The Department of Design Marks Its 35th Anniversary: the History of Establishment and Development

Issue #3 • 1699

Today, the word “design” (from Italian disegno) is a term commonly used in professional and everyday life. During the Renaissance, the term denoted drafts and drawings, as well as ideas underlying the work. In the 16th century England the notion of «design» appeared and lived on to the present day; it translates into Russian as “concept”, “drawing”, or “pattern”, and, as a verb – “to make a project”, “to construct”.

Design means artistic project activity to develop commercial products with high consumer and aesthetic qualities; activity aimed at setting up comfortable object environment for human beings: residential, industrial and socio-cultural.

Having emerged at the turn of the 20th century and developing rapidly in the wake of industrial and technological revolution, design has become one of the most influential forms of project-making and arts. Today it is hard to imagine a domain without designer’s involvement and input, which make our work and daily life easier, influencing our way of life.

Today, the notion of “design” is associated with the most progressive developments and technological advancements. Not only the products of design keep apace with time, but also, as a rule, are one step ahead of it.

Man’s notion of beauty changes with time. New technological possibilities bring about new materials and the necessity to make objects more comfortable, despite their complexity. Human lifestyle affects not only individual items of interior, but also the entire ambient design.

Responding to the needs of modern society, designers increasingly often turn to historical styles. Motifs from the past are revived in art, design and architecture. In the twenty-first century, the styles of the past have become a valid component in contemporary visual culture. Designers can choose from the great variety of artistic means and styles, enjoying the freedom to combine the past and the present in search of the future.

Today, design does not merely define shapes or functions of an object; it has become a language in its own right, and, as any other language, it has to be learned so that it can be used effectively.

In 1999, the National Institute of Arts and Design opened a Department of Design, and Professor K. H. Muhamejanov holding a doctoral degree in architecture was appointed its head.

It all began back in 1976, when Uzbekistan started giving attention to the interior decoration of theatres, hotels, restaurants, banquet halls and department stores, creating parks and gardens, as well as winter gardens with ponds, fountains and greenery. There was a need in people with good taste and expertise in all the intricacies of interior setting, able to properly ornament an interior and do landscape design. At that time the Tashkent Theatre and Art Institute (TTAI) named after A. N. Ostrovsky opened a new section – Interior and Equipment; it was based in the Art Faculty under the Monumental and Decorative Painting Department chaired by Professor V. I. Zhmakin. In 1991 the Ostrovsky TTAI was renamed into the Tashkent State Institute of Arts (TSIA) named after M. Uygur, and in 1997, as the Uygur Institute of Arts divided into two independent institutions, the National Institute of Arts and Design (NIAD) named after Kamoliddin Behzad was established under the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan.

Originally, the founders of the Interior and Equipment Section planned to train designers of interior and equipment for architectural structures, exhibitions and advertisements, as well as small form architectural design and landscaping. The Section was opened with the active engagement of its first leader A. S. Kokotkin, an artist from Tashkent who graduated from the Mukhina Higher Art and IndustrialSchool in Leningrad, specializing in Interior and Equipment, as well as I. N. Limakov, former Art Faculty dean and a graduate of the Art Faculty of the Ostrovsky TTAI.

In 1983, as the Monumental and Decorative Painting Department opened another new section for Restoration of Architectural Décor (the Section was led by Professor K. S. Kryukov), it was decided to establish a new department – Restoration of Architectural Décor and Interior Design. The Department was chaired by architect Y. A. Afanasyev, a specialist in urban planning, monumental sculpture and interiors.

In 1997, Furniture Section opened at the Restoration of Architectural Décor and Interior Design Department, which functioned until year 2000.

In 1999, the Restoration of Architectural Décor and Interior Design Department was divided into two independent departments: Design (headed by Professor K. H. Muhamejanov), and Restoration of Architectural Monuments Décor (headed by Professor A. A. Abdurazakov).

At the Design Department they opened an Industrial Design Section that trained more than 50 specialists in furniture-making and industrial design. The last graduation was in 2010 as the section then closed.

