Matthias Schade was born in 1984 in Berlin, Germany. His latest work is a series of photographs named (un)defined spaces – an investigation of urban space. An investigation of our living environment. Schade explains the concept behind the series: Contrary to the daily natural perception of urban space, my artworks of the (un)defined space series offer a directed and focused view on our surroundings. They invite the beholder to critically and consciously face its environment. It is not about a mere documentation of our environment but rather the chance to question things and to create new experiences. The young artist has been shortlisted for the Celeste Prize 2011 within the photo, digital graphics category back in November 2011. I love these very minimal and undefined photographs.
Archive of January 2012
I really think this bookshelf is a fine example of minimalist design. It has been designed by the Belgian Pieter Desmijter and produced by the manufacturer and editor of design furniture, Feld. The bookshelf is called Liana because its design has been inspired by this plant: arising from the wall, curling the books and finally disappearing back in the wall. It is made from oak with a varnished or stained finish, and you can install it using just two screws. I’m particularly interested in Liana because the design reduces a bookshelf to a basic form to achieve its function, whilst using minimum material.
Designers Aránzazu Moreno Berriochoa, Sofía Uquillas Zuloaga, and Alejandra Salvatore make up the Madrid based studio Antiatoms, designing and producing corporate apparel with the aim of making the brand’s values visible in each piece. The Antiatoms Handbag, part of their Paper Containers collection is a particularly interesting piece. Measuring 20.5 x 24 x 15 cm, this beautifully designed and simple accessory gives a slight twist to the common brown paper bag we are familiar with. Instead, the bag uses 100% high quality leather making it an absolute delight to roll and hold. I really like the subtle branding at the bottom of the bag – ideally located. Also, given the leather material, I think it would look even better over time. What do you think?
This futuristically looking object, called SleepBox, is designed exclusively for naps. Envisioned by Caspar Lohner and produced by LG Hausys in collaboration with Kläusler Acrylstein AG, the piece creates a place of comfort and relaxation within airports, offices or other public and semi-public spaces, providing peace and quiet in busy urban environments. The free-form shell is made from HI-MACS®, an innovative material, which is comprised of 70% natural stone powder derived from bauxite, 25% high quality acrylic resin and 5% natural pigments. Here is how Lohner describes his experience working with this unique compound: Every day was a challenge for me, but when something didn’t work, we tried and tried again until it was resolved. I learnt a lot about HI-MACS® fabrication possibilities thanks to this project. A porthole on one side of the shell provides an entry to the sleeping capsule, lined with a leather covered mattress. The outer part, thanks to the shape of the object, can serve as seating. SleepBox will be exhibited from 17th to 21th January at Swissbau 2012.
When two talented people meet, an edgy fashion designer and an unconventional photographer, an astonishing project, intriguing in many levels, originates. The Serpens collection lookbook is the product of the collaboration between the Chinese fashion designer Qui Hao and the Shanghai based, French photographer Matthieu Belin. Named after the constellation of the northern hemisphere – the reptile, the mythological symbol that represents both good and evil – Serpens is as mysterious, futuristic and compelling as its name implies. An extravagant collection in which the size is the absolute dominant. Oversized clothes touched by the magic wand of minimalism. The use of black and white (evil / good) and the absence of colours add an extra dramatic dimension while emphasizing the simple, geometric lines that hide behind the original idea. An unfinished game between textures and sizes. The photography concept is working on the same wavelength. Models like mannequins form geometric shapes with their bodies within the photo frame. Again, the absence of make up and the elimination of shadows produce a neutral canvas, where the clothes seem the only thing alive. Bodies like robots, clothing like structures, a rather architectural approach in a fashion photo shoot.
Our constant urge to speculate on the subject of future technology is one of our strong creative traits. Many things that we consider commonplace today seemed science fiction only some decades ago. Chicago based industrial designer Michaël Harboun has his distinct idea of the future. He sees it in the implementation of so called ‘programable matter,’ a material comprised of micro robots capable to communicate with each other and change shape and function of any object. Harboun explains: Let’s imagine a world where physical matter would gain digital abilities – meaning one could change the shape of any object as one would change the contents of a Smartphone. This would revolutionize our relationship with objects. An object would no longer induce a function by the way it looks. The user himself would define the functions of an object, the user becomes creator. Through his Living Kitchen concept designer attempted to explore how people would interact within this form follows flow environment. The volumes could be stretched, twisted and bend by the user. And as far as technology goes, a material of this kind is currently being researched by Intel and the Carnegie Mellon University under the name of Claytronics. So, the future might be closer than we think. Living...
