Monday, 7 March 2016


Long time ago without writing at this pages.
Got some sketches scanned in Bombay and
happy to share them here and now, before 
heading down South to see more beautiful 
stuff which I will share soon. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Hilarious stories also happen to me in this trip. 
Today I came to the same place as the day before to have a dinner. 
The waiter was constantly smiling like a Thai person. You know, this smile when you can see all the white teeth and you feel that sun is shining? :) 
I asked for a tomato salad and veg.chili garlic noodles and went to the washroom. When I came out the guy was confused and waiting for me. He asked again the name of the dish with a smile. 
When he brought up the meal he also gave me a tomato sous. I got surprised. I asked if tomato salad is coming and he said that here it is. I got surprised again. He was smiling. 
I understood that we are talking about different things. 
I took the menu in my hands and he started to smile even more "Oh! tomato salad!" 

When he brought the salad he said that it suits to my kurta. 
And that I look beautiful in this Indian outfit. :) 
such a story. 
Khana bahut badhiya hai! (Bon Appetite!) 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

West of India. Bhuj

The way we feel ourselves in many cases define our perception of the environment around us. 

I find it very convenient to travel by Indian railway even despite potential argument of too dusty sleeping seats. To travel from the North to the South of India in winter require to carry a warm blanket or a sleeping bag because here you will not get blankets in some of the classes of the train, which is opposite from Ukrainian railway where you get sleeping set and a blanket as part of your ticket price. I remember I was told by one passenger that what he finds great about Indian railway that anyone can afford it because of its vast class gradation: you can seat in a tiny carriage with many many many people, you can sleep in the wagon with the old shutters, you can sleep in the a.c. (air conditioned) wagon. In any case you can reach from one city to another. 

This time I travelled from Udaipur to Ahmedabad in a small train of 6 or 7 wagons. Strangely it was a train where no one was selling anything. I even got a feeling of how much I miss these guys with their tiny voices "Pani, bees rupees" (water, 20 rupees). 

I spent 4 hours at the ladies waiting hall in Ahmedabad to get my next train to Bhuj. 

In this free time I got a shower in a public toilet which is clean. It's a bucket shower and water is everywhere in the room. This is how everything gets cleaned naturally. It was my second shower in the public place and I must admit as for a traveler with a long distance this is very very useful facility. 

I also was introduced with a paper soap few month back which became incredibly important part of my pocket in the train. It's comfortable and your hands are always clean. If there is no water in the train you can always poor a bit of drinking water over the hands and woalya! 
In the waiting hall I got myself one seat and fall asleep for one hour after reading about Gandhi trip to England. I think he struggled much more with sailing in a ship than me sleeping in a seating position over my bag pack this morning. I woke up exactly for the breakfast. Here it was perfect morning omelet with chili and onions wrapped in a toast. Directly from the pan on a platform one. 

Good morning, India! 

At that time I didn't know that my way to Bhuj will remind me a DEAD MAN movie with its long daily road to the far West of India, with its salty soil and windmills. Gandhiji ("ji" at the end of the name is a sign of respect in India) sailed to South Africa back to India, back to South Africa and than again back to India, established an Ashram in Ahmedabad, negotiated about the disobedience of a cow milk and I was still here, in a tiny train to Bhuj. 

All the way to far West to get knowledge about mud architecture, hopefully visit the Hunnarshala Foundation and learn about textile.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

On a Nomad visa to Nepal

End of January was pretty intense after I read on my Indian visa "NON-EXTENDABLE" in bold capital letters. My little precious plan of roaming around India at least till end of March seemed to get a new direction. Thanks to my friend Mukund, who called up his friend Areen, who wrote down to his friend Daniel. 

Here I am. With my bag pack in the flat of ThePilgrim, thanks to Arun, at Mayur Vihar Phase-1 in Delhi. Sorting out my cloth and leaving a summer stuff aside. 
Early morning taxi and comfortable sleepy Delhi behind. Heading to nowhere, when I need to sit at the working table and finish up my submission for the Studio Work in Germany. Two days before submission, I lose all my work in the plane. 

My Nepali trip can be described in three parts: 
  • submission and lucky time difference between Germany and Nepal
  • exploring Kathmandu and local bars with British-Ukrainian gang 
  • heading to volunteer in the village at the Kavre region for the rebuilding of the primary school in the project Recoop Nepal by Moviment Nomada, where I got a lot of learning not only about construction process, materials, but also Catalan and Nepali languages. 
I got such a crazy time in only 16 days that only little by little I get to understand what has happened. Many shocking things took place: bamboo treatment machine, hardware shops in Kathmandu, playing pool unlimited hot shower (gas geyser is the power), Spanish bottle of red wine, amazing hard cheese with toasts for the breakfast and many more. 
Many thanks to the Indian Embassy in Berlin that made this trip to Nepal possible by issuing me my "NON-EXTENDABLE VISA" which made me see Nepal and meet all the beautiful people. 

Now I'm again at ThePilgrim mansion. 
Back on track to India until 28th of March.

Welcome to the Kavre valley, Nepal 
finishing the project without electricity and heater, but with the temple around
Part two: exploring Kathmandu and having fun with the British-Ukrainian gang
Here everyone knows how to work with their hands
Heading to the hills where guys are singing about broken hearts
Stupa by Arniko, as I was told later in Delhi by my friend Arun

Part three: Recoop Nepal and the life in the village. Rebuilding the school
Localities and discussion over the bamboo price
Everyday views. These people are truly rich
Thanks to Indian Embassy: I got my passport 4 hours before the flight!
Leaving to come back

Monday, 25 January 2016

ahmedabad to kathmandu

at the streets of Kathmandu
I feel like a child and my family are people around me. You feel it even stronger when you are far from the place where you was raised. 

