CANactions

To spark conversations
that could enable
better lives



Interview with Polina Bachlakova

To spark conversations that could enable better lives
Interview with Polina Bachlakova
SPACE10 is a research and design lab on a mission to create better and more sustainable ways of living. Polina Bachlakova is the Editor & Copywriter at SPACE10. She's in charge of breathing written life into SPACE10 projects and communication the company's vision to an outside audience. Prior to her keynote within CANactions International Architecture Festival 2019 Polina spoke about the activities and the latest SPACE10 projects, as well as the role of communication in the work of the international office.
CANactions: What words would you choose to describe your work?

Polina: Meticulous, fast-paced, essential, value-based. As editor at SPACE10, my responsibility is to make sure everything we do is communicated to our audience in a way that gets our mission across in an approachable way. Aside from that, my role is to also choose what exactly we're writing about and which values and themes to integrate into our editorial presence. Therefore, my day to day is about ensuring we establish a culturally diverse and sociopolitically engaged dialogue with our global audience. This also extends to my role as editor of our Reports; here, I am responsible for choosing subjects to deeply investigate that relate to what we do at SPACE10 but also how the lives of many people will change in the near future.

Can you describe how do you approach each project?

I scope out the 'red thread' in each project and make sure this essential core runs through every piece of communication that comes with it. I also approach my work with a super critical eye and always ask if what we're claiming/pursuing is accurate and really does resonate with many people across continents. Finally, I head deep into production mode where I'll write, edit and repeat until I'm happy with the final result.
Playful Research project 'Spaces on Wheels: Exploring a Driverless Future'.
What is your proudest project to date? And why?

The 'Beyond Borders' series of articles on SPACE10. Although we've only produced two so far, I'm particularly proud of these because they extend our mission to non-Western perspectives and take a sober look at how our interest areas people of diverse backgrounds. Also, I'm very proud of our upcoming cookbook 'Future Food Today'. I spent 4 months writing and editing this, and though the end result doesn't reflect my direction per se—I came on as the second editor and writer in the process—I feel I did my best to turn this book into something we at SPACE10 can be proud of.

What do you find the most challenging aspects of the industry you work in?

The pressure to produce something that looks good and gives IKEA business value, while also wanting to speak the truth. We at SPACE10 are inherently positive and optimistic, but sometimes reality isn't a bouquet of flowers—and communicating that in a way that doesn't detract from our brand is tricky. It's a tough line to balance.
Preparing the "dogless hot dog" from SPACE10's upcoming cookbook aimed at shaping the future of the food ecosystem. The cookbook will be released in Spring 2019. Photo by Kasper Kristoffersen.
What is Community for you and in the context of your professional activity?

For me personally, community is your chosen family of friends and like-minded people. It's people you can rely on, thrive with and get inspired by—a combination that gets increasingly rare to find as you get older! In the context of professional activity, community is what we strive to build so that we can debate, discuss and most importantly share our message.

What are the most important values which you try to provide by your work?

Honesty, anticolonialism, feminism, and advocacy for minority rights. I think it's important to dismantle heteropatriarchal, Western perspectives in favor of telling the stories of the global majority.

What inspires you and how does it reflect on your work?


I'm inspired by grassroots movements that help minorities. I'm also inspired by the upsurge in feminist values we've seen in the past few years that strive to help men and women of multiple backgrounds lead better lives. In this way, I have an anti-corporate streak that probably runs through everything I produce—which ensures that the communication we put out at SPACE10 is honest, authentic and no bullshit. I'm here at SPACE10 to actually try to spark conversations that could enable better lives, so a healthy awareness of barriers that hold people down is key to that.
Text: Olena Vozniak