What a pleasant surprise to find in the daily newsletter of the internationally renowned and popular design media – DEZEEN – an article on the young product designer from Bulgaria Elitsa Boneva. Her idea for a versatile desk lamp has been shortlisted for TalentLab – a platform for emerging designers, initiated by the British furniture maker

The meaning and impact for the young participants is the real chance to see their product replicated for the many in the store chain of the brand. TalentLab invites all web site visitors to give their vote for a favourite concept and thus decide which ones have the greatest potential to lure customers through an innovative and dynamic product range.

Dezeen has also featured a video with Elitsa Boneva and her work process:

Ellieday is the name of the lamp and it strikes a stylish pose, accompanied with a stable but flexibly adjustable construction, which offers freedom and convenience while in use.


“I wanted to combine traditional techniques and materials in a contemporary product,” she continues. The light is designed to be manufactured using a lathe, and is constructed from traditional materials including steel and brass.

Елица Бонева наскоро завършва университета

Elitsa Boneva is a graduate of Northumbria University and specialises in Lee Broom‘s studio. In the future, Elitsa wants to have her own furniture company.

We wish her success both with the TalentLab competition and the realisation of her professional dream.


The incomparable and multitalented visual artist Vicky Knysh is holding her first design class at the beginning of April in Generator. As organisers of the event for Generator, we from Studio Komplekt, are thrilled and excited to be part of this creative adventure. Expect to learn some behind the scenes moves about her characteristic drawings and how they come to life in various situations and formats – pictures, short animation, motion graphics, mobile applications, showcases and various products. Minushka – Knysh’s personal brand – embodies her colourful and full of heroic world and will be present as well at the end of the event to take away some of her wonderful goodies.

Currently Vicky is based in Dublin, where she is professionally balancing between illustration, animation and commercial design. In Sofia she will delve into the subject of how one can master the art of keeping their creativity awaken. She has also invited two special guests, equally successful and inspiring designers – Assya Koleva and Mila Lozanova

Follow Vicky Knysh in Instagram
For more information about her Design Class at Generator – visit the Facebook page of the event here.

While we sharpen our pencils for April, read some personal thoughts from Vicky about various topics:

How do you like to start and end each day? I love my day starting slowly, with a little yoga and planning the tasks. But in reality my mornings are not at all quiet. However, yoga is happening.

What’s your view on design and illustration? My look on the design totally changed as I moved to Dublin. The difference between Bulgaria and Ireland is enormous. What I’m still learning here is that design is not just beautiful, but also solves problems. The illustration has unlimited possibilities and is a very flexible means of work. With the improvement of digital media, she will have more and more life and she is going to develop in new directions.

Who and what are your biggest influences?  The difficult projects which I managed to realise despite the fact that my legs were trembling, but I still managed to do them. My family and friends, and living in 3 different countries.

You have a well curated Instagram profile. What’s your relationship to social media and your audience?
I really love Instagram and I find it the perfect platform for a creative person. Social media is a super tool, but as with the case of sugar, one must consume it carefully. My audience is creative people who work as such or simply seek inspiration.

Do you have a philosophy or motto that you live by? I believe it is important to keep your inner child awake because you can create through it.

What makes you laugh? Children and Irish people after having a few drinks.

Currently listening to/reading/watching: I listen to podcasts, read TWO CARAVANS by Marina Lewycka and watch a lot of animations.

Do you have favourite tools for your work? I’ve been drawing more and more with Procreate on iPad lately, I’m just addicted to it.

What great things did you discover in 2017 and what do you expect most for 2018? In 2017 I worked in an advertising agency and I remember how every day I wanted to find a way to be a freelancer. Also, in order to create, you do not need many techniques and schemes, you must use whatever you have and just go with it. In 2018 I expect to run my first class in design and meet many new wonderful people.



