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Disrupting boundaries Interview with Harry Nuriev

If you ask anyone for one of the most disruptive names in the design industry right now they’ll most likely mention the name Harry Nuriev. The founder and creative mind behind Crosby Studios, he is of the most influential figures shaking up the design realm. Based in both New York and Paris, his studio redefines traditional design boundaries. He’s collaborated with Balenciaga and crafting a furniture line for revered Dover Street Market, Nuriev showcases innovation. His recent exhibition presented for design Miami at the Mobilier National in Paris featured a striking set that used artificial intelligence to create an ancient plant motif with modern elements, adding to his list of achievements. Renowned for his approach, Nuriev's designs boast minimalist allure and vibrant, daring hues, blending contemporary and classic elements while infusing spaces with digital concepts. Notably, his work delves into sustainability, reflecting a commitment beyond aesthetics to create spaces that resonate deeply. In our conversation, we delve into the motivations driving his artistic endeavors.

When did you first realize that the path you were meant to be on was design?

It happened very spontaneously because I was studying architecture and quickly, I figured that in architecture there are so many beautiful and amazing buildings already around and so many great artists and Architects working in the field and for me was important to create something different and I found it interior design is the area that nobody really pays as enough attention to , so I just started. I didn't know anything about interior design. So I learned as I went.

Tell me about the name Crosby Studios and the choice behind it.

It was almost 10 years ago. I was in New York and I was in between Crosby and Mercy Street, and I was thinking that this is the time to start my practice. And then I started thinking about what I should call my practice, and I didn't think too much about it , I was just looking around and I saw the sign of Crosby Street and thought it was perfect because it resonated with me. I like the name. It's very bold. I love the street and it's also something about crossing different mediums so I really liked that and people picked it up quickly and it just became a thing.

Looking back at your work from when you first launched until now it's different but it's also very similar. How would you say your creative vision has evolved since the launch of Crosby studios in 2014?

Well when I first started out I didn't know anything about interior design. So my first projects were sort of experiments of my vision of how I would envision my life and what I want to surround myself with and as I went along I learned things and experimented more and some things I left behind and others stuck with me. I think like any new development language around me and even not in the same field It's always nice to learn through your own experience in your own practice. So for the last 10 years I look back and I can see different techniques and different ways of doing things, and different inspirations that are all intertwined and connected through my practice.

You have a project coming up, and it’s time to get some initial work done. Walk me through your creative process in preparation?

Most people forget that behind every project there is usually a person or a team who has some sort of vision or goals that they want to achieve . Every project usually starts with a conversation whether with a person or a team and that's the first inspiration. Before I see space , before I see the actual volume of future work. I'm talking to real people and these people are usually looking for something different , they usually want to be challenged or challenge me . The work is the physical material that just follows this kind of abstract vision based on the conversation and then takes a shape in the physical universe. Every space and every DNA of each client is different .Of course they all walk into the door of my atelier and expect to have my vision there as well and then we sort of find a way to marry them and that's the process…

You have a very intricate relationship with colour and pattern in how prevalent they are throughout your work. Has this always been the case and how do you go about selecting the colours for each piece of work?

Colours have never been a goal necessarily but I just look at street style and nature and art and fashion, and other things that inspire me and I see so many things that I've never seen in interior design because the industry was always a vanilla box with very safe design decisions. For me this is quite boring which is why I decided to become an interior designer. It is also why my artistic vision is driven by a rejection of the traditional way of thinking and colors and patterns were just opposite responses to what I was seeing. If I was in a world where interior design was super colorful, I would probably only use mute colors. So the idea was just to do the opposite thing to show people that interior design can be different.

How would you describe your sense of style and how it has changed throughout time?

My personal style has always been connected to my practice and it's kind of part of my manifesto to merge them together. Both of them represent one’s personality and express character ,but as much as we love to play around with our personal style, a lot of us are sometimes hesitant to do the same thing with our surroundings. So the goal always was to match them , and allow it to evolve with my work and career.

In the last few years you can be seen very often decked in Balenciaga. Tell me a bit about your passion for the brand.

Fashion has always been one of my biggest inspirations since the very beginning. Even while studying architecture back in the day. I remember when everyone looked at mid-century and other examples of architecture. I always looked at the silhouettes and fashion history. I really feel comfortable to be inspired and now be an inspiration for fashion. I like to be outside and Balenciaga is one of the most creative brands obviously down in my alley. And we've been working together for quite a while. I guess it's just a very exciting combination.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

I think that my answer might be cliche but I’d really just like to continue what I do. I’d like to continue consistently exploring this field and just experiment more .

Photographer: Alessio Boni
Photographer Ass.: Valentine Lacour, Anthony Peyper
Stylist: Simone Rutigliano
Stylist Assistant: Gina Magnano
MUAH: Assia Caiazzo
Hair: Gabriele Marozzi
Interview: Jordan Anderson
Location National Mobilier