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Faina by Victoria Yakusha

Victoria Yakusha is a Ukrainian designer, artist, architect whose unique philosophy of 'live design’ centers around a deep connection to earth and ethnic roots. Born in 1982 in Dnipro, she earned an architectural degree at Prydniprovska State Academy, Ukraine and completed her studies at the Institute of National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA), France. In 2014, after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, Victoria Yakusha established FAINA — a design brand of furniture, decor, and lighting rooted in Ukrainian cultural heritage.

Both in FAINA and her limited collections, Victoria Yakusha presents a sensual and spirited take on minimalism. By merging an architectural background with her own laconic vision and the cultural codes of her ancestors, she has created a distinctive aesthetic that brought her to the forefront of modern Ukrainian design.

The country, long a blind spot on the global design map, began gaining strong features and presence — primitive, sensual, with heritage revived in contemporary aesthetic and a unique sense of earth.

Victoria Yakusha explains, “In Ukraine, we have a strong connection to earth. It’s always at the core of everything I create. Design rooted in earth. I believe in the spiritual essence of things, the soul of an object. And it's one of the core elements of what I call live design — creating something that is alive. Something with a spirit”.

True to the philosophy of live design, Victoria Yakusha reveals bi-annual Winter and Summer Solstice collections of new designs, thus aligning with cycles of nature.

Every design piece of hers casts the mystery of hand-crafted creation. Victoria Yakusha supports traditional Ukrainian craftsmanship and collaborates with Ukrainian artisans working with clay, wood, wool and willow vine — living materials native to her home country. Her signature sculptural objects are made of a
sustainable Ztista material, invented by Victoria herself. Ztista — a blend of recycled paper, clay, hay, and other natural elements is decomposable in soil and designed to one day return to Nature.

Constantly integrating artisanal techniques in her works, Victoria connects the worlds of the past and the future. Minimalist modern design takes shape with traditional millennia-old crafts, often on the brink of extinction.

Over the years, her designs have been exhibited at the world's most prominent fairs, including Venice Biennale, Paris Design Week, Stockholm Design Week, Milan Design Week, Collectible Fair, Design Miami/Basel, etc. In most cases, Victoria was the first Ukrainian design to represent her country at this global scale. Yakusha’s works have appeared in Vogue, Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Elle Decoration, as well as have been annually included in trend books and the lists of perspective brands “to keep an eye on”. And in 2019 Victoria Yakusha was named Designer of the Year by Elle Decoration Awards, Ukraine and received the Award for Design of the Year (Ztista sustainable collection).

"The artisans are the carriers of valuable knowledge and I want to pass it on. To show their beauty to younger generations. When made by hand, an object has a very special energy.”

Faina's Objects

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