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Zarya Vrabcheva

MA work

eArth transitions

Built in 1873 and situated alongside the railway tracks of Kyoto and the main river of the city, Soujin Elementary school is one of 24 schools deprived of children’s footsteps in the last five years. Another six years from now it is about to become home to Kyoto City University of the Arts. The necessity of a space for the new art institution and my experience with earth architecture in Japan nurtured the idea of creating the ceramics department of the university within the landscape of the school.

Existing on the boundary between above and below ground, the new ceramic workshop aims to bring ceramists closer to their primal source of creation. Inspired by the Japanese consciousness of utilising what the surrounding offers, and embracing the beauty of the fragility by mending the broken, the intervention cracks up the school's playground and brings back the excavated material to form the interior. The structure preserves the common outside area of the school and slowly infects the other buildings and the wider city context. Underneath, the rammed earth walls form a series of occupied transitions that host spaces for study, clay works, glazing and firing facilities, an auditorium and a public gallery. The interior reflects the various faces of earth in colour, shape and texture.

Aiming to attract attention and raise awareness of its function, the ceramic workshops erupt on the surface as a place for gathering, learning and living, encouraging interaction and participation. The intervention operates as a mending of the abandoned school and sets up ground for a whole new transition, which intensifies the role of the art institution in the city, to provoke curiosity, imagination and empathy as an engine for ingenuity, creation and achievement.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Architecture

    Programme

    MA Interior Design, 2015

  • The nature of my projects stems from the notion that interior design is a space of betweenness, a living organism that changes with the activities related to it. A transition which does not aim for permanence but celebrates the adapting and ephemeral. I aim to grow my practice as a designer into that of a behavioural analyst, conceiving processes, encouraging interaction, curiosity and intuitive experience. I am interested in the empathetic relationship we build with spaces and their power to affect and reflect human life.

  • Degrees

  • BA Interior & Product Design, Accademia Italiana, 2012; BA Architecture, University of Nottingham, 2010
  • Experience

  • Ab Rogers Design, London, 2014; Transformatori, Sofia, 2013; Paolo Becagli, Florence, 2012; Un-Real Studio, Florence, 2011; Tilev Architects, Sofia, 2010
  • Exhibitions

  • International Exhibition, Kyoto City University of the Arts, Kyoto, 2014; Sofia Design Week, Sofia, 2013; Body and Soul, Obihall Gallery, Florence, 2012