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Design Miami

Russian-born, New York-based designer Harry Nuriev shares the stories behind his latest projects

Russian-born, New York-based designer Harry Nuriev, founder of Crosby Studios, has made a big splash in recent years with bold, stop-you-in-your-tracks designs across objects, private and commercial spaces, and fashion and art collaborations. Nuriev’s approach is consistently daring, from dramatic, pastel drenched interiors to unexpected furniture—such as The Balenciaga Sofa, a plastic encased, clothing-stuffed sofa full of garment off-cuts and damaged textiles provided by the Parisian fashion house, a visually arresting comment on fashion waste.

This month, the closely-watched designer makes a grand appearance in both Basel and DM/BX, presenting striking work that packs yet another creative punch. Ahead of the fair, we reached out to Nuriev to learn a bit more about the stories behind his latest projects.

Designer Harry Nuriev. Photo © Igor Klepnév, courtesy of Harry Nuriev

We’re so excited to see your latest installation, THE ELEVATOR, in Basel next week. What can you tell us briefly about the inspiration behind this work, and how was it made?

For most people, the elevator is the only moving room they experience in daily life. It's a transitory space, people going in and out, nothing more. For me, it's a metaphor for traveling through different layers of space, reality, and consciousness—a place where you get to be a kid again and press the elevator button, the destination unknown. I wanted to bring attention to this overlooked room, honoring it by slowing down, sitting down, and spending time within it. I wanted to create a furniture collection worthy of this revered space, so I pressed all the buttons and challenged myself to create a sofa, armchair, and ottoman made of numerous capsule-like components that almost appear to be moving, like a visualization of sound.

Silver Finger Sofa by Harry Nuriev, debuting at Design Miami/ Basel 2021. Photo © Maria Begun

We’re also thrilled to include your Neon Green furniture in DM/BX. What’s the story behind this collection?

I was really inspired by camping when creating this collection. I love to retreat from the city to clear my head, and wanted to create a collection that emulated that feeling.

Harry Nuriev's Neon and Checkered collections, available now through the DM/BX shop. Photo © Maria Begun

For those less familiar with your work, how do both these projects fit into your larger creative approach as a designer?

I’m always pushing my language of design, trying to create mixed typologies and new experiences that bring people together.

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Design Miami/ Basel?

This is my first time showing in Basel, so I'm really excited to showcase my new work within a new environment. ◆