Minimalissimo


The resurgence of print as an ideal platform to showcase content is fascinating, especially when you consider that it never went away completely; but simply battled for the public’s attention against electronic publishing and websites. Around the world it is evident there is a continuous process of customized, one of a kind design, designed for print media; especially magazines and books. Emerging from an homonymous exhibition, sponsored by Bauhaus University of Weimar, is the first edition of Forms of Formalism. Tailor-made by a small team of six contributors including graphic designer Michael Paul Romstöck and photographer Louis De Belle, the volume explores many facets of formalism and how it can be applied and discussed alongside visual art, literature, music, mathematics and philosophy. The parallels between old-school minimalism, negating figurative qualities and enhancing simplicity; and formalism with its emphasis on form over content; the visual identity for this book is quite relevant and appropriate. The cover is a bold opening statement with its white background and clean cut title. Inside the book is divided interestingly, the first half focuses on photography on glossy paper, while the second half holds essays printed on matt paper. The attention to the experience of the...


Moving Mountains is an interdisciplinary studio founded by Syrette Lew, who was born and raised in Hawaii. With a sustainable solution of producing and realizing her designs within the United States, she focuses on making utilitarian objects through whimsical simplicity. Confetti Credenza is one of the children from that playful minimalism that the designer explores in her work. Standing on four thin legs made of blackened steel, the credenza has a clean contour with an opaque color of maple wood. Its illusion / reality of a mass relying on such thin supports is a wonderful work of balancing. The symmetrical design is then broken by the randomized confetti pattern that subtly adds a quirk to the product. Thoughtfully, the thin steel lines complements the black segments of confetti, or vice versa. Lew’s design of the credenza speaks about the many sides of minimalism. On one hand, there is the familiar sleek look with clean executions. On the other, a whole horizon of possible interpretations. Photography courtesy of Moving Mountains with Ceramic Sculptures by Keiko Narahashi.


Located in Savion, an exclusive residential area of Tel Aviv, is The Corten House, designed by the architectural studio Pitsou Kedem. In this beautiful house the concrete alternates with Cor-Ten and plays with open and closed spaces, with lights and shadows through a design made of contrasts wisely balanced. Outside, the concrete is predominant and the robust walls seem to emerge to protect the airy internal areas shaped by the textures of Cor-Ten capable of filtering the external light on the wide openings. Two floors of regular lines where the use of brown woods is dominant and gives warmth to the interior. On the ground floor, the living rooms are bright and spacious, while on the second floor one can admire the bedrooms, walk-in closet and bathroom. The double height is dominated by a long internal balcony at the upper floor. On the ground floor there is no continuity between the living area and the courtyards that lead to the garden dotted with well-positioned plants and, considering the hot weather of this area, with a rectangular swimming pool perfectly aligned to the building. Natural light and wide spaces are the elements of a design that invites one to experience the...


One of the newest pieces from minimalist favorite Norm Architects is the Snaregade Table. The design is available in two forms: rectangular and round. Both variants feature a smooth, dark surface and intersecting supports. The table legs bring unique styling to the piece without sacrificing functionality. Each support is placed at just the right height and angle to maximize space for legs and chairs. The tables’ versatile aesthetic and practical design make them perfect for dining or as a workspace. A Snaregade table can easily be the focal point of a space, or it can delicately blend with its surroundings. I love when I come across a design that is truly an example of form follows function. The role of a table warrants certain operational elements. Yet it is the way these elements come together that defines a stand-out and timeless design.


Merryn Kelly has leaped out on her own to create fashion child, Third Form. The collection is one of overt sophistication, minimalism and once that embraces fresh cuts and understated tailoring. The nuances in detailing and designed accessories are a nice touch. The palette is one of crisp and bold definition; one that is strictly monochromatic. There is an obvious intentionality with the versatility of the pieces with a focus on fit, form and functionality. Heralding from Sydney, Kelly’s portfolio consists of working alongside some of Australia’s fashion finest. Labels such as Zimmerman and Lee Jeans have been the foundations from which her label grew. Her dedication to her brand is strengthened through her blog, Zine, which draws on her inspiration and musings. There seems to be a perfect balance between street style and femininity, which is beautifully curated. Photography courtesy of Jake Terrey.


Swiss studio Mizko Design are the creators of this elegant and simple decorative home accessory — a maple wood bird called Woodput. Natural and clean, strong and unagitated, it is produced in small series by a local sheltered workshop in Aurau, Switzerland. The designers explain: The aim was to create a decorative object from a piece of wood with as few oscillated slices as possible. We wanted to experiment with how much you can reduce the shape so that the object is still identifiable as a bird. Woodput is meant to be an object, that tries to convince with its simplicity. Mizko Design was founded in 2012 by Sarah Hügin and Benedikt Löwenstein, two industrial designers, who’s collaborative efforts have seen them awarded a Red Dot Award in product design.


