Minimalist product designers Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings have created this contemporary and sophisticated storage unit, Shift, for Dutch furniture brand Pastoe. Introduced during the IMM Cologne at Design Post Keulen from 15-22 January 2012, Shift offers a beautiful blend of simplistic form with an expressive and carefully considered use of colours. Due to the translucent acrylate sliding doors of the cabinet, the colours create a play of reveal, conceal with tinted overlays when the cabinet is opened and closed. It is available in two widths and can be either frame or wall-mounted. Scholten & Baijings describe the design: Shift’s clear design appears timeless, while the bold use of colours provides the cabinet with a contemporary look. This meant creating a clear design with an emphasis on surfaces and volumes. The body has been crafted from very thin materials and the handles have been recessed. Not only is it a great way to subtly introduce colour to an interior, but the finish really impresses.
Archive of January 2012
If you happen to be in New York, do consider seeing Doug Wheeler’s light and space installation at the David Zwirner Gellery in Chelsea. It might reveal many new and fascinating things about the way you see, experience and perceive reality. And the best part: you will participate in this experiment both as a subject and as an observer… Doug Wheeler (b. 1939) is a pioneer of the so-called “Light and Space” movement that flourished in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s. His works appeared in such venues as Tate gallery, London (1970), Salvatore Ala Gallery, Milan (1975), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1983), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2000) and many others. The installation I saw on the weekend was ambiguously titled SA MI 75 DZ NY 12. It is a large scale exhibit that brings you as close to stepping into the void as a person can get without enduring any imminent danger. You enter the white oblivion and walk toward what you know is the back wall. The shape of the room and the special way it is lit eliminate any depth perception. You feel that your eyes are failing you, all you can see is the...
Designed in Brooklyn, NY by Bubble Calendar LLC, this poster-sized calendar (122 x 46 cm) has a bubble to pop for every single day of the year. Set in Helvetica Neue and with a very simple and elegant design, it’s a very appropriate tool for both design-conscious and modern homes or offices as well as a fun learning tool for kids (who are we kidding, adults would love to pop those bubbles too). Days of the week and all major holidays and weekends are marked in bold for easy reference (there is also a version with weekends marked by black backgrounds) in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. The calendar is printed on thick paper (80 pound cover stock) and can even be customized with a personal logo. I’m very sure that I’d have a hard time not popping all the bubbles in one go… Photography by Alex Kotlik.
Gang of is the new, Spring/Summer 2012 collection of the Manila based label Proudrace. Pat Bondoc and Rik Rasos – and industrial designer and a T-shirt designer – the people behind the label, started their fashion journey creating a small T-shirt brand which was gradually developed into a full-fledged label with national and international recognition. This collection, just like the majority of Proudrace’s clothing, is inspired by the 90’s and according to them it’s a gang of nomadic skaters and their trophy girlfriends. But it is more than this; it is a game of textures and materials within the simplicity of an achromatic palette, a curiosity with the uniform dressing of various religious groups and a nostalgic look to their teenage youth. Maybe more; but what they also say about their clothing is that, it’s all about the use of different materials, textures, details and silhouettes to come out with pieces that are unique and subscribes to no particular trend. Proudrace creates hand made minimal pieces and re interprets traditional garments into their own aesthetic. Photography: Everything We Shoot
The Fobe House by Guilhem Eustache graces the otherwise empty two-hectare plot of land, located near Marrakech. This featureless landscape is a perfect backdrop for the pristine white architectural ensemble, which is comprised of four parts – main home, pool house, caretaker’s residence and garage. The facade features two overlapping walls that conceal the staircase to the roof between them. The opposite side of the main building is overlooking the swimming pool and the rest of the premises. Here is how the architects describe the concept of the house: In this 2.5 hectares area the buildings occupy only 240 sqm. The volumes and their arrangements permit to avoid a floating effect in this empty space. Before discovering the layout we first need to go along the clay walls, which remote the neighbours away while allowing the sight of whites geometries. I like how the unobstructed sunlight brightens the white cubic structures and creates sharp shadows through the patterned openings. All these elements play off of each other, accentuate the emptiness of the land and focus the eye towards the house. Photography by Jean-Marie Monthiers.