For many years, the Design Department was headed by leading experts in the field of architecture, restoration and design, such as Professor K.S. Kryukov, a leading specialist in the restoration of architectural monuments (1989-1997); Associate Professor M. T. Mahmudova, architect, expert in monument restoration and interior design (1997-1998 and 2008-2012); Professor A. A. Abdurazakov, a leading archaeologist of Uzbekistan (1998-1999); and Professor K. H. Muhamejanov (1999-2008).

Since February 2012, Associate Professor O. S. Kasymov, a specialist in interior design, was appointed Acting Head of the Department.

For 35 years, the teaching staff of the Design Department have made a significant contribution to training highly skilled and well-educated workforce, and improving the quality of instruction. They are: architects I. M. Polevaya and M. A. Abijanova; engineer L. L. Kalinina; artist P. Kravtsov; architect Y. A. Afanasyev; Candidate of Architecture L. M. Bodnya; architect M. T. Mahmudova; design artist V. A. Bannikov;, engineer L. D. Terentyeva; Doctor of Architecture, Professor I. M. Azimov; Candidate of Architecture, Associate Professor R. J. Asamov; architect R. Sh. Zahidov; Candidate of Architecture, Associate Professor K. Tolipov; architect A. L. Tabibov; Candidate of architecture, Associate Professor M. K. Mirzaev; architect, Associate Professor M. I. Rozikberdiev; architects O. K. Fattakhov, G. A. Sereeva, and M. B. Isakova; as well as graduates of the Department: I. I. Ablaev, B. N. Topilov, M. K. Yakubov, O. S. Kasymov, Sh. N. Hasanova, O. M. Ahmedjanov, A. A. Abdukarimov, and D. Sh. Soipova.

Interior as organized space is not so much an integral part of architecture, as we commonly believe, but rather its primary basis, for the life and activity of an individual and a group goes in residential and public buildings.

Creative work on interior requires specific knowledge, keen sense of shape, light, colour and texture of the material, and good understanding of the object setting. To design an interior and make project drawings, a designer should be able to employ a wide range of graphic tools and techniques. Professional execution of a project requires years of experience and training, and the Department copes with this task brilliantly. The Department’s Bachelor programme offers theoretical and practical courses in general disciplines such as chromatics, the basics of composition, interior design, artistic design, modelling, building typology, interior design history, history of architecture, and other disciplines.

Master’s Program is delivered in keeping with each student’s individual work plan. A graduate student acquires an in-depth knowledge in disciplines such as modern design and decoration materials, landscaping, architectural design methods, etc.; an MA student also writes a research paper on the subject of his/her Master’s degree thesis. All students may choose to participate in the optional interest group sessions offered by the Department in areas such as architectural design, modelling, and interior design, which helps them excel in major disciplines.

While studying for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, students develop original projects on interiors, artistic design and modelling, and equipment and furniture under the guidance of the Department’s teaching staff. Notably, in the age of technological progress, students and faculty eagerly master computer-aided design, which is reflected in their works.

Teachers and students of the Department participate in international and domestic exhibitions. A number of their works earned diplomas and prizes.

Over 35 years of its operation, the Department has trained more than 1,000 professionals; many of them work as interior designers not only in our country but also abroad – in Turkmenistan, Russia, Tajikistan, France, Germany, United States, Estonia, Belarus, Yemen, etc. Many of them earned high professional reputation by decorating interiors of public and residential buildings, designing landscapes, gardens and parks. Among them are talented recent graduates, namely I. Ablaev, A. Shatalov, M. Yakubov, B. Topilov, E. Tsvetkova, Y. Egamov, S. Solovyova, M. Usmanov, D. Kamilov, F. Yuldashev, A. Lamanov, A. Karyakin, D. Kirgizbaev, F. Rasulova, D. Minovarova, O. Ahmejanov, K. Fragali, Sh. Shonazarov, A. Nigmatov, T. Muhamejanova, K. Gafurova, L. Amanova, S. Drabkov, K. Muhamejanova, and many others.

The Department’s teaching staff are constantly searching for new ways and methods of designing interiors, as the development of architecture and the emergence of new construction materials prompt everyday changes in the way projects are implemented.

Interior plays an important role in everyone’s life. Comfort, efficiency, and beauty of our homes and public buildings depend on the success of their design. Thus, the Design Department of the Behzad National Institute of Arts and Design plays an important role in this process, contributing substantially to the development of traditional and modern design in Uzbekistan.


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