Within Tokyo’s dense urban fabric, residences often face the challenge of getting enough light, privacy and usable interior spaces to live in. Wiel Arets Architects has completed a house in the neighborhood of Nishi-Azabu that is designed with these considerations in mind. The A’ House is clad with textured glazed panels that gently reflect the life and movements of the narrow residential street it is located on. Yet the beauty is in its double-layer glazed windows made of a transparent layer and the same textured panels that match the rest of the exterior. These windows allow the residents to slide between the transparent and translucent, adjusting their privacy as needed while getting sufficient light inside. On the exterior, the uniformity of the façade is interrupted by the extended frame tracks of the windows so the views can be expanded to the maximum length, enabling an uninhibited view to the outside. The interiors are finished with mostly concrete in minimal details, from the bedrooms to the kitchen and livings spaces, while the warped surfaces and corners provide some relief in the architecture in a language that ties itself to the exterior. The concrete also reflects the light, so the spaces seem...


Youjia Jin is a Chinese born London based fashion designer and fashion buyer specialising in womenswear. Inspired by anatomy, the designer’s impeccably tailored and purely coloured collections focus on menswear tailoring and the surreal body arts developed from anatomy. Due to my interest in human body structure, I’ve been exercising unisex pattern cutting on my womenswear collections in recent years. Youjia Jin has presented collections in London Fashion Week and Beijing Fashion Week, and been nominated One To Watch by Fashion Scout and more since graduating from the London College of Fashion, Centrail Saint Martins and the Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology.


The D3 traveller is an ultralight, strong and discreet duffel whittled down to its barest of components. The duffel was commisioned for field work in diverse and challenging environment. The creators know what they are talking about. One of them, Jan Chipchase, is a well respected design researcher who helps organisations gather insights to inform, inspire and affect change. The D3 is a 42L volume bag for the global traveller who is looking for a strong, versatile and simple luggage solution. The D3 is made of two layers of Cuben Fiber (four times stronger than Kevlar at almost half its weight) with one layer suspended inside the other. Cuben Fiber is a cool material: it can be crinkled, or rolled up without losing structural integrity. The D3 has an “oil black” finish and nicely wears over time. Like the shell the zips are water resistant. The strap and tri glide, created from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium, and Petzl Ange S carabiners make that various carrying styles are possible. There is no exterior branding but the outer zip pulls include a pebble from Kyi Chu, a river that starts in the Chenthangula Mountains in Tibet. A fantastic bag I...


Nike has re-launched the Nike Zvezdochka Shoe — a design by award-winning industrial designer Marc Newson — initially released in 2004. The shoe is inspired by what he saw astronauts wearing at the Russian Space Institute. Even the name was taken from a Russian dog sent into space in 1961. The shoe has a modular design with four interchangeable parts, to combine them together or separately, depending on the use and the environment: the injection-molded TPU outer cage, the interlocking outsole, the inner sleeve, and the insole. The Nike Zvezdochka Shoe will be re-launched in its original five colours through Nike’s NIKELAB locations and online from last December, marking its tenth anniversary.


At the top of a Manhattan high rise is the pristinely designed home of Kanye West. Kanye West Loft was completed in 2007 by the esteemed Italian designer Claudio Silvestrin. Every aspect of this loft — the architecture, interior design, furniture and lighting — was designed by Silvestrin. This serene and monotone apartment features an open floor plan to allow for a continuous flow of space. Strong geometric forms are created from soft white walls, limestone, and pear wood. The forms divide the space as needed while also acting as the home’s main decoration. Two stone islands, reminiscent of sculptures, provide a built-in kitchen and bathtub. Hidden light sources at the top and bottom of the walls add to the calm, gallery-like quality of the rooms. This loft has ancient quality which I attribute to the generous use of stone and minimal furnishings. This quality allows Kanye West Loft to feel both expertly designed and remarkably natural, not unlike Mayan temples of the ruins of Rome.


The Zorro by Stephanie Knust, brings new meaning to linear illumination. This piece is a beautiful composition of bent metal and the latest in illumination technology combined. The lines, or one line, of this piece are just exquisite. Seamlessly bringing together the function and form of the industrial piece, this would be a very welcome piece in any living space, adding to and creating a space. Stephanie Knust is based in Germany and her work is a collection of industrial design pieces, ranging from seating, lighting and other tabletop accessories. He work is both typically German and bolt of nature and this piece, the Zorro seems to fit within this portfolio and also show a growth in her design aesthetic in a direction of a more refined form work. Zorro is reliant on its environment to interact with. It isn’t a self-standing object, which in a way is a creative way of engaging the objects that light the space, with the actual space. I appreciate the creativity. Photography courtesy of Stephanie Knust.