Here’s another way to think about fashion journalism, The Considered Ensemble by Andrew Kupresanin and Belinda Chen, displays the outfit selection of individuals around the world in a purely text based archive. Think minimalist meets the Sartorialist. The contributors shares with us a description of what they’re wearing without images, leaving more to our imagination. Andrew Kupresanin says: With the innumerable blogs competing with one another in showcasing the latest street fashion/fashionistas, we are bombarded with and consume so much imagery without getting past the surface. The Considered Ensemble is an alternative that hopes to fill some gaps. Each submission is a personal expression from an individual, whether its the personality they inject into their writing style, or the stories behind a special item of clothing. It is a platform where visitors can gain a deeper insight into the thought process and meaning behind each individuals’ outfit, and take time to use their imagination. A picture may say more than a thousand words, but words leave something to the imagination. → Go to site
Archive of July 2010
Green messages…yada yada yada. “Use less soap, save the planet.” Now we’re really talking green. There is something about a “just-add-water” cleaning solution that appeals to my green-minded conscience. Although I remain a city girl at heart. People Planet, a Canadian manufacturer of green cleaning products, has a winning formula for iQ, a household cleaner. The major ingredient of iQ is water. It comes in an abbreviated package; a spray bottle which you fill with tap water to dilute the cleaning product, a plant-based concentrate delivered in cartridges. After running out of detergent, just replace the cartridge and refill the original spray bottle with water. Add a little bit of water to your all-purpose cleaner and voilá—the “keep things simplest” vibe is in effect.
As part of the New Simplicity Exhibition in London, ‘Climate Station‘ – designed by Denmark-based Thomas Wagner – is a product line composed of a minimalist fan and radiator. The interesting aspect about Climate Station is that it uses no wires. It plugs directly into a special extension cable, and can be stored alongside books when not in use. The designer, aware of the seasonal usage of fans and radiators, wanted to design objects that would be attractive anywhere, anytime. Made of plastic and aluminum, the fan and radiator measure 297mm in height and 210mm in width. Unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing, Climate Station serves to comfort the user while looking real fine.
Fruit bowl Hug must be one of the most minimalist concepts I have seen in a while. It has reduced the fruit bowl to its most basic fuction: holding the fruit in its place. The bottomless Hug was designed by Elizabeth Cordes when she worked as a product designer at DESU Design. Cordes left DESU a while back and is currently self-employed. There is just one problem though: how should I move my fruit?
These wall sculptures by Icelandic artist Thor Vigfusson are terrific. He works with mirrors, plastic and glass in a formalist fashion with mainly subdued (but also sometimes bright) colour palettes. Reflectivity and light play an important role in the way they capture and represent the space in which they are installed. i8 (a gallery in Iceland where Thor has exhibited) said this of his work: Deceptively simple, his pieces are constantly changing and engage the viewer in intimate contemplation. I couldn’t agree more.
I love the timeless design of the REK coffee table by Rotterdam-based designer Reinier de Jong, who works on both architectural and product design. The table is a brother of the acclaimed REK bookcase. By easily sliding out the inner parts, you create extra table surface for guests or just to create some extra storage space.
With their Fall 2010 line, Calvin Klein has appeared once again on our minimalist radar, thanks to CK’s creative director Francisco Costa. In their ad campaign, Calvin Klein introduces Dutch supermodel Lara Stone as their new face. In a recent interview with WWD, Costa explains why: I conceived my fall 2010 collection with a self-aware and assured woman in mind. For me, Lara was the perfect choice [..] because she is a woman who epitomizes confidence and sensuality. I couldn’t agree more: nothing says sexy like confidence paired with minimalism. Photography by Mert & Marcus.
Constraints are good for design. Sustainable minimalism can be another set of constraints. Los Angeles and Switzerland-based tecARCHITECTURE firm, approach their projects with a strong green agenda. They have earned environmentally progressive credentials with their sustainable high-tech architectural practices. TecARCHITECTURE Headquarter is designed as both a house and office by and for tecARCHITECTURE. It has four levels: an open floor office, on the lowest level, two rental apartments and a house for tecArchitecture COO Heiko Ostmann, on the upper levels. Geothermal energy, solar-powered lighting, a concrete open loft in the lowest level, and floor to ceiling windows with an extravagant view of Lake Constance — One super green package. Environment and design. Apparently oh-so-difficult contradictions?
Spock, designed by Couvreur & Devos, is a light that is stylishly minimalist yet highly versatile. Lighting designers always seem to push the limits of technology, and this beautiful LED is no different. The LED disc contained within Spock is only 12mm thin, which is impressive, but not nearly as captivating as its specialized hinging system. The disc is allowed to rotate within its enclosure practically 360 degrees without the presence of any wires or cables sticking out. The light can also be attached to a railing system, which means you can pretty much shine light in any direction you please. I don’t know what I like more about Spock: its clean aesthetic, or its diverse functionality; either way, this light truly stands out from the norm.
Magic! The black Magica and his sister, the white Magica2, will make anyone look twice. Their designer, the Italian Davide Conti, replaced two legs with plexiglass to create the illusion of an impossible balance. The Magica’s are not in production yet, so manufacturers: give Davide a call!
Room for One Colour by Berlin-based artist Olafur Eliasson is pretty much as minimal as installations get. (Unless you recount Yves Klein’s exhibition called The Void.) In this work, Eliasson is perhaps expressing his dissastisfaction with the materiality of art, and the notion that an exhibition is about putting art into a space. Instead, he seems to be interested in using a space as the actual artwork. In this instance, he reconfigures the space using mono-frequency lights to transform it into a room filled with a single colour. I find this quite a clean, minimal and slick method. Having seen this work in person earlier this year at the MCA, I can say from experience that it has a disorienting affect on people within and outside of the space. In the pictures, you can see how the lighting drains colour out of anything within the space.
I’m totally in love with this Round Calendar. In one view you see all the dates, year-round – literally. This makes it not only beautiful, but also a really practical and visual planner for the year ahead. Just jot down your notes in the white space surrounding the dates. The Round Calendar is a side-project of Petr Bykov from Russian design studio Saccade. You can purchase the calendar via their web shop (Russian).