“It will be a goal for everyone.”
She says it so confidently that it really motivates you to believe in a better future with biodegradable materials and where products are created with the thought of nature in mind, and people live by protecting the planet. If that sounds too utopian to you, we suggest you to meet with Iliana Stoilova up close in the following episode of “MD meets…” and then ask yourself again.
For the first time, I met Iliana at a student design workshop in which we were assigned to different teams. Such workshops are a good test for the participants’ concentration and skills. Time is running out, experimentation is needed to achieve a more efficient and synthesized presentation at the expense of a detailed project. Among the mass of frantic wandering and the worry of the approaching presentations, a slender blond figure stood out. How? With that never-ending smile on her face and that glowing energy flowing from her whole body that prevailed over anxiety, the hurried situation and the typical student doubts. I don’t remember the product her team presented, but I didn’t forget her.
Shortly after that, I heard about TRION, a design studio that started with the enthusiasm of three girls, determined to create a design with function and message. The focus of their work from the very beginning is the production of products made from recycled materials. Or as Iliana explains:
“We use up-cycling design as a tool to utilize the huge amount of waste that mass production generates.”
This philosophy fit so well with her nature that I remembered there was no surprise at all, neither of the fact she was involved in TRION, nor of chosen design concept. The opportunity to give new life of materials and things that have become humans’s waste is what inspires the team and gives them the chance to be a positive example. Their products not only fulfill a function, they also motivate people to be more creative and limit their consumption habits. And all this through art and design that intertwine in their works.
People love to work with their hands and TRION uses this fact productively. The team periodically organizes workshops for children and adults, where everyone learns to apply different work techniques.
“In this way, we show people how much work, attention and skills they need to build something manually and what value it actually has.”
Iliana dream of creating and experimenting with biodegradable, innovative and sustainable materials. He is currently continuing his work on waste bins for children and adults – for home and public spaces.
“I see that there is a lack of approach to adolescents and even to adults regarding the separate collection, and this is an extremely important step for the proper processing of materials in their further lifecycle. Environmental protection is at the forefront of my work and the line that I want to continue to follow. “
The nature-friendly thread is found in each of her working activity – from design to professional windsurfing. Actually, the water sports she practices are the main reason for her free spirit and hope for change.
“They give me a boundless calmness that allows inspiration to invade my mind like a tsunami. Nature is the greatest inspiration I have in my life, and it is the practice of surfing in all its forms that builds great concentration, consistency and calmness to experiment. With surfing, you constantly fall and get up, something doesn’t work, you correct it, you test, you learn, you experiment, and you finally get it. Just like when you create products. ”
Even in her sporting activities, Iliana does not abandon the ideas with a good cause. In 2018, together with her partner, Ioan Kolev, they launched the WIND2WIN challenge. The main goal of the two windsurfers was to make a high-speed sea crossing from the northernmost to the southernmost point of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, and thus to draw public attention to the problems of pollution of our waters.
I also recommend you watching the documentary on their adventure – Sea of the Wind / WIND2WIN.
Meanwhile, what “drives the wind” for the design of the future, according to Iliana, you can hear in our blitz meeting. We met again regarding TRION’s participation in the first edition of BOLD DESIGN WEEK. The exhibition runs until December 1st, so hurry up and catch the design wind with Iliana and the other involved designers!
Text: Antoaneta Kostova
Photos: Atelier TRION, WIND2WIN