ABOUT Yakusha

“In today’s rapidly advancing world, people are increasingly disconnected from nature and their inner selves. Taking time to introspect and reconnect with our past can be a vital step in shaping the future we aspire to create”

Victoria Yakusha, born in 1982 in Dnipro, Ukraine, is an architect, designer, and artist, known for her distinctive 'live design' philosophy that seamlessly integrates a profound connection to the earth and ethnic roots. 

In 2007, after earning her architectural degree at Prydniprovska State Academy in Ukraine and completing her studies at the Institute of National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) in France, she founded her own architectural studio

Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity in 2014, which happened to be a turning point in Yakusha’s perception of her role, she established FAINA, a design brand specialising in furniture, decor, and lighting deeply rooted in Ukrainian cultural heritage. 

“One of my challenges is to teach the world to invest in heritage. Money is not the mission. Utilitarianism is not the mission. What humanity will always need are ideas, environments, and spaces that gain power, meaning, and value over time”

Since 2022, Victoria Yakusha has pursued her career as an individual designer, collaborating with various brands. Whether in FAINA or her limited collections, she has carved out a unique niche by blending a minimalist aesthetic with rich cultural codes and her architectural background.

As an architect, she pioneered the concept of ‘live minimalism.’ This architectural and design approach seamlessly blends laconic forms with environmental consciousness. It’s all about creating a harmonious connection between living spaces and the materials they’re made of—materials that seem to breathe and radiate energy. ‘Live minimalism’ is about existing in co-authorship with nature, leaving a cultural footprint rather than an environmental one.

Following her philosophy Yakusha places a strong emphasis on utilising living materials native to Ukraine, including clay, wood, wool, and willow vine. Notably, her signature sculptural pieces are crafted from Ztista, a sustainable material she invented, composed of recycled paper, clay, hay, and other natural elements that decompose in soil.

Victoria sees her role as a designer behind live minimalism, a cultural heritage architect, and a global ambassador for Ukrainian design. Recognized as one of the most renowned Ukrainian architects globally, her artistic endeavours shape contemporary Ukrainian design as a brand, creating heritage that gains power, meaning, and value over time, influencing the culture of future generations.

Another crucial aspect of Victoria’s philosophy is her active involvement in socio-cultural projects. She believes in using architecture and design as a means to positively impact communities and enhance people’s lives. 

Fond of Ukrainian primitivists, particularly Maria Prymachenko, Victoria is involved in several socio-cultural projects, such as: the Maria Prymachenko Museum, and is a part of the group responsible for developing and implementing the strategy called Chernihiv, a Sustainable City.

Promoting live ethnics and artisanship as a source of inspiration, Victoria conceived design expeditions—the first project of its kind aiming to introduce artists worldwide to Ukrainian artisans’ work and spread the latter’s ideas globally.

Victoria's work consistently receives global acclaim, earning her awards annually, and her collectible design exhibitions attract thousands of attendees in Europe, Asia, and America. 

Victoria Yakusha Gallery, opened in 2021 in Antwerp, Belgium, has already emerged as Europe’s primary centre for live minimalism and Ukrainian design, where you can see as Victoria’s works from different collections as the works of other Ukrainian designers, who share Victoria’s philosophy and principles in design

Over the years, her works have been featured in leading design fairs like Venice Biennale, Paris Design Week, and Milan Design Week. Her designs have graced the pages of Vogue, Architectural Digest, and Elle Decoration, and she's received numerous accolades including Elle Decoration’s Designer of the Year in 2019 and the Dezeen Awards Public Vote for best emerging design studio in 2021. In 2022, she was honored at Design Miami / Basel as "The Best Curio Show of the Year”. In 2023 Victoria Yakusha’s unique blend of design and philosophy earned her a spot on Dezeen’s list of 50 powerful women in design. 

Awards

2024 Dezeen List

Viktoriia Yakusha has been included in The 50 most powerful women in architecture and design

2024 SILVER Award IDA

Winner Workplace Interior Design Unit Space

2022 Design Miami/Basel

Best curio show

2024 GOLD Award IDA

Winner Interior Designer of the Year

2023 4 Future Awards

Gold Award Product design (health and wellbeing) - Chandelier in the B14 UNIT.City business space

2021 Dezeen Awards

An emerging design studio of the year

2024 SILVER Award IDA

Winner Conceptual Products MOVCHUN

2023 L A M P International Lighting Design Competition

Best Professional Floor Lamp - SONIAH

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