Ira and Olya Sundukovy
Owners – Sundukovy Sisters Design and Architecture Studio
Founded in 2004 by twins Ira and Olya Sundukovy, International Design and Architecture Studio Sundukovy Sisters is focused on design for hospitality industry.
Based in Moscow and operated worldwide S+S studio works internationally embracing local context, self-irony and vivid life position to create a smart and stunning interior design.
The studio has been widely published and has awarded by 14 accolades, including Designers of the Year by Gold Key Awards, New York.
In 2021 Sundukovy Sisters won an international competition to create a new design Novotel brand.
WHAT MAKES YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING?
We have five children together, so foremost we wake up because of them and for them. We’re also happy with our work. The facilities we do are on almost every continent, so every morning starts with a journey. By immersing ourselves in the project, being inspired by the unique architecture, and working on unique interiors, we travel to different parts of the world every day. Today it’s Nairobi, the next day it may be Hong Kong, then it’s Dubai. Yes, the world is still closed to travel, but that doesn’t stop us from travelling virtually.
IN A FEW WORDS, WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY/VISION OF THE FUTURE?
We believe that after all the hardships the world has faced in the past year, there will be enlightenment. Borders will open sooner or later, people will start travelling again, and new experiences, vivid impressions and sincere communication with each other will become even more valuable. The trends of the last decade have led us down the path of sifting everything artificial and extraneous. Lockdown has been a catalyst for this process. We have an opportunity to stop, to look around, to throw away everything unnecessary, formed by stereotypes, someone’s judgments, advertising, and to assemble our world, in which there is a place only for what is valuable and significant for us. We believe that all these changes will be reflected in industrial processes as well.
WHAT HAS 2020 TAUGHT YOU?
This was before lockdown, in one of our interviews we were asked: what do you lack to be happy? We said at the time that in principle we were absolutely happy, but it would be nice to travel a little less for work and spend more time at home. As the saying goes, be afraid of your wishes – they can come true. In 2020, we got the opportunity to be with our family and kids but still kept working. We learned how to conduct effective business meetings over the Internet, which is great, because when travel becomes available again, we expect that these will be trips for inspiration, to get a feel for the area, learn about the people, culture, features of the location, which will later be embodied in the design.
YOUR NEXT BIG CHALLENGE?
Well, it seems to be a transition from the lifestyle segment to the luxury segment. We entered this period even before the Covid story, and it is very inspiring for us: there are more and more luxury projects. Lifestyle has always been our strength in design, and now there is a real opportunity to take everything bright and vivid from it and mix it with the established traditional solutions in the luxury segment, with its very conservative and reverent attitude to materials, design solutions and, in general, to the consumer experience.
Our task is to fully immerse ourselves in the luxury segment, to penetrate its philosophy, values, ideology and then, understanding and accepting all the rules of this game, to bring there a part of our character and style – self-irony, artistry, flexibility and mobility. And a certain challenge is to work proactively, offering partners solutions of which they do not even think about the possibility.
WHAT IDEAS / EXPERIENCES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR PEERS?
Dream big. Set big goals for yourself. Call them what you want – space requests, wish maps – it doesn’t matter! The important thing is to move toward them. Accept anything that helps you to become one step closer to your goals, and be able to refuse anything superfluous, no matter how attractive it may look in the short term.
We’ve been doing interior design for over 15 years and continue to enjoy our work because we know for sure that the new project will be better than the previous one. We do not look around with envy, but with admiration. We are not looking for competitors, but for colleagues close in spirit. We compete not with the world, but with ourselves. We always listen to customer’s wishes, study standards and requirements in detail, but at the same time, we think about the project from a guest’s point of view. For us it is important what experience and what kind of impression our design gives to visitors of hotels and restaurants. And, of course, it is always a pleasure to see our objects in the world’s gastronomic and hotel ratings.
Finally, we sincerely expect that in the future, most issues will still be effectively resolved online, and that face-to-face meetings will become something especially amazing and meaningful for all of us.