Character is a Finnish company that recycles old neon signs, created by designer Aleksi Hautamäki. Their process consists in choosing the most stylish letters and turning them into individual and unique design objects, and their sustainability is further enhanced by replacing the neon tubes with LEDs. They add a transformer, install a power cord and off the letters go with a new life cycle. You can even buy one online. Neon signs have this capacity to attract and focus one’s attention, stripping away their surroundings – a single neon letter enhances that effect even more so. In these installations photographed by Johan Warden, they become minimalist beacons, softly illuminating unexpected new spaces.
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A courtyard house located in a rural landscape near Guadalajara City, Mexico — Pino Street House is built for a small family with a lot of friends. A clean white façade is defined by bright yellow paintwork used to feature railings, guttering and doorways of this 165-square-metre house made up of a series of stacked white blocks, with glazed living spaces facing the brick patio. Architect Oscar Gutiérrez explains: The house is divided by a courtyard designed to create parallel paths between social and family life, while also creating a feeling of amplitude. The ground floor is characterized by platforms that rotate around the yard and have different uses and atmospheres. The upper level features three blocks that open onto the landscape: two rooms are articulated by a corridor and staircase, a terrace and balcony that establishes a relationship between the garden and courtyard, in conjunction create a linear sequence of open spaces. With my love of the countryside and the color yellow, this beautifully minimalistic building has quickly captured my attention to the light and touch of traditional elements. Photography by Vanessa Guízar.
Founded in 2008 by Ben Gorham, Byredo is a Stockholm based fragrance house, that features a wide range of products for men and women, including perfume, body care, home fragrances and accessories. With a distinct focus on craftsmanship and quality, it is particularly Byredo’s beautiful and understated packaging design that leaves a lasting impression on me. The art direction, identity and packaging was conceived by Swedish designer Moses Voigt of Acne Art Department. The project included a customised identity typeface for labels — creating an image of heritage; characters based on modernist principles and the characteristics of 1900’s gothics. Modern yet timeless through its simple elegance. From the simple typography to the minimalistic labelling, I’m certainly sold and will soon be picking out a cologne to sample.
Normann Copenhagen’s Bell Lamp is a luminous nod to industrial design. Available in four sizes and two color combinations, the lamp is both a sculpturally beautiful and functionally present piece. At the core of its design, is its simplicity. Made from aluminium and hanging from a 4m textile cord, the Bell Lamp is encompassing of the designer’s passion, to challenge the conventional design rules. Designers Andreas Lund and Jacob Rudbeck believe their designs should be based on passing on the Scandinavian design tradition and create everyday objects that have personality without being loud. A statement that speaks worlds. Based in Copenhagen, the duo are responsible for envisioning carefully articulated designs that add character and emphasize quality and stripped back minimalist thinking. The Bell Lamp is testament to that. Photography courtesy of Normann Copenhagen.
Milan-based architect Victor Vasilev partnered with the Italian manufacturer Boffi, to create an innovative shelving solution in blind shape. Vasilev was inspired by the profiles of buildings, touching the sky, in big cities. The breakdown of the volumes of the buildings has created a series of staggered floors which may contain seveal objects, creating a fascinating urban setting. The modular shelving system, named CTline, are blinds with inside vertical storage units, like staggered floors, varying in height and depth. The characteristic composition with its irregular profile really strikes the eye. The modular shelving units, made of a matte-white Betacryl solid surface material, can be positioned to suit specific needs. There are six different proportions to complement your home. The bathroom unit comes fitted with a mirror on inclined front side.
The German design label Studio Hausen has rethought a modern classic of design; the hanging shelf. The link shelf is stripped down to the essentials; a number of massive ash wood shelve boards and a set of black steel mounting brackets. I like the contrast of the natural wood and dark steel and the open structure of the shelf. The open character makes the shelf perfect to store and display acquired treasures. One can easily arrange, and expand, the elements of the shelf by himself adapted to his needs and space requirements and play with the many potential compositions. The link shelf was exclusively availabale in two variants through MONOQI and was a real hit.
