Hidden Treasure: Lesha Galkin's Shkatulka

A modern twist on a Russian tradition, designer Lesha Galkin’s unique storage set is full of surprises.

A founding member of design collective, Dopludo, Galkin created the Shkatulka as part of the IZBA exhibition which was shown at the Milan furniture fair this year. This project brought 9 independent Russian designers together to reinterpret the historical heritage of the Russian hut where they were called upon to recreate archetypal household items with a modern twist.

Lesha, 26, currently works as a product designer and illustrator at Dupludo with co-founders, Egor Kraft and Karina Eybatova. Hailing from St Petersburg, the trio studied design in both Russia and Sweden, and still hold Scandinavian design ideals close to the heart of their work. Critiquing Russian design for its tendency towards plagiarism, they aim for innovation and originality.

Much like Russian dolls, a Shkatulka – meaning “casket” in Russian – contains a secret. Traditionally used as storage for important or valuable items, these caskets had a trick opening mechanism to keep things safely hidden. Galkin’s design remains loyal to these intricate details, while giving the box a modern repurposing.

Bright white marble with soft, pale wooden finishes firmly establish the Scandinavian influence, while the countless mathematical means of assembling the casket’s insides mirror Russian attention to detail. Rearrange the compartments as functionally, aesthetically, or totally nonsensically as you please. Whether you’re an artist, mathematician, or just generally (highly) organized person, placing your occupational materials into beautiful things always creates a happier workplace. Even a mere admiration for puzzles (it’s a lot like Jenga) will set up an intrigue for this beautifully crafted desk accessory.

Hidden wooden slats slide away at the sides to ease the lid off, revealing a trove of neatly stacked miniature shelving units, pen & pencil holders, paper weights, paper files – essentially, hand-crafted decorative structures for whatever you could possibly imagine needing a safe, clean place to stay. Conveniently laid out tablets with ridges to prevent smaller items going astray, boxes within boxes that perfectly fit together and align at glorious right angles - this is the OCD desk-dweller’s dream come true.

Fully embodying Russian character and the modern Scandinavian influence of Dopludo’s design ethos, Galkin’s creation is a worthy contribution from this year’s IZBA project.

Photography Courtesy of Lesha Galkin