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SGI office blitz: Tihomir Kazakov


28th May 2019

Tihomir Kazakov together with Alexander Daw have started the adventure SGI and now he’s the managing director and a practicing architect in the company.

What people don’t know about architects?
T: In our profession there isn’t a beginning of the working day, there is no end too. Of course I don’t speak for the time frame, but for all other aspects: physically, emotionally, and mentally. Of course architects are not the only profession having that kind of work schedule, for example the ITs, the doctors experience work the same way.

Is architecture abstract?
T: Rather not… Abstract is the concept that will ultimately lead to a real product. The birth of a concept is a pretty abstract process, in most cases. Sometimes even for us like architects is hard to explain it to another mate and it gets pretty hard discussing it with someone not involved in architecture at all. All this makes architecture difficult to sell and merchandise. Because you have to find the right words to explain an abstract concept to a person who will not understand you.

What’s your superpower? 
T: My superpower is that I do not like losing control.

What do you dream to design?
T: Every next project.

I guess you’re now managing more. Do you miss the design?
T: Definitely! But I guess you mean the drafting itself. Because even in the management of an architectural, design, or engineering company, the design process is inevitable part of the management process. I rather feel nostalgic being a day or too by myself with the drawing board,  nowadays – a day the mouse and the screen. Then you enter into a kind of nirvana closest comparison I can think of is composing music – by your own, looking for the right sound. I miss that, yes.

What is the architecture for you?
T: It is actually my personal choice for a professional career. I consider as good fortune to have the chance, the will to go for it, and a bit of a luck to find my professional mission and work it as having fun. In other words if my live have went different for a reason I had should not do what I’ve wanted and this should have not been my choice anymore…

What would you do if there wasn’t architecture?
T: I could have been many various things. But that’s more like above the line of pure dreams, with the clear sense that such a desire is inapplicable. I actually wanted to be a jet fighter pilot. I also love music… but, pity for me, God have not meant to created me for this…

What’s the biggest challenge in SGI?
T: I do not know if there is a challenge in Stephen George International itself. I don’t think it’s a challenge to go to work with pleasure, and leaving at the end of the working day willing to get back the next day… then it is not a challenge… this is, besides work, a way of fun. The Challenge is every next project that we do.

Why SGI?
T: For us the art of architecture has never been self-directed. We always do our best to understand the needs of the client, his business case. Because, although the client may not have the particular architectural education, he has an driving vision, something he had seen, something he have been inspired by. There is no development driven by purely market commercialization only! There is always another inspirational layer that have initially pushed the investor towards that direction for investing.  Exactly that initial push, is what we are trying to figure it out at first as further on is much easier to consider the brief for the design development to get to the product that he wants, slightly directed by our professional paradigm – from what we have learned and continue learning through the years of practice. Which I thing is the most answer of the question. In addition we have young and proactive team balanced between the female and male emotional perception as the Yin and Yang is from a great importance. Because even as designers, a fellow man colleague or  a colleague woman are very different as an emotional attitude.

Function or design?
T: I think that even the pure functionality is a matter of some unique design. Self-design without function – definitely not. And the pure function without a drop of paint – it’s too Spartan. But the function is leading because in 99% of what you use, its purpose is its function. It is dictated to be developed for a specific purpose. I.e. , if it does not have the function, the design will not occur. Design is concomitant, but it is always good to go hand in hand and know that the function purpose is predominant.

Which qualities determine the potential of a good architect in SGI?
T: I do not know. I did not think about structuring any precise rules and criteria to check your questionnaire box. I will give an example. Back in the days in the army days we had a soldier relocated from another unit with perfect accreditation CV – all boxes were checked – so, so … his job was a radio mechanic. And then our commander said: “Come, turn the sheet and see what’s written at the back.”  It was the following epigraph : “Shouldn’t be allowed to work with any radio equipment.”  So, the criteria with the questionnaire box, in my opinion is never 100% relevant. The face to face conversation – to look into someone’s eyes, is there anything deeper than what he shows , how he looks at you, how he responds to a certain conversation, a certain situation, always creates a prerequisite to create a much more complex view than to read only one CV.

Is there an ultimate architectural quality? 
T: Apart from the purely professional skills that a colleague has subsequently acquired in their education and then following professional career, for us it’s very important, his ability to communicate with the rest of the team. We consider ourselves to be a family, and every member of the family must converse (of course this doesn’t work on 100 percent every time) with other people and look for a dialogue. Because if we do not gather behind a particular idea, it will be very difficult to develop it. When two people pull in different, too often it tears the string on two so everyone stays with his half and that’s it. If you have 40 different directions it is even more complicated. We strive to create a product and offer our customers a single product that is complete, not 40 separate units.

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