Poland based fashion label NON just presented its very first, very beautiful, minimalist collection. The designs are based on classic geometry and spatial forms. NON strives for simplicity and emphasizes the unique structure of the material: Every piece is made of 100% Merino wool and every garment is produced to the highest standards in Poland. What defines us is an uncompromising quality dedicated to conscious, demanding women. I love the NON collection for its slightly abstract shapes, which still very elegantly underline the female body. And besides the visual aspect, it feels wonderful to wear the substantial but fine merino wool with all its amazing natural fiber characteristics.
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...
Clean lines, shadows and elusive humans come together on Geometrix, from London-based photographer Rupert Vandervell. The black and white photography of film-noir and B Movies are as important as the soundtrack in creating the, now celebrated, mysterious mood these pictures are known for. Paranoia-inducing characters and unexplained appearances are key factors, Vandervell plays off these elements gently, never as an explicit intention. On the other hand, urban landscapes offers calm and intangible contemplation opportunities. The selection of sites chosen to build this series are drawn by shadows and sharp concrete architecture, as well as the heavy contrast to expose each angle with great detail. Geometrix goes beyond the usual abstract architecture exercise, with a minimal hint of performance from the fleeting figures. Restraint in the right measure is hard to come by.
Danish design-house, Normann Copenhagen have expanded the award winning Geo range with six new products by Danish designer, Nicholai Wiig Hansen, which is characterised by its minimalistic style and sharp, masculine edges. The Geo Vacuum Jug is now being joined by a tray, milk jug, sugar bowl and lidded jars in three different sizes. Geo has a precise, geometric feel where all unnecessary details have been stripped away to create a stylistic design. Comprising of a lightweight plastic material with a glossy inside and a lovely mat finish on the outside, the whole Geo range fits beautifully together. Nicholai Wiig Hansen explains: The idea behind Geo was to make a range of products with character. I’ve worked with the lines, circles and shapes of the products to create a geometric harmony. The very shapes give the Geo range an edgy and graphic look, and the combined use of classic and light colours help to soften the masculine appearance. Wonderful work.
Taipei Apartment is a clean white apartment in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. The apartment was designed for a young couple by Tai & Architectural Design. The couple wanted a beautiful dwelling that didn’t require much renovation. The architects answered their request with a bright and causal living environment. Every surface of the apartment, from the floor to the ductwork in the ceiling, is painted white. The whiteness is intended to celebrate the purity of the space. The living room features a grey sofa, pastel-colored end tables, and a projector screen. Across the room is the dining area which includes a white table, wooden chairs, and built-in shelving. A wall of glass highlights the view of the city and opens to a small balcony. A narrow hallway leads to the bedroom and study. These rooms are furnished similar to the living room: white and wood furniture accented with soft colors. I love how such a simple design can express so much character. The white interior is the perfect backdrop for the residents’ colorful furniture and textiles. The stark interior allows these objects to pop and bring personality to the space. Taipei Apartment is sure to be a hit with the current and future occupants.
Koya No Sumika is an extension to a traditional home in Yaizu, Japan. The extension was designed for a young couple by mA-style Architects. The Japanese firm came up with a modern design with space saving solutions. The result is a refreshing juxtaposition to the traditional architecture of the original home. The exterior is a balance between white cement board and natural wood. The mix of crisp white and warm wood continues on the interior. The lofted ceiling features triangles of unfinished wood. White walls frame the lower portion of the home, sprinkled on both sides with built-in furniture. The decor is bare, just a few plants and lightbulbs strung from the ceilings. A simple courtyard garden adds a touch of green and connects the expansion with the original building. Koya No Sumika is a gorgeous structure inside and out. The materials are arranged so as to add character to the space, without losing its minimal appeal. Overall, this is a charming home expansion that the residents will enjoy for years to come.