The purpose of minimalism is to expose the essence of a design by eliminating all non-essential forms, features and concepts. In web design, minimalism erases potential distractions and strips away elements into their most basic forms. Yuna Kim‘s use of elementary shapes helps to organize her portfolio and goes perfectly with her personal logo. This minimal web site design experiments the use of geometric shapes that makes design so effective. The simplicity is also carried through the navigation making it enjoyable to explore.
Vincent Van Duysen is a Belgium architect whose work I’ve been drawn to for quite a while. It was almost too difficult to select only one of his projects to be featured here today and therefore here is a selection of my favorite spaces he designed. The use of singular element, frequently in a large scale, typically either defines the interiors or directs viewers’ attention to that particular element. I’m a big fan of the beautiful white space, panelled walls and strong geometrical shapes re-appearing in his designs. Hope you enjoy.
Milan based Italian designer and architect Denis Guidone, a Minimalissimo favourite for his minimalist watches, has recently created My Book for Nava Design. Guidone has taken a minimal, yet unusual approach to the concept of this book. He explains: It is a blank book with a pretext to imagine a story, a book that you could write yourself, day after day; It is a white space to imagine, you can also leave the pages blank and fill them in with simply your thoughts. I like the idea it is not a notepad or a sketchbook per se (although it could perhaps be used as such), but instead it is a book to encourage storytelling. My Book is available in brightly bound red, white and black.
Osko+Deichmann, the product design studio founded by Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann, created a minimalist family of tubular steel furniture named “KINK”. While normally tubing used in furniture is bent the Berlin design duo rather functionally folded, dented and kinked the tubes in their furniture pieces. The traces that come with the steel process are now integral to the furniture’s design. The family consists of a table, chair, writing table, cantilever chair, sideboard, shelf, coffee table and floor lamp made exclusively of tubular steel, pine wood and clamps.
This concept store and atelier for fashion designer Hila Gaon was designed by Karina Tollman and Philipp Thomanek of Israeli studio k1p3 in Tel Aviv. The gallery-like space features 9 dresses from the current collection, hung in prominent display upon store mannequins (which were custom-made by the architects, based on traditional seamstress dolls). The complete collection, for its part, is stored in a translucent and lit closet along the length of one wall, and the main space is completed by a large dressing room and fitting area that are provided for the bride and her entourage. I appreciate this design for its lack of fuss concerning the dresses. Dress-shopping can often become a stressful activity and it’s a good thing to have a clear and minimalist space to cancel out distractions and to aid in this choice! Photography by Ardon Barhama.
Two different projects, by one architecture firm, located in the same area, make a clear statement about creative and sustainable interaction of nature and architecture. LJB, a Norwegian based architecture team, were assigned to design two rest stops, the Flotane rest stop and the Vedahaugane lookout, at the Norwegian national tourist Route Aurlandsfjellet. The first one consists of 1200sqm parking area and a tilted, concrete, cube structure that serves as toilet. A simple yet so thoughtful design creates a well protected entrance to the toilet service while at the same time the south façade is covered by solar panels; a solution that allows daylight to enter the interior while protecting it from indiscreet eyes. The second one, the Vedahaugane lookout, could be described as a pathway to nowhere. It is a 90m long curve shaped construction – a concrete line that seems to float above the terrain. A minimal approach with the minimum environmental footprint and a place I would definitely love to visit. Photographs: Statens Vegvesen, E. Marchesi
White Dormitory is a renovation project recently completed by Japanese designer Koichi Futatsumata of Case-Real. Located on Teshima Island, Japan, this beautiful dwelling provides accommodation for three employees of nearby restaurant Il Vento. The bones of the initial house were carefully preserved, allowing to insert new elements without disturbing the surrounding landscape of the village which remains unchanged from the old days. Futatsumata elaborates: Though deteriorated traditional Japanese style roof was replaced, the basic form and color of the original was adopted to the new one only using different materials, you hardly notice the change from the outside. On the other hand, all the furnishings and functional features of dormitory as well as a courtyard are reconstructed using various white materials such as woods, stones, and plasters with different expressions and tones. In Japan, white is not only a symbol of new beginning, but the sacred color representing purity, innocence, and peace. The interior is comprised of three bedrooms, arranged on one side of the building. The common area is characterized by the beautiful contrast between the monochromatic colour palette and rustic wooden beams. The line of skylights brings constant flow of natural light into the room. The small courtyard with the...