18 October 2018
In the wonderful world of Harry Nuriev, Plexiglas dons shocking pink – that of Karim Rashid, in this case – paired with royal blue – International Klein Blue, created by the French artist Yves Klein – colouring one of his favourite materials, vinyl. It works. Really. Very well.
This is how the young Russian designer Harry Nuriev (33) has conquered the world. Perhaps not absolutely all of it, but certainly the part (and it’s by no means a small part), that seeks inspiration and isn’t swayed by the latest trends to pop up on Instagram. Minimal, pop, monochromatic but always hyper-coloured, his interior design unleashes colours and materials still largely untapped by the leading designers. His skill in bringing together shapes and colours informs creations that veer between Greek classicism and Tsarist opulence. His style is decidedly fresh but with the occasional lofty note, accessible yet refined, eclectic and imbued with Japanese sensitivity and Scandinavian elegance. This drives the social networks that have made looks and image their mantra crazy.
After studying architecture in his native Russia, Harry Nuriev moved to New York, where he set up Crosby Studios, an artistic hub for ideas, dreams and ambitions, subsequently opening a branch in Moscow, shuttling between the New World and the Old to follow and carry out his projects. He is inspired by music, cinema and art, referencing Bauhaus as well as Neoplasticism, Modernism and masters of design such as Sottsass. His preferred materials are brass and plastic, because their shine heightens their surroundings, always teamed with industrial settings and raw surfaces. His design is both metaphysical and plastic, set apart by his colour codes, which range from pink to electric blue and red, highlighting the spaces, narrating them.
What was your upbringing in Russia like?
Well my first job came to me quite early. I was like 12th or even less. My grandma was my teacher of life and she used to respect only people who work hard regardless how old are you.
Does Russia play an important role in your work? And how does it match with your abroad experiences? How does practicing architecture and design in New York differ from Moscow?
My heritage plays crucial role in my visual language. Also my sentimental memory from my childhood. Russia and States are very different worlds, there is nothing to compare.
What initially sparked your interest in colors?
I can see colors and I know the difference between. Sometime I work with colors.
Your approach to minimalism is really something new: how did you come to combine minimalism and monochrome?
I don’t belong minimalism. My consent of life came from avant-garde. I call it new avant-grade.
How does colour influence your design practice and projects? And what is your colour research process like? Does colour come before design or vice versa?
It’s all about street life. I can find best example of my new color pallet on a stronger or homeless. Only truly row picture can bring my attention.
What are your favourite materials and colours to work with, and why?
I don’t have any specific type of materials or colours. It’s depends of my mood and budget of who paying for.
Who are your models and what are you looking to for inspiration now?
My inspiration are people I’m working with.
You’ve been called Instagram’s favourite designer. What is your feeling about it?
Really? I’ve never heard about.
Do you know Salone del Mobile.Milano e SaloneSatellite? Have you ever visited them?
I do. It’s a good platform for young designers.