Graphic designer Alex Lin is the author of the signage and wayfinding of The Glass Pavilion, Japanese design firm SANAA‘s first building in the United States, housing the Toledo Museum of Arts’s entire glass collection. Since the near total of the pavilion’s interior and exterior walls are made of glass, the resulting visual noise for the visitor is extreme. In response to that, two basic rules were developed for all signage: if on the ground, it would be dark gray; everything else would be white. Respectful of SANAA’s well-known understated architecture, Lin’s signage and iconography is a work of subtlety, mindful of its surroundings, light and whimsical.
Archive of July 2011
Brooklyn-based industrial designers Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy of CW&T have created a Kickstarter project for the production of their new minimal pen. Pen Type-A is a stainless steel replacement for the Hi-Tec-C’s cheap plastic casing. The minimalist design has has a dime screw on one end to allow for easy ink cartridge replacement. Its shaft is a solid smooth surface with no branding, and just the right thickness and weight so it feels comfortable in your hand. The pen slides slowly into its protective sleeve, which doubles as a ruler and includes a 0.3 Black Hi-Tec-C Cartridge. The pen will eventually sell for $99 (€69) but through Kickstarter, backers can get their hands on it for $50 (€35). It is already proving to be incredibly popular and I can see why. Certainly worth backing.
Swiss artist Zimoun uses sound in order to create magic. His work is very minimal, based on reductive methods, aesthetics and simplicity, Zimoun creates artificial simple systems, which generate very complex and somehow living structures in sound and motion. He has received the 2010 Prix Ars Electronica: The clean, elegant sound sculptures combine visual, sonic, and spatial elements in an organically balanced entirely artwork. Using simple and well conceived mechanical systems, Zimouns‘s work transforms and activates the space. I simply love it. See Zimoun works.
Sydney-based freelance designer and paper artist Bianca Chang has created a beautiful bespoke collection of 3-dimensional letterforms – Works in Paper. The recreation of the 3D effect was achieved by hand-plotting and cutting multiple sheets of 80gsm 100% post consumer waste recycled paper. This minimises the impact of paper consumption and consciously transforms a typically disposable medium into a long term piece of art. Whether or not you’re a type fiend, the shadow-play and subtlety of tones are undeniably brilliant.
Milan based Denis Guidone created a dual time watch named ‘Wherever’ for Nava Design. Guidone explains: In today’s contemporary society we are all travelers; constantly on the move from one city to another and often from one time zone to another. By simply adding an extra hour hand, in a different color to show time in another time zone, he created a stunning minimalist watch for globetrotters. ‘Wherever’ will be available in 4 moods: Cloud (black-white), Heaven (blue), Twilight (purple) and Sunset (red).
Thai designer Decha Archjananun of Thinkk Studio has created Weight Vases – a collection of vases with concrete bases to hold water, and laser cut steel wire frames to support flower stems. The collection comprises various shapes and sizes to accommodate specific flower arrangements. The vases, developed while Archjananun was studying at the University of Art and Design Lausanne, portray an interesting supportive relationship between the heaviness of the concrete base and the lightness of the wire top working together to effectively hold its natural contents.
This home in Tel Aviv, Agbaria House, is a pared down, minimalistic rendition of traditional Islamic architecture. Designed by Tel Aviv architect Ron Fleisher, it combines the rich, lush element of the mashrabiya screens with simple, elegant lines of modernist architecture. The house maintains certain typical building elements, like high vents for natural ventilation, high vaulted ceilings, and the traditional liwan, around which the private areas of the house are arranged, all the while adapted to contemporary needs and a simple, geometric aesthetic. Being myself a lover of both Moorish architecture and their vast influence upon European architecture (as in Venice, southern Italy, Spain and Portugal), as well as modernist architecture, this house was a delightful find. Photography by Shai Epstein.
As it’s summer time, a slightly less serious post than usual… I present to you: Eve! Eve is the futuristic white robot from the successful animation movie Wall-E, created by Pixar in 2008. Eve is absolutely seamless: one single body without edges. All its technology is beautifully hidden inside. You may recognize some Apple influences, and if so, you are very right: Apple’s lead designer Jonathan Ive participated in Eve’s design.
London Metropolitan University graduate Adrian Bergman has designed Poles Apart – a modular retail display system. Each unit is assembled using rubber o-rings as its only additional fastenings. The units are free from any glue and are constructed from ash and plywood. The components that comprise each unit can be customised in a variety of formations to suit a particular environment. Although questions may be raised on the stability of the rubber o-rings, the simple assembly and modulation would prove quite beneficial for retail displays.
Los Angeles based architecture firm X Ten recently completed their remodel of the Nakahouse, a 1960′s hillside home. The home sits tightly in the Hollywood hills where it looks out onto breathtaking views of the city below. The team at X Ten explained that the existing home was built as a series of interconnected terraced spaces on the down slope property. Because of zoning and geographical constraints X Ten built off of the existing footprint.
German artist Wolfgang Laib is well known for his sculptures known as Milkstones. These works consist of a block of marble containing very shallow depressions that are filled with milk. The combination and contrast of materials and textures make the tactility of the work quite vivid, even if you haven’t (myself included), seen these in person. As this article by Mark Stevens points out: Pouring milk on stone took on the sacramental air of ritual; the milk itself evoked intimacy, nurture, purity, and the beauty of first things. It was, as he said, at once “chaste and sensual,” joining milk to marble, soft to hard- the two became inseparable in these works- reflected the Eastern aspiration of harmonizing opposites. Laib is also well known for his beautiful, and painstaking installations of yellow pollen.
Geo Blocks are a set of seven geometric wooden shapes, made in Russia. Initially designed for drawing exercises but also very useful as minimalistic paperweights on your desk. A lovely packaged box of Geo Blocks is available for for sale at Present and Correct.