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MA design graduate inspired by events in Russia and creates a 21st century tea set

By River Reporter Dec 5, 2012

Elena Blagoeva

Kingston University MA Design graduate, Alina Tukhvatullina, has created a traditional Russian tea set engraved with the names of topics that are generating controversy in Russia.

Alina’s tea set includes plates for lemon and sugar which have engraved the letters that spell Pussy Riot.

“I have decided to design a 21st Century samovar which invites Russia’s leaders and opposition to sit down together to try to resolve the country’s current problems”, Alina told Kingston University.

Pussy Riot divided the opinions of Russians after they performed a protest song against Vladimir Putin inside a Moscow cathedral. Three of the members of the female punk band were imprisoned for two years over charges of hooliganism.

The lemon plate has the words of  the right to free assembly, which are in the Russian constitution, while the lemon plate contains the law under which the members of Pussy Riot were prosecuted.

The tea set also includes references to the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, who was a Russian attorney tortured to death while in custody. This incident generated great international media interest.

According to course leader of MA Design: Product and Space at Kingston University, Colin Holden,  Alina’s project is a great representation of the situation of freedom of expression in Russia.  He added: “Alina’s project recognises this and reflects it in a traditional, Russian way. Her interest has been prompted by the benefit of a fresh perspective from distance here in Kingston.”

What attracted Alina to Kingston University was the facilities the university had to offer. “The workshop space was very impressive and I was attracted by the opportunity to study both product and space,” she said.

Her work, along with the projects of other students from the Kingston University’s Design: Product + Space MA course has been displayed during the 15th annual London Design Festival – Designersblock, which took place at Southbank Centre.

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