"We are fascinated by stylistic ambiguity." Ministry of Interior Affairs in the series "10 Questions for the Interior Designer"

Katarzyna Szostak
30 of November '22

"10 Questions to an Interior Architect" is a new series of short talks inspired by the series "10 Questions to...". This time our attention is turned to interior architects. In today's episode, designers from the studio Ministry of Interior Affairs talk about their approach to design.

Magdalena and Marcin Konopka - the duo of architects who make up the Ministry of Affairs in Interiors studio. "We dedicate our energy and commitment to smuggling beauty into the realm of everyday life. We look and listen. We propose, we create. We respond to needs." - the designers write about themselves.

1 Home is for us...

Home is a refuge for us. We design home spaces for our clients, but we also create our collective home ourselves. This gives us an insight into what creates a place we can call "home". That's the meaning of the word we're talking about - a place we return to, a safe haven for us. A place that, no matter the square footage, location, or budget, we have at the forefront of our hearts when someone asks about our "home."

2 The key to a successful interior design is....

Confidence. This is a key concept, as it allows us to guide the project, and with it our clients, to the goal of realizing the interior of their dreams.

3 We look for inspiration....

The greatest inspiration for an interior under construction is always a person. The householder who inhabits it is like a book for us, which we try to read with understanding and commitment. Along with his universe, dreams and needs. Man is always an infinite inspiration.

Of course, in parallel we are inspired by the infinite world of art, design, architecture, technology, science, film, music. Everything that makes up visual culture inspires us. Just as the abundance of words allows us to write beautiful literature, when designing, a head full of diverse stimuli will look for interesting solutions.

4. in cooperation with the investor, the most important thing is...

Here we return to point two, which is trust. It is followed by good communication, constructive dialogue, effective problem solving. Maybe this word is quite easily misused, but for us trust means the feeling that one party thinks about what is important to the other party and vice versa. The developer then has a sense that the designer represents his needs, priorities better than he could in the complex world of design. The designer, in turn, feels that he can creatively implement and solve the investor's design problems.

5 Our favorite design style is.

Ministerial Eclecticism. And seriously, our projects are usually a mix of styles. Human beings have complex personalities. The same is true of styles, so style marriages are what we like best. Ethno-industrial, pop-baroque, scandi-japandi, boho-hampton, cozy-minimal. We are fascinated by stylistic ambiguity, because it is at the intersection of styles that a pleasant tension is created, the excitement of the effect and, in the end - the unfettered joy of the interior! For us, but especially for investors.

6 The most valuable object in our home is....

The one having its own story. There will be paintings painted by household members, photos and souvenirs from travels, a lamp that is the fulfillment of dreams of beautiful light at home. Our everyday life is woven from such stories of objects, and this is what we value most.

7 The most common mistake in self-decoration is....

Today it is very easy to make a wrong choice. In a world of a million possibilities it is really not difficult to make a wrong color, a mismatch of materials, total mistakes in the functionality of the interior. The surrounding world along with the vastness of images seems to say that everything is possible and everything can be done. And in principle this is true, but the mistake lies in the fact that not all solutions will work in all interiors. We live in the 21st century, technology supports us, but do we always know how to use it properly?

8 Our favorite material is.

One that has been used well, played its role (warm wood under bare feet), is functional (resistant stone on the kitchen countertop on which you can slice the fish), pleases the eye during use (beautiful decorative tile that delights while bathing), took care of the budget (good melamine on the built-in furniture when we hate scratches on real wood). This is when the material is a favorite.

9 A trend we wish would pass away already is.

With trends it's like with technology. It is good to control it and not let it control us. Then it will serve us well. Fashion for certain solutions allows us to communicate with the investor in the language of popular solutions. There is usually a dream behind a trend. Sometimes about an exclusive material, sometimes about a reference to places where we have been and have good associations with them. Sometimes we want to delight ourselves and others. Trends can last, the important thing is that our love for the solutions, the materials, the effect we have created does not pass away. If it lasts, the trend will not hurt us.

10 We would like to live in... someday.

We wanted to live in Gdansk and we succeeded. And while we are settled here, maybe in the future we will live somewhere else for a while? Life is unpredictable.

Want to see projects by Ministry of Interior? Click HERE

Interviewed: KATARZYNA SZOSTAK

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