Designer Nikita Anokhin stumbled on the idea of crafting home decor from Russia’s ever-present tower blocks by accident. He began creating souvenirs for people moving away from Russia so that they had their miniature home away from home to take with them wherever they settled. Now, Anokhin’s studio makes and sells bedside lamps, jewellery boxes, and flower pots in the form of tower blocks from different periods of Soviet history.
“I wanted to create a product that would be familiar and relatable to anyone but would not look too mainstream,” he says.
A former set design student at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, Anokhin’s works often resemble stage models, both in style and in the amount of detail that goes into them. He mainly works with concrete and wood, using a combination of 3D-modelling technology and handicraft.
Despite never having been an enthusiast of Russia’s domineering pre-fab panel houses himself, Anokhin says he has now “made peace with them” by rethinking and recreating them in his own way. “You might not be a fan of these buildings, but they are a part of our life,” he says. “I think it’s a strong image.”