Strategy & Design, he/him
Mental Canvas is a software platform reimagining drawing for the digital age. I led a social media debut strategy that grew audience from 0-220k followers and resulted in a 500% user increase. Worked on collaborations with Apple, NFL and more. Created email campaigns reaching 300k+ users. Wrote copy, made videos and graphics for the Mental Canvas $100k Challenge (1.3k+ registrants from 94 countries). Designed flows for iOS/Windows app. Prototyped AR & audio features.
I led a 7-person creative team within a 200-employee organization that worked on visual identity & branding for startups, Yale clubs and academic departments.
Design at Yale is an undergraduate design community & studio. I led our 9-person team on consultancy projects with Yale orgs & startups and organized 30+ events exploring practice & industry across branding, product design & print.
Small Foot are the world’s first inflatable snowshoes. I designed graphics and managed communications for their Kickstarter campaign that raised $24k in 2016. In the years after, I produced a series of product videos and worked on a full website redesign, including copy, visuals & code.
Four laptop music performances with a custom SuperCollider synth controlled by the active processes on your computer.
Soundtrack for the experimental dance performance SHIFT. Accompanied by a 30-minute music video I created by analyzing a recording of the dancers using a pose estimation model.
Email newsletter about Bulgarian internet culture. I analyze upcoming trends, forgotten websites and rare music from the region.
12-track plunderphonics concept album about Bulgaria, internet culture, nostalgia and the remnants of socialism. Featured in The Yale Herald, Capital and the albums of the year of the Bulgarian Music Association.
The Drum/Drama Machine is a hybrid drum machine and drone generator. Powered by a Bela board and coded in Pure Data.
Site-specific installation for the bathroom of KO-OP - a music album that samples rare Bulgarian songs. It turns the public toilet into a space for music discovery: an antithesis to streaming platforms. I've placed contact microphones on the toilet and the sink, which stop the music once they detect a sound. By "playing" the water, the visitor feels the temporality of music and the fragility of archives.
Kosmos? is a generative art project exploring the hauntology of the iconic Bulgarian science magazine Kosmos. I created a large wall of "new" magazine covers by training a neural network on 250 magazine covers.
What happens when a country’s internet domain outlives the nation? I wrote about the history of .yu, the domain name for Yugoslavia, which outlived the country by two decades. The domain's fascinating afterlife and tragic death stir up questions about the historical significance and preservation of the internet that feel relevant to this day.
Chalga is an important part of Bulgarian music history, but the genre is still not taken seriously in its home country. Documentation and archival efforts often come from abroad.
Such is the case with Lost Chalga – a Facebook page and YouTube channel dedicated to preserving rare retro chalga records. We had a fascinating conversation about ripping rare cassette tapes; fighting YouTube’s copyright system; Andrea’s best lyrics and more.
"Listening to Ramonia, one experiences second-hand the pleasures of picking through old material and finding the hilarious obscurities and hidden gems. Kolev grapples with the anxieties of the digital present, but he also explores the wonderful pleasures it affords us—the ability to look back upon the past and find its treasures, to let the old rhythms of disco move our hips and maybe even bring us close again."