Lera Moiseeva - Breakthrough Russian designer

Young Russian designer, Lera Moiseeva, has suddenly hit her stride. After a chance encounter just over a year ago with Venetian designer Luca Nichetto, she has rapidly become a new rising star. Coming to the attention of the international design press through her work for furniture brand, Casamania and through collaborative works in ceramic with Nichetto for Canadian brand Mjölk and Russian brand, Dymov Ceramics, she is one of very few Russian designers to have left their mark.

 The 'Cheburashka' set for Russian brand Dymov Ceramics features a traditional black looking ceramic - created by smoking the clay.

The 'Cheburashka' set for Russian brand Dymov Ceramics features a traditional black looking ceramic - created by smoking the clay.

Originally from Tarusa in Russia, Moiseeva received a degree in sociology in Moscow, before completing a degree in product design in Madrid where she began to produce one-off furniture pieces such as the 'Narcissus' table. Now a resident of New York, Moiseeva met Nichetto during Salone del Mobile in 2013 and the two designers really hit it off. He was immediately impressed by her vision and by her multi-disciplined approach to design - discovering that she worked across film, photography, furniture and interiors. Shortly after this, Nichetto was commissioned to design a new showroom in New York for Casamania and he felt this was a great opportunity to involve Moiseeva. Since then they have worked on three projects together and Nichetto enthusiastically endorses her abilities. "I really believe in collaboration. I doesn't matter whether it's with a famous designer like Nendo, or someone like Lera who is just emerging. Right now I'm really proud to have helped to discover a great new talent. She is really good at what she does plus her background is very interesting. A woman from Russia in the design world - these are fairly few and far between and this brings with it a new approach, a new way of thinking", says Nichetto.

 The 'Cheburashka' is a contemporary take on a traditional Russian eating utensil. Like a lidded casserole with exaggerated arms for ease of carrying and a lid that doubles as a serving plate, the design is all about sharing food with others. 

The 'Cheburashka' is a contemporary take on a traditional Russian eating utensil. Like a lidded casserole with exaggerated arms for ease of carrying and a lid that doubles as a serving plate, the design is all about sharing food with others. 

Moiseeva is obviously drawn to working in clay as she has collaborated with Nichetto not only on the 'Cheburashka' set for Dymov Ceramics but also on the 'Sucabaruca' coffee set and 'Aureola' tea set for the refined Canadian brand Mjölk. Working with Dymov Ceramics gave Moiseeva and Nichetto the opportunity to promote a greater awareness of traditional Russian black ceramics, but the coffee and tea sets for Mjölk have a completely different aesthetic. Produced in porcelain with much finer tolerances and with integral timber components these designs were made for Mjölk by Canadian ceramicist, Alissa Coe from Coe & Waito. The designs reassess the ritual of tea and coffee, supplying a contemporary appearance while capturing the importance of the crafted object.

 The 'Sucabaruca' coffee set in white. Able to be stacked, the delicately incised vessels are presented on a maple tray. Photo © Juli Daoust Baker.

The 'Sucabaruca' coffee set in white. Able to be stacked, the delicately incised vessels are presented on a maple tray. Photo © Juli Daoust Baker.

 When not in use the coffee set is a beautiful sculptural object in it's own right.  Photo © Juli Daoust Baker

When not in use the coffee set is a beautiful sculptural object in it's own right.  Photo © Juli Daoust Baker

Following on from the 'Sucabaruca' coffee set, Nichetto and Moiseeva have designed an equally amazing tea set called 'Aureola' where some similar elements are used but in new ways. The handle shape is almost identical but in timber instead of ceramic and far more exaggerated in size and position. The lid is in timber and the purity of white porcelain is replaced by earthy dull red tones courtesy of metal powders used as the pigment. 

 The 'Aureola' tea pot by Moiseeva and Nichetto carries a soft organic shape but adds a wildly bold handle. Photo © Juli Daoust Baker

The 'Aureola' tea pot by Moiseeva and Nichetto carries a soft organic shape but adds a wildly bold handle. Photo © Juli Daoust Baker

For Fantastic process shots of the tea set in various stages of creation, check out this post by food design blog, This is Mold.

Moiseeva's recent furniture designs have also cut through as highly original concepts. Her 'Dot' table for Casamania, launched during Salone del Mobile, involves a three legged timber table where the third leg has a wheel that facilitates a moveable lower table or shelf. 

 Wonderfully graphic, the 'Dot' table for Casamania has the hint of a heroic gesture - as if the wheel were a shield.

Wonderfully graphic, the 'Dot' table for Casamania has the hint of a heroic gesture - as if the wheel were a shield.

 The 'Dot' table in natural ash. The wheel and shelf pivots around the third leg, making an impromptu shelf where ever it lands.

The 'Dot' table in natural ash. The wheel and shelf pivots around the third leg, making an impromptu shelf where ever it lands.

Another recent collaboration with Nichetto is the 'Sofa4Manhattan' designed with Joe Graceffa. The sofa is manufactured by Italian brand, Berto and was launched during Milan Design Week in April. With its loose seat cushions and wall of upholstery jutting out from the plinth, the sofa's scatter cushions add to the complexity of shape and conjure up an abstract city skyline. Soft rounded shapes combine with colourful elements and cross-stitch details to create a design that celebrates fabric and form. 

 The loose cushion design of the 'Sofa4Manhattan' for Berto, designed by Moiseeva wih Nichetto and Graceffa.

The loose cushion design of the 'Sofa4Manhattan' for Berto, designed by Moiseeva wih Nichetto and Graceffa.

 The arm detail of the 'Sofa4Manhattan for Berto.

The arm detail of the 'Sofa4Manhattan for Berto.

For a little look at Moiseeva's video work click on the images below. The first is for her 'Narcissus' table designed during her period in Madrid. The second, a promotional video for the 'Raphia' chair by Lucidi & Pevere that was released by Casamania in 2013.