[I'm very grateful to each person with whom I talked and shared some part of the journey.]

Smile is a key to begin a conversation. 

[My friends sometimes worn me that I should be careful because people are different and some of them might be not always willing to do good. I appreciate their worries and always reply that I rely on my intuition.]

Smile is a sign which makes me feel who is this person in front of me. Smile is a beginning or an end of a conversation. We transmit huge amount of energy to each other through this simple sign.
Sometimes it happens that we don't speak the same language and than smile and gestures are coming for help. 

It's only a matter of willingness to understand each other. 

With most of the rickshaw drivers, cart sellers and elder people we communicate through the vocabulary of hands and smiles. 

I was traveling from Ahmedabad to Delhi by an overnight train. It reminded me a journey from my city Kharkiv on the East to Lviv city on the West of Ukraine. There is a specific agreed time to have dinner, have a chat with strangers and go to sleep. Same here. My neighbors were men from different parts of India that came together and shared a dinner. Each of them was having part of the meal. I was familiar with one dish and I loved it very very much. It's a type of bread, if I can call it like that, which is made out of flour, spinach, green chili and sesame seeds. I smiled. "It's one of my favorite dishes" came out of my mouth suddenly. I was surprised myself. I was invited to share the dinner immediately! I felt very shy because I haven't got anything to add to the table. Conversation started. About many many different things and I thought that it's actually not about food or dinner, it's about being together and sharing this train journey. Each of us got something to put on the common table improvised on our beds. 

Sleeping time arrived and I took out all my warm clothes to heat my body, as it was one of the things I was not prepared to: to face real autumn here. One of my neighbors was getting off at Jaipur at 4 am and I woke up without any alarm to greet him and wish a safe journey. I was cold and dreaming about blanket that I left in Ahmedabad because there was no space in my luggage. "Here, have it" - woolen blanket was in front of me. My neighbor was smiling. "Don't worry. Have it. I meet you in Delhi when you are back to pick it up." I couldn't stop say Thank you. I put woolen blanket over myself and fell in a beautiful sleep. 

It happens that I wake up in the morning with a feeling of where am I. I looked at the window it was foggy and wet. I opens my bag pack got a warm sweater put it over myself, took out winter boots. Tooth brush, tooth paste, bottle of water. Good morning. 

Ready to have my breakfast. 
Chai with a Gujarati sweets left for me by another neighbor yesterday. They were already off from the train. Unfortunately I haven't greet them in person. New people were around me. I propose my little package of Chiku and smile. Good morning! 
One boy from the evening came and we greet each other. 

Cold made me feel at home. January is snow and cold in my place. From December my body was a bit stressed by the fact that there is hot temperature outside the time when it should be cold. Now everything came to a place. January, winter clothe. I wanted to escape winter this year, but now I see that it's deeply rooted with my experience of living in Kharkiv and having all four seasons with cold winter, blossoming spring, hot summer and golden autumn. 

Welcome to the Winter. 
Welcome to Delhi. [Sunday]
Welcome to Kathmandu, [Monday] 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

united by music

Bumbai (by Mukund), 8 p.m., train. 
"Only for those who is going to sing!" 
Men are getting together.
Young men is taking out six rings out of his pocket and placing them at the end of his fingers. Drumming against the train wall. 
Few others got small golden instruments. 
One got the book with the Jain songs. 
One hour of amazing live music for everyone. 
Good night.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

I keep on asking myself: are we using the same vocabulary?

I came to India as part of my Studio at the D.I.A. master program at the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany. November and December, we 14 students from all over the world and 9 students from India, spent in the slum area in Noida, Sector 15.

Each week we were having a new professor with a new task to be completed. Quite an intensive, but very very fruitful studies. We worked in groups. Only few submissions I did on my own. 

I would love to share one of the pdf's for the the week 4, when we were talking about Education. As an architectural students we were asked to come up with an architectural answer to a problem of disinterest in education from the kid's side who live in the slum area. 

We started to look for the origin of the problem and coming up with different small intervention ideas. We even felt that what is needed is a spark of fire that will light interest and show different possibilities in life to the kids and their parents. In order to do that we discussed an option of organizing a movie screening on the street, or making a graffiti, or organizing an excursion etc.. All of these actions hardly could be named as "architectural" if we see it through the academic point of view, where we need to master our knowledge on drafting, sketching, model making and thinking.

In the middle of the week we were given an existing empty site, 32x40 m at the corner of the slum area and we were asked to design a "school" or something that is related to "education". We created programs, drew our plans, sections and perspectives. 

For me, the question was left: by doing so, making a building at the 32x40 m plot, is the client still the same? Are we reaching out the kids at the slum area? Why someone (private business, city administration, state etc..) will invest in this building at the slum, meaning illegal, area. As an architect am I playing with the wrong cards? 

Few days ago my father sent me a link on this video by Ole Scheeren - Why great architecture should tell a story. Through out the speech we can hear "vast", "gigantic", "huge", "big", "public space", "communal space", "sense of belonging", "sense of sharing" etc.. 

Few weeks back I was at the talk by Rod Hackney - India: Community Architecture to Suit. 

Question was pumping in my head: are we using the same meaning for these words, or we have different vocabularies? I came back in my mind to the Education Week in Noida project: is the client still the same? 

Its an open thoughts that I am humble to share it with you in order to discuss. Please, feel free to express yourself and share your thoughts. Architectural world definitely has many faces.