The design challenge for BRR was to capture the essence of Antarctica – ‘The Earth’s White Box’ whilst retaining both the integrity of the scientific research and capturing the visual beauty of this majestic continent. The BRR team realised that information on this continent was like an iceberg floating in the ocean. As icebergs reveal a small section of themselves above the horizon whilst concealing a greater part underwater, there is a large percentage of information that still requires investigating for the betterment of our planet’s future. This way the studio BRR explains the rebranding made for the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, an entity responsible for developing, managing and executing New Zealand Government activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, in particular the Ross Dependency. The result is a clean and plain, but at the same time very effective graphic design work, made with a simple combination of geometric shapes to appear as icebergs in the sea, as well as using a monochrome code and sans-serif typography. Just perfect!
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Antago is a new luminaire series introduced by the Hamburg based manufacturer Viocero. Antago comes in a range of colours. The lamp’s base is made of multiple processed and refined aluminum. The lamp shade is a self-supporting, double-walled structure of matalloid woven fabric. Interestingly, apart from the regular range, Viocero also offers the Antago ID, a fully customizable version. You can individualize colors and materials of each component – all the way down to the dimmer unit and the power cord. I like the great finishing with attention to each detail and the use of the different materials.
We recently caught up with Håndværk to discuss the brand, its designs, fabrics, and future. Describe your path to creating the brand, Håndværk. We felt there was a void in the market for a label that was solely dedicated to high-end essentials — crafting each piece from the finest fabrics, and focused on the details as the foundation to function. From the start, the ultimate goal was to create a label that we would love as customers, something that would make us proud. Our passion for fine fabrics was the main force driving Håndværk’s creation. Håndværk is an interesting & unusual brand name. Can you explain why you choose it? It is a Danish word that stands for artisanal, a trade, or handy-work. We felt it represents the soul of the label. At the core, we want to highlight that pride achieved by the craftsman with his honest work. We want to convey that making quality garments is a humble and tedious endeavour, miles away from the hype of the fashion world. We have always been huge fans of Danish design, specifically mid-century modern furniture — with the focus on simplicity, honest materials and function. These values influence how we go...
The Mist Cabinet by Rachel Harding is a display cabinet that curates your view. The cabinet uses a minimalist construction to create a series of clear cast acrylic boxes that react to various viewing angles. Thanks to a special coating the opacity of each box flutters between transparent and translucent as you pass by, “creating an intriguing choreography of hidden and seen” as Harding describes. I wanted to re-invent the idea of the traditional display cabinet. Instead of simply falling into the background, this cabinet interacts with the objects inside, and encourages the user to take a second look. The advantages of acrylic glass is its capacity to refract and filter light and being light weight. Acrylic glass however can have a ‘cold’ appearance and will not fit in every interior. Rachel Harding works, in addition to her studio work as an in-house designer for Droog Design, creating in-house collections and design concepts. Harding seeks to surprise with her work drawing inspiration from unexpected materials and contexts.
When one thinks of incorporating nature into one’s home, that thought often involves trees. However, Amsterdam-based studio Formafantasma by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin has a different direction for that thought. Specializing in designs that fuse tradition and local culture, while regarding sustainability and the objects’ significance, their products incorporate the most unusual materials—such as the Fossilium series. Made from cooled lava rocks from the eruption of Mount Etna in November 2013, these volumetric sculptures are the work of a collaborative effort that involves special processes. While minimal in form, the porosity and grain of these products propose a complexity in material execution. The elegance of simple geometric silhouettes is highlighted with accents of brass against the monochromic base of the basalt colors. These tables and tools are a part of a greater collection that includes clocks, bowls, and mirrors that are available at Gallery Libby Sellers in London. I find a fascination in the loyalty of Formafantasma to their philosophy of locality. Not only they were able to produce an amazing array of minimal sculptural furnitures, the sustainability aspect of material transportation also speaks about the work ethics that created Fossilium.
Last year, the successful Spanish studio Lavernia & Cienfuegos designed the Etnia Shops, including the furniture and the image, for the brand Etnia Cosmetics, resulting in a remarkable project. The main goal was focused on establishing great efficieny, functionality and image, so the main characteristics of the shops are the modularity, the product presentation and the general appeal of the product. I love the combination of the white and the clear wood tones, giving the interior a feeling of warmth along with the carefully considered lighting. And all of these characteristics emphasise the products with their powerful colours. Fantastic work without doubt.
