Celebrate Avant-Garde Russian Architecture With This Wood Desk Set

Designers Nasya ​Kopteva ​and Sasha​ Braulov​ of 52Factory go back to the U.S.S.R.

Avant-garde architectural thought enjoyed a heyday in 1920s and ’30s Russia. The Constructivist buildings of the era embodied a functionalist philosophy emboldened by Soviet Socialist propaganda that championed the industrial worker, mass production, and egalitarianism.


Designers Nasya ​Kopteva ​and Sasha​ Braulov​ of 52Factory immortalized this architecture in a set of wood desk accessories with silhouettes inspired by some of the era’s most well-known buildings.

Architect Konstantin Melnikov’s house completed in 1929—significant for its unconventional round shape, hexagonal windows, and open-plan interior free of structural supports—was the jumping off point for a magnetic paperclip holder. The chimney of the Red Banner Textile Factory—an Erich Mendelsohn structure in St. Petersburg dating from 1928—becomes a tapered ruler. The designers used the Communal House of the Textile Institute to inform a smartphone docking station and pencil holder.

In addition to being a quirky way to organize a desk’s trappings, the designers hope the set becomes a way to teach kids about Russia’s great Modernist legacy. Find it at

About the author

Diana Budds is a New York–based writer covering design and the built environment.