Grand Ecart is an excellent design by the French architect Jean Nouvel for the Italian manufacturer Palluco. It is a minimalist table made in painted aluminium and its remarkable points are the extendible models made up of two parts; one fixed, and one you can move as you need, with legs fitted with castors. What I like most about the Grand Ecart table is the flexibility to adjust different distances and how well this point is integrated into the design, being almost unnoticed.
Archive of August 2011
Dutch designer Ronald Knol of Utrecht based furniture design studio RKNL has recently completed the X-Table. Based on the the cross-leg refectory table, Knol wanted to strip the structure down to its essentials and reshape the X to introduce a slightly softer appearance, whilst maintaining its stability. The reduction of any ‘noise’ was an important objective in the design process, fully in sync with the RKNL signature. The first technical challenge was to eliminate the horizontal bar at knee-height, and secondly the reduction of seams. All without compromising the functionality and stability of the table. Made from plywood and HPL, the combination of these materials create a contemporary version of a classic principle with effortless grace.
The simple and intuitive Mutewatch , designed by Norra Norr, is a silent alarm in the shape of a vibrating wristband. It serves as a quiet reminder that helps you to follow your own agenda without disturbing people in your surroundings. By gently tapping the touch screen the time lights up. Swipe the screen to browse through the clock, alarm and timer functions. The watch features a built-in motion sensor that automatically adjusts the strength of alarm vibrations. A simple flick of the wrist activates the glowing display. Mutewatch comes in three colors; charcoal-grey, poppy-red and pure-white.
Designers Enrico Bosa and Isabella Lovero of Italian studio en&is created MegaPhone, a powerless iPhone amplifier. The piece consists of a sleek ceramic horn, supported by a wooden structure. This frame elevates the object from the surface and increases its vibration. The shape of the ceramic piece optimizes the emission of sound. That simple. Perfect for listening to music without headphones and conference calls, MegaPhone works beautifully with the shape of the device. And its minimal design fully supports Steve Jobs’ noble war on buttons. Watch the video to see MegaPhone in action. The MegaPhone is now available for purchase on RedEnvelope.
Around 6000 holes puncture the concrete exterior of the Kanazawa Umimirai library in Kanazawa, Japan. Designed by Kazumi Kudo and Hiroshi Horiba of Japanese firm Coelacanth K&H Architects, translucent glass fills each hole, diffusing natural light into the 12 metre-high reading room of the library. Kazumi Kudo and Hiroshi Horiba architects say: For a public library such as this, we thought that the most important thing to have would be a reading room that provides visitors with a pleasant, comfortable space to read. This environment would allow users to experience the joy of reading while surrounded by a treasure trove of books with an overwhelming physical presence, something that the convenience of electronic and digital books cannot offer. I love this space because of its minimal and single reading room that resembles a forest, filled with soft light and a feeling of openness reminiscent of the outdoors.
The O House, located in Vierwaldstättersee, Switzerland, was designed by Philippe Stuebi Architekten with Eberhard Tröger. Overlooking Lake Lucerne, its bold visual concept might classify it among slightly different minimal approach in architecture. First, there is the proportion of façade’s large circular pattern, so strong in impact, one might not realize the actual beautiful simplicity of the O House as a whole. The simplicity is coming from the selection of materials such as concrete, glass and smooth wood flooring to the use of smaller version of circular screen application used as a repetitious element helping to lessen the transition between the outside and inside. On both, the front and the lake side, this sculptural villa shows very expressive and ornamental facades. Facing Mount Pilatus, the white concrete elements are dotted with circular openings that allow glimpses into the two-levelled orangery with its exotic plants, as well as the lounge, the guest tract and the staircase accessed through one of the openings at the ground floor. I love strong, well-executed design intent. Here, even something so bold (and somewhat fun) such as the circular openings is finished with confidence. Because of their scale, repetition and simple materiality throughout the rest of...
Japanese product designer and art director Teruhiro Yanagihara of Isolation Unit has designed TYP – an elegant collection of leather goods for the Tokyo based leather manufacturer Morpho. The collection essentially comprises a variety of booklets or wallets, a brand concept derived from a paper and stationary theme. Available in ISO standard paper sizes (C4, A4, A5, B6, A6, A7), TYP has a very thin and simple design, which is emphasised by the closing mechanism that works only through folding. The booklets are also available in a variety of colours.
This beautiful piece of modern architecture was recently finished by Vicens + Ramos architect bureau. The church graces a new and largely undeveloped residential area in Cordoba, Spain. The building’s innovative structure is comprised of a single prism and a tall short facade. The facade is combined with the bell-tower and skylight – the components that are usually separated in historical church architecture. The prism, made from white concrete, has a fluted base able to let in horizontal light. The interior of the church is minimal and unembelished. It is designed to accentuate the focal points of the composition, namely the altar area and the roof paintings. The light, coming from the skylight and skillfully directed by the curved shape of the ceiling, completes and unifies the space. Photography courtesy of Vicens + Ramos
New York based web design studio Type/Code have designed the very minimalist It’s Almost countdown tool website. The concept is very simple. You enter an event name, large or small, regardless of its importance and set the date and time. It then generates a web address for you to return to and see the simple and elegantly styled countdown clock. Even if an event name is exactly the same, the web address will be unique. To establish what time zone it is in, simply hover over the countdown text. I love the look of this website, in particular the typeface and as a bit of fun, it works well.
This minimalist concept for Nespresso was created by Israeli designer Eyal Carmi. His proposed coffee machine is reduced to its absolute essentials. No bulky components, no intimidating dials and controls… Just a water tank, pressure relief system, portafilter for ground coffee or capsules and removable drip tray. You can select between short and long espresso modes by simply turning the handle. Here is how Carmi describes his design aesthetic: One of the most important things to me in good design is to create a strong connection between an object and its user. I appreciate simple and clean design that succeeds in a bright and clear way to convey its functionality. Though, for a machine with no milk frother, the piece is quite big – it has enough space on top for warming the cups. Something espresso nerds would approve.
Business card design is a challenging art. Rather than having each field separately labeled in a traditional way, I really love this minimalist design as the email address contains all relevant info, except the phone number. Great idea!
Once again, we are going to talk about the top Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. In this case, about his wall mounted CD Player, designed for MUJI in 1999. It is a modern classic part of the MoMA New York’s permanent collection. It is a really compact CD Player where the speakers are built into a body reduced to the minimum dimensions. Controls are on the top and it has simply a cable to pull for playing. And as typically found in Japanese design, each detail has great finishing.