Yoonnyong Bahk

9 July – 31 August 2007
Royal College of Art, London, UK

When I decided to do my summer internship at Art. Lebedev my parents were horrified of the idea of their little daughter going to Russia. And my friends were somewhat jealous and intrigued but frightened of working in Moscow at the same time. But in my 8 weeks time here no I’ve not been mugged, stabbed, shot or murdered, and on top of that had a fabulous experience inside and outside of the studio, oh but I did find a grenade on the street, I think that means good luck.

The studio is AMAZING! Huge space, really nice environment to work in. Just have a look at the pictures of the four different loos on the website, it only gets better. Being situated smack in the middle of the city also makes it very convenient to get to other places. The working day is from 12 till 10, which made it perfect for a night owl like me. The atmosphere is very relaxed. You are pretty much free to do whatever you like whenever you like as long as you get your work done.

No, not everyone speaks perfect English, but then they all speak excellent Russian! I don’t speak the language but haven’t had too much difficulty getting by. Meetings are held in Russian as well but then “when in Rome”, no? Timur usually goes through the gist of what the meeting was about. I still wish I understood Russian and i did try. During my stay here, I listened to Pimsleur’s Speak and read Russian as I walked 30 minutes to and from home and to no surprise it hasn’t been of much help. HA! I can not hold a decent conversation in Russian, but I know many random words and it seems to entertain the people at the studio quite a lot. So I recommend, learn some random words. like… суббота

As for the work you do here, it’s very good to practice your sketching skills because that’s the core of what you do here. And you just get to develop design concepts which the 3D modellers and engineers help you develop in the end. I participated in 4 Projects while I was here and during my last two weeks i got to have a go at clay modeling which was great fun. Which brings me to say, the guys here are very much happy to teach you things that you don’t know yet, making it a very good learning experience.

This is a great place for a fledgling designer to kick start their work experience and once I’m through listening to all 90 Speak and Read Russian lessons and know all the days of the week, I look forward to coming back sometime in the future!

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