For more than thirty years, Hiroshi Sugimoto has produced series of highly refined black and white photographs. His subjects, which include movie theaters and drive-ins, natural history dioramas, waxworks, and seascapes, provoke fundamental questions about the relationship of photography and time while exploring the mysterious and ineffable nature of reality. Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948. In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles and studied photography at the Art Center College of Design. Sugimoto lives and works in New York City and Tokyo.
The H House in Maastricht, Netherlands was designed by Dutch architects Wiel Arets Architects and it is the ideal home for the artistically inclined owners. Although the home was built in suburban area, its minimal structure fits in the existing environment without the sacrifice of desired contemporary architecture. Minimal use of walls in interiors emphasizes the volumes of space, creating the effect of uninterrupted flow. Edited color palette consisting primarily of various shades of white provides soothing backdrop for the play of light and shadows, formed by the geometry of large windows and strong angles of interior structure. Seamless transition is further supported by the use of glass throughout, differentiating in its shape, transparency and opacity. Very interesting staircase floats above the ground and even more supports the careful definition of space. I love the combination of minimal interiors covered in white and of bold, lush green landscape on the outside. It is a successful combination of client’s preferred taste, necessary function, and existing surroundings. Perfect blend of interiors, architecture and landscape. Photography by Jan Bitter.
Renowned Italian lighting company Foscarini have collaborated with Barcelona based design studio Lievore Altherr Molina to produce the beautifully simple and understated LED table lamp, Anisha. Anisha is available in two sizes and two colours – pure white or red. The design is based around a halo of diffused light, creating a backlight effect to see and appreciate the figure of the lamp in the best way possible. Foscarini describes the design: Like a fluid and enveloping frame, an irregular ellipse that gives a sense of becoming, Anisha outlines an empty space, defines it and fills it with its light, producing a magical sensation. Its plastic, dynamic shape generates multiple reflections on its surface and reveals its sculptural essence.
Specialising in the design and production of bespoke lighting, Australian design studio ilanel, have created ORA – an eclipse-like interactive and contemporary wall-mounted luminary with a minimal aesthetic finish. ilanel explains: ORA is a piece that mediates between light and darkness through transparent colour. It is an interactive lighting structure that engages in experimentation and exploration of coloured illumination. It has been designed to encourage personalisation of the colour, influencing the atmosphere in a space. This is done by adjusting three knobs on the face of the design, which represent the colours red, green and blue. Endless interactivity. Super. Photography by IJ Productions.
Created by Spanish designers CrousCalogero for Estiluz, the Balloon Lamp is a very simple, clean and playful lighting fixture, pleasing children and adults alike. Emitting a soft and warm light, the lamp’s shade is made of satinized polyethylene, a translucent material that hides an energy saving fluorescent bulb. A thin red cable hangs subtly from the shade, serving as a switch in the wall version (a ceiling option is also available). It’s the perfect fixture for a young one’s room, but also for a couple’s alcove or a modern living room. Seeing it in person immediately made me smile (and desire one for myself)!
Minimal and warm; clean, crisp and a place to call home at the same time. Everything is possible when Norm Architecture is involved. The Humlebaek House was a former land workers house, located in Denmark and converted by Danish architecture firm Norm, into a unique home-studio. Originally constructed with brick walls, concrete floor and steel beams, it had almost anything an inspiring conversion needs, except one: adequate daylight. And that was the biggest issue. Unable to interfere in the exterior walls, as the building is protected by local architectural restrictions, the architects had but one choice: walls painted white and a new concrete floor treated with shiny epoxy, to help spread the light. And the result justified them; luminous spaces that reveal their history, a minimal approach with the necessary touch of colour, a well-designed place to feel yourself at home. One of Norm Architects’ best interior projects and certainly one of my favourites.