public interior projects around the world. Our interior projects always include the design and production of furniture and home accessories. In our projects, we prioritize engaging local suppliers and producers.

DI: What is "design" for you?

MB : Find an elegant and smart solution, using design thinking.

DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?

MB : I love combining different textures and colors of textile in interior design.

DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?

MB : In 2019 I developed a rug collection “Aral” for Nakta, handmade felt rug company, using as an inspiration the aerial landscape of Aral lake – disappearing lake located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Aral lake used to be the 4th largest lake in the world, but started drying up as a result of human intervention and climate change. It caused drastic changes in the climate of the region, and influenced the ecosystem of the whole world. Through the design of the "Aral" rug collection, I wanted to draw attention to the environmental problems in the region, and how human activities can drastically damage the Earth.

DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?

MB : My first collection of handmade rugs is called “Steppe" made for Constella brand – a chain of luxury stores in Kazakhstan. Each rug design depicts beauties of Kazakhstani steppes in different seasons. In this collection, I used national nomadic ornaments in a modern way. Felted wool was hand stitched in a way to bring the best our of wool texture, and dyed using natural ingredients such as tea leaves, herbs, or onion peels.

DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?

MB : I love working with natural materials such as wood, stone, felted wool etc. It is incredible how manual labor and proper design can take out the best textures from ordinary natural materials we are so used to.

DI: When do you feel the most creative?

MB : My favourite time for creation is late after working hours, when all meetings are over, and there is nothing to distract me from immersing in my thoughts and ideas

DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?

MB : I prioritize functionality and the philosophy when creating а design concept. I always keep in mind how this object can simplify the user’s life and what impact it will have on environment

DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?

MB : I fill up with excitement and joy, when I find the best solution and visualize the finished object or interior, and how people will feel when interacting with my design

DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?

MB : The feeling of a miracle from how your thoughts and ideas in combination with human labor were realized in a physical object and also happiness when you receive positive feedback about the design

DI: What makes a design successful?

MB : Combination of functionality, philosophy, aesthetics and sustainability

DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?

MB : The balance between functionality and beauty

DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?

MB : I believe that every human should be aware of the responsibility towards environment and society I think a designer should keep in mind sustainability of the used materials, that will serve for many years and will not pollute the environment. And also supporting local artisans is important

DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?

MB : I think, in the IT technology sector

DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?

MB : In February 2020, with my partner Nakta company, I took part in the Ambiente exhibition in Frunkfurt, Germany, where we presented a collection of handmade nomadic rugs - Shyrdaks. A Shyrdak making is an ancient technique of nomadic people in Central Asia, that was used for my modern designs. We had a many positive feedbacks from potential customers and media Next year we are planning to participate in Maison & Objet Paris

DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?

MB : I was born and raised in a southern Kazakh, my city surrounded by incredible pure and virgin nature, heavenly mountains, pristine lakes and waterfalls, and by endless steppes in the north of the country. Nature is always my biggest inspiration when I feel stuck. Its grandeur and beauty in everything from the landscape to a small stone of incredible shape and texture is my endless source of inspiration.

DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?

MB : I would describe my style as modern - ethnic. I am from Central Asia - a region with a huge cultural and historical heritage and traditions. I always try to research the ancient techniques to reinterpret them in modern design

DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?

MB : I was born and raised in Kazakhstan - a country with a great cultural nomadic heritage. This is of great importance for my design, the combination of colours in traditional objects, the use of natural materials and unity with nature Living in Kazakhstan helps me to use in my design the heritage I grew up in. I can create a unique product based on the culture and traditions of the past with the use of modern technologies, that is appreciated all over the world. On the other hand, people who live in my country value more western manufacturers, and less the local producers and artisans

DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?

MB : Firstly, after briefing with the customer, I do my research to find my target audience and define the concept of the project Then, the most exciting part begins – sketching. I usually do it by hand and in any convenient place. After finding the right shape, the sketch is transferred to the computer where all sizes and details are worked out Further, all the information with exact dimensions and 3D model is transferred to production

DI: Can you describe a day in your life?

MB : Coffee, coffee and more coffee

DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?

MB : I think, that my profession has more positive aspects than negative ones. First of all, most often designers are people who absolutely love their job. For me it is a great happiness to create new objects and an environment, improve people's lives by making it comfortable and aesthetic. The negative side for me is that customers are not always completely trustful, we have to defend our point of view and "fight" for our ideas

DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?

MB : Usually, it takes 3 to 6 months from the idea to the realization of the product. Most of the time spend on research and production

DI: Who are some of your clients?

MB : I was lucky to work with Nakta Rug Company, that started from friendship and then mutual vision for a greater product.

DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?

MB : I take great pleasure in the process of starting production, when you can feel how your sketches and ideas gradually materialize

DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?

MB : I have an idea for creating a collection of home textile line according to my design made of handmade fabric by artisans from Central Asia