Collector’s Loft, designed by Texas-based Poteet Architects, is a haven for minimalist design, contrasting elements, and modern decor. The apartment is commodiously clean and warmly comfortable. The floor-to-ceiling windows extract plenty of light to illuminate the purposefully selected furniture pieces. Recognizable classics by Arne Jacobsen and Saarinen are positioned throughout the rooms to provide both inspiration and aesthetic pleasure. Interestingly, the home’s major furnishings – which include the sofa, bed, and table – are outfitted with a neutral palette; the paintings, accessories, and even flowers, on the other hand, engender bold colors and serve as accents. Overall, there is a harmonious balance between the objects and the space.
Archive of September 2010
Dolphin is the new collection by Curve Ahead, Javier Palomares‘s design studio in California, USA. The Dolphin collection spans two side tables and a coffee table. As the name suggests, the design is inspired by the anatomy of a dolphin. The pieces are made of glaciar white Corian top with a powder coated steel frame. I like the elegant and sleek result, but above all, I like the subtlety of the shapes and details. The excellent manufacturing makes the result perfect.
French-based “abstract minimalist” Daniel Buren is well known for his trademark use of stripes, sized consistently at 8.7cm wide. His fascination with the motif has been materialised in the form of paintings, site specific installations and unauthorised public artworks, using striped awning canvases in France, and posting striped posters around Paris including various metro stations. He is perhaps best known for his black and white striped columns installed in a 3000 square metre area outside of the Palais Royal in Paris in 1986, called Les Deux Plateaux and nicknamed Colonnes de Buren. Sometimes called a conceptual artist for his dealings with space and the gallery setting, Buren blocked the entrance to his first solo exhibition with one of his striped works. Of the Guggenheim Museum, where Buren has exhibited before, he says “[it] really kills a piece of art, primarily because it’s a work of art itself.”
“The key to good writing is not that magical glass of Bordeaux, the right kind of tobacco or that groovy background music. The key is focus.” iA recently launched the excellent iPad app Writer. No autocorrection, no scroll bars, and no cut and paste. Just you and the text. A Focus Mode blurs out everything except the current three lines of text you are working on. The monospaced font Nitti Light, created and optimized for iPad by Bold Monday, text size, column width, leading and contrast are carefully set for the best reading experience both in portrait and landscape mode. Available in the app store for $5.
Earlier this year Japanese designers Nendo presented the Clear Perfume Bottle during the Salone del Mobile in Milan. The bottle gives the illusion of either floating soft bubbles in air or water. The perfume is actually hidden in the cap, where the bottle suggests the invisible sensation of fragrance. How intriguing! Photo by Masayuki Hayashi
Why not? Wally-Hermés believes in a new way of navigating slowly on the sea with genuine environmental and ecological values. The WHY yacht concept was created through a partnership between high fashion house, Hermés and yacht builder, Wally. The living space, built on three decks is intended to meet the human needs of space, light and shade with advanced sustainable technologies. The 58 metre-long 38 metre-wide, pared-down yacht is powered by a diesel electric engine that produces solar electricity to manage the boat. “We didn’t design a boat, we gave shape to an idea – there are no excesses, nothing is superfluous, the impact on the sea is minimum.” Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Artistic Director of Hermès. There is something fabulous about indulging in absolute freedom with this life of quietness and gala affair. One caveat: cutbacks and timidity is positively, my order of the day.
AZB, designed by Japan-based GENETO, is a minimalist house with elegant contrasts and unique grooved decor filtering throughout its interior. Screens and sliding doors are utilized in order to disguise storage and closet space. The interior, as far as minimalist spaces go, is rather distinct in terms of limitations given by its 45m2 floor space. The artistic panels are designed through a Japanese architectural application called Fusuma. In short, Fusuma describes the approach of embellishing sliding-door room separators with scenes of nature. The user is left with the impression that he/she is encircled by nature. The grooves were inspired by the adjacent mountains and city skylines that surround the building. The crevices subsequently become inconspicuous coat hangers and handles. Photography by Takumi Ota
Designed by Moritz Böttcher and Sören Henssler of Berlin-based studio böttcher+henssler, Coen floor and table lamps are a great simplification of the classic bedside table lamp. The lamps have been reducing to a single sheet of steel, giving it a great feeling of lightness. Coen lamps are available in white and silver matt with halogen bulbs. They are produced by German lighting manufacturer ANTA.
Bluish is the title of a 2009 installation by Berlin-based artist Ayse Erkmen. Isn’t it just gorgeous? I love the contrast between its monumental form and its apparent weightlessness. The transparency of the material chosen for this work casts a beautiful shadow of blue on the gallery floor. The height at which it is suspended also invites people to experience the sensation of standing underneath it, and therefore also in direct contact with the colour blue.
Later this week, during 100% Design London, the Plooop chair by London based designer Timothy Schreiber will be launched. All elements of the armchair – seat, backrest en legs – are made of layered plywood. The use of one single material, the open organic shape and the complex manufacturing process make that I like this chair so much. Schreiber likes to explore and challenge the boundaries between digital design, manufacturing methods and environmental sustainable use.
A while back, we posted about the Bauhaus Chessmen. One of our readers shared yet another minimalist chess game with us: the 1966 chess set by Lanier Graham. Similar to the Bauhaus Chessmen, Lanier’s set has pieces shaped in such a way that they represent how they should move: the knight has an L-shape, for instance. On top of that, the pieces are also designed in such a manner that they fit snugly together in the box, like a puzzle, and thus taking us minimal space. Impressive. (Thx, Pawel!)
I could sit in this chair for hours. The Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, captures Mies’ aesthetic agenda of “almost nothing.” It is a chrome and leather lounge chair in a pure and linear “Miesque” frame. The furniture reflects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s early work, as a pure classicist; a German-born architect, known for his “less is more” phrase and a dream of the purest, spatial perfection. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona chair and ottoman for the King and Queen of Spain, when they visited his 1929 German Pavilion, in Barcelona. Knoll Studio received the exclusive manufacturing rights by Mies in 1953 as well as trademark protection to the Barcelona collection. Mies was a supreme Modernist of absolute austerity. Strangely, his rigorous structure feels poetic despite his struggle to express emotions in architecture—perhaps that was the Mies formula twist. We’ll take it.