Minimalissimo


Masahiko Maruyama who is behind the Japanese label Nude:MM created a delectable menswear Fall Winter 2014 collection. It is a monochromatic collection where architectural influences convolute trendy proportions of sportswear and smart casual in a mix of wool, linen twill and nylon. Exploring with layers and details of hoods, vests, lapels and belts, Maruyama presents a strong story of minimalist appeal and the familiar comfort of well-tailored menswear in his designs. Structured pliable piping at the coat hoods and adjustable slide-buckle cinch belts are some of the details that stand out in this collection made entire in Japan. This is too beautiful a collection to skip even though I discovered this late in the year. Photography by Masaru Tanaka.


Wide Eyed Legless is the blog and labour of love of Minneapolis-based designer and stylist Madelynn Furlong, who has now unveiled her latest project — The WEL shop, filled with highly curated goods that represent Wide Eyed Legless’ minimalist aesthetic and values. Drawn from collaborations with like-minded friends, WEL seeks to form a relationship between visual artists, designers and those who wish to inherit beautiful objects into their lives. We see ourselves as a “communal well” to partake of art and beauty — a place to celebrate the creator, the cerated and the space between. WEL’s selection of clothes, accessories, jewellery and art objects are beautifully offset by impeccable art direction and Liz Gardner and Bodega‘s styling. Everything in the shop is limited edition with only 10 or less of each piece, with most being even just 1 of 1. Photography by Caylon Hackwith.


Switzerland based studio Kind of Design launched earlier this year their debut collection of furniture, called M°1. The collection consists of a table, taboret, lamp and fruit bowl but I would like to highlight the chair: Chaise M°1. As seen from the front there is a nice contrast between the slim legs and solid backrest and seat. From the side one can see the graphic lines I like so much about the M°1. Look for instance at how the back chair legs are shaped. Like the other collection pieces the Chaise M°1 is made out of thermo lacquered aluminium. The chair is available in a set vibrant matte colours: white, black, red and yellow.


w151 is another wonderful lamp collection developed by the Swedish architecture and design trio Claesso Koivisto Rune. It was designed for Swedish company Wästberg, and will be presented during next year’s Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. The collection is available in a range of powder-coated colour finishes and consists of a set of three enormous cone-shapes — well over a metre in width or height. CKR explains: Based on the most basic of geometrical shapes — the cone — all three are super-sized, pushing the limits of manufactured, spun aluminium, yet fitting through a normal doorframe. Paired with careful control of the fine details and the paper-like matt finishes, the lamp is almost illusory; dream-like — when experienced in reality.


Normann Copenhagen’s Bell Lamp is a luminous nod to industrial design. Available in four sizes and two color combinations, the lamp is both a sculpturally beautiful and functionally present piece. At the core of its design, is its simplicity. Made from aluminium and hanging from a 4m textile cord, the Bell Lamp is encompassing of the designer’s passion, to challenge the conventional design rules. Designers Andreas Lund and Jacob Rudbeck believe their designs should be based on passing on the Scandinavian design tradition and create everyday objects that have personality without being loud. A statement that speaks worlds. Based in Copenhagen, the duo are responsible for envisioning carefully articulated designs that add character and emphasize quality and stripped back minimalist thinking. The Bell Lamp is testament to that. Photography courtesy of Normann Copenhagen.


The KEEKO Watch is an everyday basic wristwatch with interchangeable bands designed by Elmar van Zyl in Melbourne, Australia. KEEKO aim to produce quality, timeless and minimal designs with a strong focus on traditional objects which have stood the test of time. We spoke to Elmar about the brand and his beautifully basic wirstwatch: Designed as the very essence of the watch; stock standard, brutally simple — void of all complication. I wanted to create a meaningful object which would never date, a timeless piece of design which could be passed down for generations. I think when we’re faced with instability and uncertainty we find comfort in the objects which form the core of our identity, a classic example being the wristwatch. The KEEKO Watch is available in three variants: brushed steel, black & white, and double black, along with six different coloured wristbands. The watch feels significant and solid, the body is precision machined stainless steel, topped off with a chamfered sapphire crystal lens. With such an impressive introductory design, I am excited to see how the KEEKO brand evolves. Outstanding work.


After a break of three years from the fashion business, Japanese designers Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode teamed up again to present an intellectual, powerful womenswear collection under the name of HYKE in Autumn 2013. While there is relatively little information to be found about the brand on the western web, the news available is impressive. HYKE produced an amazingly tight fashion video, created a capsule collection for the British luxury brand Mackintosh and will present its adidas originals collaboration in Spring 2015. The current HYKE collection totally wins me over with its serious, no-nonsense attitude, while still playing around with uncommon silhouettes and experimental prints. Nevertheless, the minimalist attitude is quite strong in every outfit. HYKE manages to stay simple and still convey a very peculiar and idiosyncratic approach towards fashion.


