For most, nostalgia sets off fond recollections of simpler times. Harry Nuriev, however, doesn’t merely recall them—he physically recreates his childhood memories with the utmost clarity and imagination. The Moscow-born, New York–based founder of Crosby Studios has become synonymous with Instagram-friendly interiors populated with playfully contoured furniture, each one saturated in monochromatic hues. At Collective Design 2018, he summoned his Russian upbringing with a rotating purple carousel table set against a backdrop of wallpaper depicting the concrete apartment blocks he knew as a child. For a Dallas Contemporary solo exhibition that same year, he assembled a gaggle of rubber tire swans, a nod to Soviet lawn kitsch.
His latest endeavor, a rentable studio apartment in Moscow, again sets his design sensibilities in another time, while thrusting the share economy headlong into the future. Tucked away in a secluded, tree-lined backyard is a rentable, multi-use space replete with Crosby Studios furnishings uniformly coated in a rich shade of Yves Klein blue. Surreal, imaginative details flourish: a makeshift chandelier, made of cobalt Bic pens, floats above an ovoid meeting table supported by curvy, neotenic legs. The kitchen buildout, meanwhile, is clad in broken tiles and Gzhel, a classic Russian floral print. The apartment, which brings Nuriev’s childhood dream space to life, “has everything I love,” he says. “Flowers, blue, and my heritage.”