Hang Around & Toss Around is a wonderful set of wooden cooking tools and salad servers created by the Copenhagen design studio KiBiSi for the Danish brand Muuto. The kitchen utensils are made in white beech wood and they have an extrusion cut in the back to hang on the edge of pots or pans. A really simple design with a fantastic and useful alteration to make them more practical to use. On the designs, KiBiSi explain: The kitchen utensils combine form, function and craftsmanship, but in KiBiSi’s interpretation, they are precisely designed and crafted for an essential contemporary look and functional ergonomics.
Casa Spodsbjerg is a family summer home on a rocky beach in Denmark. Completed in 2010 by Arkitema Architects, this house is designed to take advantage of the views and characteristics of its site. The structure is composed of two staggered volumes on a concrete foundation. One volume houses the living rooms while the other holds the bedrooms and bathrooms. The living room utilizes floor to ceiling windows to achieve an unbroken view of the sea and beach. The bedrooms are on the second story and are more shielded, allowing for a quiet and peaceful place to rest. Casa Spodsbjerg uses a limited number of materials in its design. Concrete is used for the base and internal forms, the floors are a light hardwood, and the ceilings covered with a warm, slatted wood. This home is the perfect beach dwelling. I love how the two forms work with the geography of site to maximize the views of the surroundings. I particularly enjoy the way the materials work together in this structure. The light hardwood floors blend with the exposed concrete and are reminiscent of the sandy shore outside. The slatted wood ceiling warms the space and gives it a more natural feel. What more could one want in a...
Photographer and science journalist Jean de Pomereu, fascinated by Antarctica’s enormous icebergs, has produced a beautifully bleak series of the icy continent titled, Sans Nom. The series, captured in 2008 at the fourth International Polar Year, is deliberately absent of anything that could give scale to the nameless ice structures. Nameless because unlike mountains, for example, which are around for a long period of time, these icebergs are only present for one season and then they get released — they just disappear. De Pomereu writes: Icebergs without names. Totems of the underworld transiting at the frozen interface of water and atmosphere; born of the perpetual transformation of the physical realm. At a time when the vulnerability of the chryosphere is made increasingly apparent by the work of scientists, this series of photographs, Sans Nom, seek to evoke the fragility, as well as the generative power of ice. The shot with a broad crack splitting the ice plains, is a particular favourite of mine. Demonstrating the fragility of the ice, the beginning of a break up process, the coming of summer. Photography courtesy of Jean de Pomereu
Katamaku is a new series of products, born out of Tokyo, Japan, that utilise unused parts of the membrane material that were to be discarded. They were made into various cases and bags for everyday use with excellent durability. In order to keep its beautiful texture, the products are made from a single sheet of membrane that can be folded to protect things that are to be carried. The designers go on to explain: Katamaku can be assembled with ease, and in order to take advantage of the beauty of the material, we have designed each product as one piece of folded cloth, like a kimono. If you look at the material closely, you will see that each product is finished from the membrane allowing you to really appreciate the beauty of its detail. The minimalistic series includes a card, pass and pen case, a document folder and pochet. All of which are as exquisite as the next. Beautiful work.
Sarah Van Peteghem — @sarah_cocolapine — is a Belgian born and Berlin based interaction designer and interior stylist at Fantastic Frank. Alongside this, she runs the blog Coco Lapine Design, which also features a small online store of elegant accessories & prints. Today we take a closer look into Sarah’s everyday life through her beautiful Instagram collection and how it has evolved. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I like to try out many different things inside my home. When something turns out pretty, I take a picture of it and publish it. And this sometimes works the other way around as well: I think about what would look nice on a picture and end up arranging my home in that way. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I like to surround myself with objects, which I find functional and well designed, but most importantly, I’m the most creative when everything around me is organised. It’s a good motivation to clean the house. When and how do you decide to take a photo? When I find something pretty or interesting. It actually made me look at things differently: when you think about pictures and making photo’s...
The Check mirror has been designed by Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider of studio Kaschkasch Cologne for Danish brand Menu. Minimal in its form, the piece is also conscious of the space it occupies. Thanks to the triangle on top, the mirror can securely fit in any corner and take advantage of areas that are often left unused. And if the mirror is balanced against a flat surface, the triangle-shaped frame can be used as a rail for hanging clothes. Designers explain: Our products are casual and voguish at the same time. Precise lines and geometrical shapes give them a distinct impression, which we like to combine with intriguing colour combinations for the additional Kaschkasch touch. We want each design to offer something extra, discovered by the user little by little. The curved metal frame comes in black, white or moss green. Check has been displayed at the Stockholm Furniture Fair earlier this year.