Creating AYL: Lana Aslanyan’s Journey Through TUMO Studios

In the afternoon, when the sun is at its zenith, shadows appear on the wall of the neat studio created in the garage, hinting at the AYL (meaning “another” in Armenian) reality created there.

We traveled from TUMO Studios to Etchmiadzin back in the spring to discover this very AYL reality, created by a student of the Studios, Lana Aslanyan. Lana and her mom met us at the garage.

“Since she was a kid, Lana had a great love for art and creating new things,” says Lana’s mom, recalling Lana’s early passion for creating hammers from clay, origami, and her interest in transforming spaces by moving furniture.

Lana first studied at Yerevan State College of Fine Arts after Panos Terlemezian, then at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. She joined the Studios in 2019, participating in more than ten design ateliers in the fields of fashion and product design, and completed two technical courses. With a great love and interest in product design, she gained experience during ateliers at the Studios, under the guidance of Christopher Karageuzian, Sanna Völker, and Exil Collective.

Talk to the stones

In 2019, Sanna Völker, a Barcelona-based Swedish product designer, arrived at TUMO Studios. This was Lana’s first atelier. Inspired by the facades of old buildings in Yerevan, the participants created a collection of vases, collaborating with sculptors and stonemasons.

As a result of this workshop, Lana and other students from the Studios created the Corner Vase, inspired by the minimalism hidden in the rich reliefs of the pink city.

Find an ideal owner for this chair

In 2021, Lana joined Christopher Karageuzian’s product design atelier, this time working with wood. The goal of this atelier was to create an ideal chair based on the lifestyle of its user. They made the challenge more interesting by limiting themselves to specific materials and cutting techniques.

Fit childhood memories in a bag

In 2022, we hosted designer Nensi Avetisian at TUMO Studios, who guided the atelier in creating bags exclusively with ecological materials. The theme of the atelier research was childhood memories. Lana participated in this atelier and created a bag inspired by an origami card she made for her mother as a child.

Into two different professions

In 2023, Lana decided to join technical courses in pattern making and ceramics.

The 9-month construction technical course equipped Lana with skills in pattern drafting as well as basic and freehand technical modeling. During the year-long ceramics technical course, she mastered the techniques of working with clay.

Technical courses at TUMO Studios give students a foundation of skills that prepares them for design ateliers. TUMO Studios offers technical courses in jewelry making, pottery, fashion, embroidery, and printmaking. The duration of each course can be up to one year.

Ticket from TUMO Studios to England

In September of 2022, Lana and other TUMO Studios students were at the Norwich University of the Arts! This was a student exchange program with the British Council’s Creative Spark program. During the two-week printmaking workshop, they created visually distinct pieces to print later on.

Creating another reality

Interested in product design and fashion, Lana had long wanted to start her own project. Along with the development of platforms, markets, fairs, and stores in Armenia, she created AYL.

“I see AYL at the crossroads of product design and fashion. I also chose the name based on the contrasting relationships in the works,” says Lana.

The garage that belongs to Lana’s mom now also belongs to AYL. The craft of needlework has been practiced in their family for a long time, so Lana has the best helper in her mom.

Now, as a product of the AYL brand, you will find bags and accessories that at first glance look like art objects, and then reveal their practical use. However, in the future, Lana plans to focus on designing various products and objects.

Lana’s bags had already traveled to Copenhagen with TUMO Studios atelier leaders Kevin Josias and Catherine Morel.

Trinity and tulips

In the spring of 2024, TUMO Studios students Jbid Giragosian, Arpi Saroyan, and Anahit Vardanyan organized the “Girls at Work” market at their architecture studio, Triniti. Lana participated in this event with bags specially created for the occasion, in the shape of tulips.
The reality created around TUMO Studios unites our students, creating a community where they inspire and create together.

We have many students like Lana who started their journey at TUMO Studios, who have learned, mastered their craft, and created their own brands. With the aim of empowering the new generation of Armenian designers and artisans, we continue to support them and showcase the talented students of the Studios.