SOUVENIRS as a topic and their removal from the context of the widespread perception of embodying cheap commercialised nostalgia without artistic value or functional sustainability has excited us for several years now. Through various self-initiated activities and by involving contemporary Bulgarian visual artists in the topic to add good design and meaningful interpretation, we are looking for an alternative to the low quality range of souvenirs in the tourist shops.

ТАС 2016

<the eight prototypes from TAKE AWAY SOFIA – photo by Missirkov / Bogdanov>

In 2016 we were able to realize TAKE AWAY SOFIA – new design for the Bulgarian souvenir. Eight Bulgarian designers created a prototype of souvenir for the capital. After the presentation of the ideas at an exhibition in Prague, at the DesignBlok Design International Festival and in Sofia with a series of public and open meetings on the topic of visual identity, the project moved to Plovdiv with the ambition to adequately enrich the performance of the Bulgarian city as the European Capital of Culture 2019.

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<current examples of national souvenirs: the picture on the left is taken from Nedko Solakov’s Facebook profile and depicts the presents given in Brussels as part of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU>

TAKE AWAY PLOVDIV aims to break the overwhelming cliché of the typology of the souvenir and its role as a conveyor of the image of the city, concealed in the superficial, collectively adopted and unoriginally outlined history, way of life and culture. We have invited six visual creatives and given them the freedom to rethink ubiquitously spread city values and reference images by expecting from them to offer their author’s understanding of a souvenir. Their limitation is the format – it should be a souvenir prone to a spontaneous purchase, financially accessible, globally portable and easy to associate with Plovdiv.

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ARTELIE – textile souvenir: the Bulgarian brand, led by fashion designer Elena Vladimirova who has graduated in Germany, is distinguished by high quality and made in a limited number of unique models of scarves, skirts, dresses, outerwear and accessories.

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<Neva Balnikova>

Neva Balnikova – accessory souvenir: with her distinctive, radiant and unmistakable works, Neva can interpret exquisitely and courageously with a diverse arsenal of materials from a bicycle seat, through a keychain to a bracelet, necklace and ring.

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<Teodor Georgiev>

Teodor Georgiev – illustration souvenir: Teo is the youngest participant in the project. Currently he studies Visual Narrative at Aalto University in Finland, but the distance to Bulgaria is shortened due to his origins – he is a native of Plovdiv and knows the place for his future souvenir quite well.

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Missirkov/Bogdanov – artistic object: the well known duo is  among the most recognizable Bulgarian names in the sphere of photography and documentary. Their bright images seal invaluable emotions in beautiful and long-lasting visual threads. They will work on the theme of an iconic symbol of Plovdiv reincarnated in an object.

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<PS architects>

Penka Stancheva – architecture and game souvenir: Penka Stancheva was born in Plovdiv, but currently is based in Sofia. Her work appears on the covers of interior magazines and takes prizes for her eclectic and appropriate approaches to treating space. Architect Stancheva has the task of dealing with the theme of play in architecture, by incorporating Plovdiv streets, buildings or natural elements.Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 10.37.54 AM


ТЕЗГЯХ is a conceptual studio with a strong design approach that will develop a souvenir for Plovdiv in a modern ceramic object.

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The visual identity of the project is entrusted to UNIT, a studio for graphic design and visual communication, led by Boris Bonev (Sofia) and Mihail Mihaylov (Oslo). They have to pack the project in the most appropriate and attractive way so that its messages can be intuitively understood by both Plovdiv residents and visitors to the city.

Together with the invited team we undertake an active preparation of the project with the following plan: preparation of 6 prototypes for new souvenirs on different topics in the first half of 2018; presentation to the public in autumn 2018; building a common visual identity and a bilingual web site and producing the ideas in larger quantities by the end of 2018. As part of the implementation of the project is the distribution of a poll by asking the general public what they expect to see as a realized theme for a Plovdiv souvenir. In 2019. TAKE AWAY PLOVDIV will be distributed to specially selected ten different locations in the city.

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We will give updates on the project here.

The project is part of the program of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019