Minimalissimo


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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!


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.


The conflict between what the architect has on his mind and what is actually possible to build will always be a significant factor for pushing the possibilities of new technology and constructions. Fortunately, contemporary professionals can visualize and test their valued creations beforehand with digital tools; sometimes it’s the ideal method to clearly grasp the boundaries of each creation. Nevertheless, what happens when an architecture project is intentionally otherworldly? Italy-based artist Michele Durazzi explores many possibilities of surreal and grandiose buildings — the only limits he inflicts himself is a clear minimalist preference towards geometry and simple visual compositions. For each scenario, Durazzi lays a unique perspective for the camera and arranges the duality between human and construction carefully. On every building, there is an inquisitive inclusion of a guest; most are playfully or comfortably enjoying this absurd world around them. The white color plays a vital role as it reduces everything down to the essential: the symmetrical structures and exploration of details and textures. Of all the possibilities digital art can bestow to a creator, it is a pleasure to see a curious brand of minimalism and fantastic architecture take the center stage.


Narita International Airport adds to its roster the exciting and very original Terminal 3. As a joint effort from NIKKEN SEKKEI + Ryohin Keikaku + PARTY, this project unapologetically uses the low budget to its advantage with smart choices regarding the structure, applied materials and even the layout. A great example of heavy-duty minimalism infused with playfulness. To break the mould and ignore the customary moving walkways was not only an aesthetic choice but also a monetary one, since the budget for Terminal 3 was half of the usual sum; in a bold move, rubber running tracks were installed all the way through guiding the travellers and the airport’s staff. The clear lines leave no room for doubt, the blue surface leads the way for the departing passengers, whilst the red/earth colour welcomes the arriving commuters. It’s worth pointing out the great pictograms replacing illuminated signs as well. The interior design made with much-celebrated MUJI furniture is a perfect fit for what Terminal 3 is about. The brand’s affordable and functional furnishings enriches the ambient with great visual patterns and additional colour. Since the structure is quite raw and exposed, it is a great contingency plan to add explicit soft...


The Headquarters Building at Science Park at the University of the Basque Country, located next to the University Campus of Leioa, Spain, is a fantastic architectural project developed by ACXT. The building was conceived for being an innovative space to link the business world to the university and students, attracting new companies based on knowledge and technological research. A particularly notable feature of the building is its spectacular north and south façade composed of a double skin, an inside curtain wall and a expanded metal skin outside, with a gateway for maintenance between them. In spite of this, the predominantly white interior is a bright and wonderfully minimalistic space throughout.


Lebanon-based architect Paul Kaloustian took advantage of the height a dense pine tree forest offers, and opted to invert the thumb-rule of broad and horizontal modernism. Designing a residential house infused with a courageous vertical visual identity; often found in museums and university campuses. Taking concrete and applying an interesting curve was vital to inject an unusual shadow play and amplitude of the surrounding woods into the domestic area, such a manoeuvre is often let in the sole hands of wide glass façades. Kaloustian sets this project apart, daring to narrow each room and let the focus be the height feature and achieve an unexpected sense of openness considering the size of each area. Two extra elements are worthy of mention: the interior design selection with raw wood material and an explicit minimalist intention; as well as the very competent and alluring photography of said project, it is an achievement in itself as well. A clear example of what contemporary architecture can achieve deconstructing old-school modernism with maturity and an authentic visual statement.


Prazeres, or Pleasures, rests on an unassuming street in the Alcântara district of Portugal. From the exterior, this home looks very similar to its traditionally designed neighbors. On the interior, however, José Adrião Arquitectos transformed the home into a bright and airy paradise. For many years this building was allowed to fall into disrepair. When renovations began its interior was in danger of collapsing, forcing the architects to replace the floors with three slabs of concrete. The new floors divide the building into two main areas: a functional core, for utilities and bathrooms, and open space for the living areas. One of my favorite features of Prazeres is the rooftop terrace. This space is smartly designed as an extension of the interior living spaces, forming a casual environment that can be used all year long. Overall, Prazeres is a gorgeous renovated structure that any family would be happy to call home. Photography by Fernando Guerra FG + SG.


IKEA has recently launched Sinnerlig, a collaboration with London designer Ilse Crawford from Studioilse, on a range of cork and natural-fibre homeware products prominently featuring neutral colours that were chosen to fit into any home. In Crawford’s words: It’s supposed to work in a bathroom in Mumbai as well as a kitchen in Neasden, it has to fit into people’s lives. It is quite low key but we deliberately designed it like that, we see it as background, it’s not trying to compete with these fantastic icons of design — it’s a different thing. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Ett Hem hotel, also designed by Studioilse, the collection contains a range of around 30 products, from larger furniture pieces such as cork-covered tables and a daybed down to hand-blown glass bottles. The collection was unveiled during Stockholm Design Week and will be available in stores in August.


An identity, stationery and promotional materials design for the architectural photographer Luka Žanić, realised by Studio8585 — a Croatian design studio which provides simple and elegant brand solutions. The project takes advantage of a typographically challenging set of characters in the form of a monogram, cleverly framing Luka Žanić’s beautiful photography within the context of cues associated with modern architectural identities. The logotype is based on a monogram in which a characteristic and potentially awkward second initial “Ž” is used as a device which brings the two initials together, juxtaposing them through a diacritic. The designers make use of simple forms to create a bold monogram, producing a sculptural quality in its asymmetry and vertical balance. Outstanding.


We are now halfway through winter in the Northern Hemisphere and one needs quality apparel to face the elements. The Styrman is a waterproof topcoat by San Francisco based Mission Workshop. Their aim is to help you cover the most ground possible. The Styrman, made in Vancouver, British Columbia, is their take on the classic topcoat improved with all the advantages of modern technical outerwear. The jacket is constructed of c_change fabric developed by Schoeller from Switzerland. This membrane reacts to different prevailing conditions. It does not only take temperature into account but also humidity and body moisture. The waterproof-breathable membrane, with taped seams, gives full protection against rain, wind and snow. The storm hood is removable if you prefer. The wool exterior of this smart jacket gives a tailored appearance. The Styrman is available in charcoal or grey. A great jacket for daily commute and outdoor use!


When great creativity is followed by perfect technical work, the result can be something as astonishing as this campaign for the Dutch company Friesland Campina Kievit — promotion of their powdered milk creamers. The fully integrated marketing campaign was created by Norvell Jefferson agency, where the Belgian photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte developed a lovely photo shoot, capturing the acrobatic dancer Noi Pakon moving with fine particles of powdered milk. Without doubt, a remarkable and complicated collaboration that investigates many of aspects such as motion, still and light, to create a plain and pure result. You can also the watch the fantastic making-of video.


The D3 traveller is an ultralight, strong and discreet duffel whittled down to its barest of components. The duffel was commisioned for field work in diverse and challenging environment. The creators know what they are talking about. One of them, Jan Chipchase, is a well respected design researcher who helps organisations gather insights to inform, inspire and affect change. The D3 is a 42L volume bag for the global traveller who is looking for a strong, versatile and simple luggage solution. The D3 is made of two layers of Cuben Fiber (four times stronger than Kevlar at almost half its weight) with one layer suspended inside the other. Cuben Fiber is a cool material: it can be crinkled, or rolled up without losing structural integrity. The D3 has an “oil black” finish and nicely wears over time. Like the shell the zips are water resistant. The strap and tri glide, created from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium, and Petzl Ange S carabiners make that various carrying styles are possible. There is no exterior branding but the outer zip pulls include a pebble from Kyi Chu, a river that starts in the Chenthangula Mountains in Tibet. A fantastic bag I...