Arnhem based Dutch designer Jet de Bruijn creates beautiful interior products with clean lines manufactured from pure materials, under the label jet. Her latest design is the minimal, modular and elegant lamp, Tammel, comprised of a slim stainless steel frame and oak/walnut socket. The Tammel lighting range is a reference to her childhood — Tammel being the name of the farm where she grew up. This is where her predilection for craftsmanship and the application of wood and steel originates. The lamp, which can can used as a table or wall lamp, is available in a variety cable colours, including white, red, yellow, and black. An incredibly simple concept, but beautifully executed. Photography courtesy of Joyce Croonen.


Torre de Palma Wine Hotel is an installation of a new program to the already-existed agricultural landscape in Monforte, Portugal. Completed recently in November 2014 by João Mendes Ribeiro, the new addition rethinks the use of older infrastructures, such as the farm buildings, in order to generate new architecture with multiple courtyards that accommodate different activities. Due to the scale of the project, I have condensed it to focus on the minimal interior that reflects the newness being introduced to the old estate. With a simple gesture of covering the interior in white, the architect masked his interventions, including replacements to structural elements. The new group of buildings share a common aesthetic of minimalistic and crisp geometry, having the highlights of wooden claddings, concrete textures, and tile works that complexify the white canvas. The monochromatic wine cellar is starkly contrast to the ground level, having dark materials with slivers of light that create the mood and ambience appropriately. The project is highly ambitious in my opinion, and it was finished successfully with beautiful spatial qualities that are both diverse and unified. While standing out in the bare landscape of the Alentejo plains, João Mendes Ribeiro cleverly tied his designs together...


Cement as a material for a luxury residence. The young Mexican architect Abraham Cherem of Cherem Arquitectos, recently completed the design of a residence on the outskirts of Mexico City. House P was built for a well-known football player, Aarón Padilla and his family of four, who wanted a concrete home that blended well with its surroundings. The project is based on the study of the house views and the circulation of the light inside. The architect created two large blocks of cement, creating a complex set of rectangles and curved walls. The goal was to minimize the view on degraded suburbs of the metropolis, focusing on the vast central patio. Inside, the walls are designed as cement curtains, which regulate the spaces and the entrance of light at different times of the day. Cherem Arquitectos used elements of modern Mexican architecture to design the courtyard, but were also inspired by the traditional Mexican patio, which creates a space to reunite elements in the centre of the house. I love cement houses integrated in natural surroundings. House P is the perfect place to live with a golf course as good neighbour.


Dar Mim is an understated white home located in the picturesque coastal city of Hammamet, Tunisia. The home is designed by the Parisian based firm Septembre, a firm known for consistently producing elegant and sophisticated designs. Dar Mim is a renovation of a traditionally styled home and courtyard. Septembre preserved the integrity of the existing home by barely touching the front facade and patio, and designing a matching extension in the back. The main living areas are situated around a central courtyard. The expansion in back features a guest suite with a separate terrace. A block and void system is used in the structure to filter light into specific areas of the home. All the building materials for Dar Mim were locally sourced. The wood and metal work was done by local artisans, and the plaster walls were made using old school techniques. These traditional materials allow this renovation to blend seamlessly with the older buildings in Hammamet. Overall, the excellent materials and thoughtful styling make Dar Mim a unique and successful design. Photography by Sophia Baraket.


Czech duo Vrtiska Zak introduces their interpretation of minimal children’s toys, in the shape of their WOO Collection. The series represents transportation, on a very basic level, which is manifested in the resulting minimal forms. The simplicity of the materiality and its composition is both beautiful and streamlined for ease of use also. Made from bent veneer and varnished wood, there is an emphasis on symbolizing three natural elements (water — the sailboat, air — the airplane and ground — the bulldozer). WOO itself is intended to represent an injection of motion, interjection of amazement while also being a nod to the wood that comprises the pieces also. Vrtiska Zak is the combined brainchild of Roman Vrtiska and Vladimir Zak, who met during their studies and later formed a partnership during their internships at Alvar Alto University in Helsinki, Finland. Their work is an encompassment of product design, architecture and graphic design disciplines. With resulting forms such as WOO, they are a solid contender in the design realm. Photography courtesy of Vrtiska Zak.