Ljiljana Gazevic – SJB Interiors

Fanuli Interview Series

Ljiljana Gazevich joined SJB Interiors in 1994 and became a director in 2006. Her work is refined by her experiences in life such as travel and culture. Elegant and unique is the best way to describe her work as her use of materials and meticulous detailing are significant and easy to identify. We were lucky enough to ask her a few questions about her everyday life and what she loves to do in her spare time.

Fabio: Ljiljana, you have been managing director for SJB Interiors since 2006. In the time you have been with SJB Interiors, what has been your favourite project you’ve worked on?

Ljiljana: As a Director, I am in the privileged position of being able to head the design directions and outcomes of projects.

There is an extensive list of incredibly satisfying and well appreciated projects, that it is difficult to choose a particular favourite.  What does spring immediately to mind, and with an historical significance to SJB Interiors, is the  Grey Advertising project.   This was the company’s first major design award winning the 1996 Victorian Design Award for the Commercial Fitout category.

That award brought many interesting projects to the  company and multiple award wins including Apartment of the Year awards over the next few years.

The increased awareness of SJB Interiors is directly linked to the development of close friendships, personal rapport and the trust we have established with our long term clients with whom we have worked repeatedly over the years.

For me, the most satisfying outcome is seeing my clients still enjoying the spaces that we created for them.

Fabio: What has been the most challenging commercial project you’ve worked on and why?

Ljiljana: Commercial projects always come with a clear brief and an expectation that the final results has to satisfy the brief, the budget and has to work for the clients, the occupants and visitors.  A commercial project is always open to the judgement of the general public and media.  So it has to perform at all levels and respond to different groups of individuals.

Fabio: What would be your dream creative project?

Ljiljana: The dream project is one where the client and designer are aligned in terms of values, creative vision and a shared commitment to support the project.

My ideal project would be a luxury yoga retreat – nestled amongst a beautiful landscape and in an exotic destination.  We travel regularly and our recent trip to Asia provided new inspiration where we were fortunate to share an especially memorable yoga experience in the most wonderful tropical setting.

Fabio:  Which other Australian designers/artists are you loving at the moment?

Ljiljana: My keen interest in the Australian design and artistic fields is firmly entrenched.  I am often drawn to colour and texture and this is reflected in many of the pieces that I have around me.  Of particular appeal to me are artists Matthew Johnson, Helga Groves and Piers Buxton.

Matthew’s colour combinations, his composure and sense of order all resonate with me.  The same might be said of the work that Piers Buxton produces – bold, refined and with simplicity of form that is very intriguing.

With Helga, it is her meticulous methodologies that I see linkages of a shared European heritage within the context of contemporary Australian art.  A combination which I find utterly fascinating.

Fabio: What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Ljiljana: For me, a typical day starts with yoga.  It helps me achieve the calm and balance needed for a busy day ahead.

Yoga prepares me to effectively lead our design team in response to the design and operational challenges we find in dynamic practice such as SJB Interiors.  It also gives focus to a project’s many requirements including those of our clients, contractors and suppliers all of whom are all contributing to our creative process.

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