Take five: Harry Nuriev
In our quickfire question series, we take five minutes with Russia-born and New York-based architect and artist Harry Nuriev to ask about everything from weird foods to where he goes to escape the everyday.
‘Once dubbed ‘the man designing spaces for the Instagram age’ by The New York Times, Harry Nuriev creates collectible furniture and experimental interiors bursting with colour, where the boundaries between old and new, beautiful and ugly, fashion and furniture design cease to exist.
His sweeping perspective is informed by his nomadic nature: Harry lives between New York, Paris and Moscow, where he graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute and founded Crosby Studios, in 2014. Creativity is everywhere, explains Harry: ‘I get most of my inspiration from art and fashion, not just design… People who are creative, confident in their path, who have significant personal style and a strong opinion about what’s going on in the world.
More recently, Harry’s experimental eye has shifted towards sustainability – from his much talked-about Design Miami 2019 exhibition, to virtual installations that make sustainable design accessible to everyone. For his recent collaboration with COS, Harry was shot on location at ‘one of his favourite places and a constant source of inspiration’, the Alvar Aalto-designed Vyborg Library, St Petersburg. ‘I pay a lot of attention to sustainability in my projects, and lots of them have something to do with upcycling,’ says Harry. ‘It was important to me to find a way to combine my own DNA with the one of COS. I found inspiration by thinking about nature on a very deep level.’
Finding new ways to connect through art and style has been especially important this year. ‘I started appreciating clothes even more than before,’ says Harry. ‘Before 2020, I used to wear things like sweatpants a lot, but when you have to spend six months at home, at some point you really start dressing up and expressing yourself through clothes.’
Tell us something that may surprise people about you…
‘I’m actually much quieter than people think.’
Your proudest achievement?
‘I don’t have a particular thing to call my biggest achievement, but I am very proud that I found a world that I’m in love with, professionally and personally, and I live in it every day.’
Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
‘A traditional Russian dish called холодец, or a meat jelly. It looks and smells really weird.’
Your first album purchase?
‘Super Dupa Fly by Missy Elliott.’
The last thing you Googled…
‘I was looking for a place I want to have my solo exhibition.’
What’s your style signifier?
‘Not belonging to any style, being myself and believing in myself, expressing myself through my personal style and my work. It’s all a part of my own language.’
Which actor would play you in the movie of your life?
Where do you go to escape?
‘Forest and nature, ideally with a nice lake nearby.’
What do you collect?
If you could share a message with your younger self, what would you say?
‘Thank you for doing what you’re doing; it’s really worth it.’
Harry Nuriev (@harry.nuriev) wears the AW20 collection. He is one of five locals featured in a series of portraits celebrating the arrival of COS Russia online. Harry has also created four Instagram filters for COS – inspired by how humans experience the elements, and the embodiment of nature in colour and design. Find out more @cosstores.
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