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The classroom for Chinese language in High School 138 “Prof. Vasil Zlatarski”, Sofia, Bulgaria

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Interview with Antonia Abrasheva

It is late in the night. Everyone is already in bed and I desperately try to fall asleep. Half asleep, I aimlessly scroll through Facebook without giving much thought when I notice something different, something bright and beautiful.

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It turned out it is a classroom. A real one!

And it is not somewhere in the world, in Bulgaria.

I read the story a few times to be sure that I’m not mistaken. I even checked if the photos match the text.

It could! It could be done!

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Radost Yaneva of White Design Studio, is the designer of the Chinese language classroom at High School 138 “Prof. Vasil Zlatarski”. The classroom not only woke me up the other night, but also aroused my curiosity. And the person behind this breaking “model” went beyond the impersonal classrooms where the esthetics is often narrowed down to necessities, despite the achievements of the Bulgarian teachers. I connected with Radost Yaneva via Facebook with a request for an interview, which we did online, because she is pursuing a new path with new opportunities.

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Who is Radost Yaneva – the person?
I’m an ordinary “girl” with a taste towards the beautiful

Who is Radost Yaneva – the designer? Do you feel comfortable in your skin?
I’m mainly a workaholic. Yes, I feel comfortable in my skin. Sometimes I have my downs, however I would not change myself for somebody else.

What drives you?
The love for the profession. I strive to turn the ugly and the unimpressive into beautiful and cozy.

What is your major achievement?
My work to be valued and to stay in touch with my clients as friends even after I conclude the business relationships.

What is White Design Studio?
Ability to achieve objectives.

How does the White inspire you? Does it make you “white and good”?
White is a symbol of Purity, Simplicity and Space. This is leading in my work as a designer. I don’t like poky and dank spaces unless they are in the garden.

Do you make compromises in your work?
Sometimes I have to. However, prior to that, I try to exhaust all the different possibilities. If there are acceptable options, then I do not compromise.

What would make you to refuse a project opportunity?
If the interior style contradicts my views on practicality and aesthetics.

You design many nursery rooms? What leads you towards the kids and what –  in the design of space for them?
The design of a nursery is a great opportunity as I can relax and utilize my imagination. I don’t share the opinion that they have to be very colorful to look like a nursery. The balance between the colors in those spaces is quite fragile. Kids can easily become over-stimulated by very bright and intense colors. The nursery is not utilized only for play activities, but also used for learning and as a result, it must be properly designed.

What was the Chinese project which you used to complete the classroom design?
To tell you the truth, it all worked out at once. The task and the objectives were clear. When the client knows what they want, things get done.

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What else connects you with High School 138 “Prof. Vasil Zlatarski”?
My desire for the kids to have a beautiful space which sparks their interest to learn.

What did you want to highlight in the classroom?
The space, the individual areas and the brightness

What did you want to prevent?
Children feeling that they have entered another “gray” classroom.

The colored spots on the ceiling? Why there? Do the mandalas have any special meaning?
The decoration of the ceiling symbolizes the desire to move up to the glory.

Would you change something in the classroom today?
I would have made it bigger, if that was possible.

Did the project change something in you?
I don’t think so. I rather felt that I had won yet another challenge.

Do you smile often?
Unfortunately, I haven’t smiled much recently.

What makes you smile?
My son Boris and my family.

What is your dream to work on?
Overall kindergarten design.

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