Hungarian born Akos Major, currently residing in Vienna, is a freelance graphic designer and amateur photographer. However, there is nothing amateur about this stunning photographic series entitled Lumen. Although I’m perfectly aware the summer time season is upon us, I was not prepared to wait a further six months before featuring this beautifully minimal winter series. Major looks to capture and display the spiritual and emotive textures that he sees in muted and often monotone landscapes across northern Europe. Although I feel Lumen is a wonderful representation of Major’s photography work, his exemplary portfolio will surely not disappoint. What do you think?
Archive of May 2012
Swiss born and Berlin based designer and architect Clemens Tissi recently developed his first furniture collection, comprising a number of cubic pieces. There was however, one piece in particular that caught my eye. That is the wonderfully minimal Lichtkiste light box, which serves both as a floor lamp and a side table. Initially showcased at last year’s Milan Design Week, Tissi’s Lichtkiste offers independent elements that enable “direct access to the subject area and volume, light and dark, light and shadow.” The user modulates the light by simply moving the individual elements. Made from MDF with a white or light grey, hand-painted surface finish, Lichtkiste measures 37cm x 35cm x 34cm. This piece would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to my living room.
I recently stumbled upon a new installation by Joel Shapiro of which I really like the energy it breaths. It was exhibited earlier this year at Rice University Art Gallery in Houston. The installation, Untitled, is, like all his later works, a gravity defying spectacle of shapes, colors and lines. Wooden geometric elements, painted in vibrant colors, seem to levitate in the air. Visitors can walk through the installation and the shape and color of each individual element changes, as well as how the different elements relate. In a piece like this, as you walk through it, it reconfigures, which is some essential aspect of sculpture. The sculpture is very different from a painting. It unfolds in time and space. In 2002, Shapiro started working with the idea of forms free from structure. He uses string or wire to suspend seemingly loose arrangements of painted and unpainted wooden elements. Photography by Nash Baker.
This beautiful minimalist cash and cards holder by Daycraft is everything that the traditional wallet is not. It is small, simple, light and compartment free. The piece, aptly called Moneywrap, is reduced to a singular folding principle. It wraps around your banknotes, which in turn are folded over your credit cards. The result is a sleek little item, that can fit in any pocket. How clever. I like how well thought out Moneywrap is. Held together by a rubberband, your valuables are secure. And to access them – all you need to do is lift the flap open. No buttons or sharp edges to scratch your things… Watch the video to see the piece in action.
Bradley Bowers, of the studio PLZ DNT TCH, designed this attractive Shell Lounge. Shell Lounge is a simple lounge that sits right on the ground. It can be used for indoor or outdoor use. The lounge curves around the user, protecting the user from the outside. Shell is designed around the concept of balance.The chair allows the user to relax; thus encouraging meditation and a balance between the mind and body. The Shell Lounge is so simple; how often do we see the form of a lounge reduced so much that even the legs have been removed? But the lounge is also complex: it changes the way we usually use chairs to provide a totally unique experience. While I am not sure if I would add the Shell Lounge to my living room, I would love to relax in one by the pool!
Brand Spirit is a singular project developed by Andrew Miller, with which he describes: Every day for 100 days, I will paint one branded object white, removing all visual branding, reducing the object to its purest form. I can purchase each object for less than $10, it can be something I own, something another person gives me, or something I find. It is really rather surprising how many brands are so easily recognizable by its products (Coca-Cola) and how they become aspects of our daily lives (American Express), or in the symbol of a generation (Nintendo), or a profession (Moleskine).
Maine based artist Kate Beck creates paintings and drawings coalesced of intensity, intimacy and silence that result from a systematic starting point of materials and geometric shape. A particular illustration of Beck’s work I would like to share with you today is the quite wonderful and minimal Form Surface collection. This quiet, yet deliberate collection of line drawings and paintings displaying subtle gradients of soft and subdued tones, include the application of poured oil, graphite on aluminium, linen and paper. Form Surface in my opinion, strongly reflects Beck’s manifesto: I believe white to be the most inherently beautiful colour as it carries with it the potential to simultaneously expose and negate space. I believe black to be the most innately powerful colour as it is defined by the presence of light as well as by the absence of light. There’s not a single piece in this collection that fails to impress me, but what do you think?
These wooden spectacle frames are the result of a collaboration between Milan-based designer Matteo Ragni and wood-enthusiast Doriano Mattellone of the MA-wood research laboratory. The glasses are called W-eye, and are made from layers of wood which have been coated with aluminum. This mixture allows the wood durability and flexibility, and makes for surprisingly lightweight frames. The glasses are also hinge-free, with no hardware to interrupt the flow of sensuous wood. The glasses come in a variety of styles and are available in six different shades of wood: ebony, zebrano, mahogany, cherry, ash and walnut. Each pair of glasses is hand-crafted and guaranteed to sit evenly on the face, ensuring perfect vision. It is the lack of hardware and integrity of material which attracted me to these glasses. The lack of hardware gives the frames a simple elegance; they look as if they have been effortlessly carved from a single piece of wood. The wood -the mahogany is my favorite- looks incredibly luxurious compared to the materials traditionally used in eyeglass design. W-eye pushes the boundaries of eyeglass design to give us a product that is both stylish and well-crafted.
Emanuele Cecini designed the identity and branding for new creative agency, Orange Hive, based in Frankfurt, Germany. The designs included the creation of a logo, print stationary, website layout and art direction of the branding photography. The logo finds a surprising and elegant balance of lines and empty spaces, the branding is straightforward and uses a limited number of elements and information, and the pop of color provided by the orange accents gives the ensemble a nice twist, preventing it from being boring instead of the classy minimalism it achieved. I’m especially fond of the signage application!
Monarchy is a crown-like shaped rocking stool, created by Yiannis Ghikas. Visually laconic and fun in use, the piece is convenient when you need extra seating. The design aims to offer freedom of movement to the user. Just by moving your legs and shifting your weight, you can change the orientation of the stool. The designer explains: The balancing process creates a playful userobject relationship. The stool explores the idea that when seated, many people feel the need to be free from enforced bodily positions. I like the lightness and the versatility of the object. It can blend into any room and environment. Just don’t use it to change a lightbulb…
Bart Lens is the designer of this little mirror, cleverly titled For Your Eyes Only. The mirror is meant to be hung at eye level, but also functions well when hung vertically. The mirror is only a small strip, with a slight curve on the end. The subtle curve gives the mirror a unique and playful quality. Bart Lens describes the curve as being reminiscent of an eyelash. Like all mirrors, For Your Eyes Only adds light and depth to a room, but this mirror is so simple I think you would have to look twice to find where the light is reflected from! I love how Bart Lens turned an average object into a fun piece of artwork. I admit that this mirror is not the most functional, but it is a beautiful wall piece and certainly a conversation starter.
I hope you are willing to travel with me today and explore a little magic that is hotel Habita MTY. Located in the northern part of Mexico in Monterey and with a view of the Sierra Madre mountains, the hotel is a stunning result of collaborative work by architect Agustin Landa and interior designer Joseph Dirand. Modern architecture is supported by all black and white interiors and materials such as concrete and dark wood throughout only add another layer of sophisticated luxury. Strong design statements such as the custom mirror wall behind the reception desk or masculine platform beds are all part of the Habita MTY experience. And of course, one cannot forget the Poolbar which includes two infinity pools and hard to ignore views of the city. I’m always on the lookout for new, modern hotels but many times wonder what will happen to their immediate, flashy image a few years later. Considering Habita MTY was built back in 2008, one can appreciate its smart design choices that are deserving the many design awards it has received.