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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It think that the project of the award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando for Tom Ford’s ranch could not be more beautiful, with its modern, clean and minimalist lines and shapes throughout as well as the detail of the constuction. The plain concerte walls are maybe the most characteristic of the project with the abrupt contrast of light, as well as the road on the small lake. It is located outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has almost 100,000 square meter, being perfectly integrated with the arid lands of the state due to a rustic palette of colors.
Casa V is a redevelopment project by architecture team Dosis de Arquitectura of an existing house that was constructed in the early 1960s. A stunning volume of curved walls and stark white embody this holiday home for the owners for half a century. As the years went by, the growth of the family could not be contained in the original house hence the work to adapt and expand on the multi-generation, multi-purpose building. Casa V was already located on a breathtaking site in La Coruña, Spain. The structure is reminiscent of Corbusier’s nom de plume: A house is a machine for living in. Form follows function - it exists to serve its purpose of facilitating activities within and to experience the views of the landscape. The present architects have continued the legacy as they so eloquently describe it: Spaces are defined by the unfolding of matter in space-time, which topologically adapts itself to what happens inside. The new house is formalized by the continuous flow of a completely neutral wrap – no edges, no color, no texture – and, within this wrapping, life, action, is the protagonist. Dosis de Arquitectura have aligned the design language – the characteristics of the wrap and typography of the architecture - with...
Accessories have become such an important element in everyday’s fashion. With the constant rush of life, their flexibility also has transformed over time. Having that idea in mind, Paris-based industrial designer Isabelle Bois collaborated with & Other Stories, a womenswear fashion company founded in Sweden, to generate a capsule collection of bags, pouches, and cases. Made from vegetable leather, these products vary in sizes to offer a wide range of usage — from business meetings to casual rendez-vous and formal dinner parties. Being minimal in appearance with natural colors like peach, nude, and black, those factors create a versatility to these accessories when one has many occasions with little time. As a fashion enthusiast, I love the oversized portfolio-like pouches. Others might see them as a bulky addition to an outfit, but I view them as a way to create a character to the wearer. They compose a certain boldness that is not overpowering, but rather both artistic and professional. Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories and Glamour
Pure is a new shoe collection by the French architect, Jean Nouvel for the Italian brand, Ruco Line. The minimalist shoe was unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week gaining great relevance, and strong opinion. This is Nouvel’s first footwear project as he looked for basic and essential lines to apply to the shoe design, which is a characteristic often seen in his architectural work. The result is an incredibly simplistic shoe with a strong identity. Pure is made up of high-quality calf leather with a rubber sole. The collection is available in a variety of colours, including; black, white, yellow and fuchsia. The shoe also features the abbreviated name of the design at the top along with its style, colour code, and date of production.
Originally intended for exhibition in Milan in 2010, Minimalux has produced the ideal minimal culinary accompaniment. Commissioned by Wallpaper for their Handmade exhibition, these pieces are characteristic of the London-based Minimalux label with their dedication to the minimalism discipline. The crisp and uninterrupted lines of the Knife & Spork are a celebration of stainless steel. Mirror-polished and completely flat and linear in profile they display an obvious harmony and formal symmetry. Ignoring ergonomics, these pieces seem to play with the conventions of industrial design and challenge the user to engage in a changed eating experience. Too often is this challenge posed. Less emphasis therefore on the food than on the way in which the food itself is to be consumed. I like this. Measuring 150 x 15 x 30mm in size, the Knife & Spork are a true gem. Minimalux is an online portal for their designs and collaborations with various designers. I urge those excited by these forms to check out the rest of their collection online.
Sara Mellone is an Art and Design graduate at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf. Her graduation project, presented in February 2013, is an award winning furniture series called The Simple Things. The project comprises pieces of furniture, including a strong, but lightweight bench and two stools made from 2.5 mm sheets of aluminium that have each been folded four times. The simple shape of the double fold creates enough strength to build a bench that is three times longer then the stool. The white powder-coated version of the folded stool is very durable, therefore it is well protected from fingerprints and scratches. It is reminiscent of simple folded paper and this demonstrates where the inspiration came from. The pieces do not require any assembly and there are no off-cuts. Sara’s approach to design focuses on the simplicity and longevity of the product, by using materials that work in harmony with the design. Though all her products are minimalistic, she always keeps the poetic character of a piece, maintaining the sense of narrative and expression. This is a very impressive graduation project and I really enjoy the powder-coated stool, particularly. I will certainly be keeping an eye on Sara Mellone’s...
Primary colors: black, white, red, blue, and yellow. Silhouettes: cropped shorts above knee, wide-sleeved t-shirts, tailored trousers, slim-fit shirts, long coats and smart blazers. Sounds simple enough? Not even. Christopher Kane has proven to be a strong contender in contemporary fashion; he likes to experiment and his ventures never disappoint. So why does this description sound so… ordinary? The Scottish designer seems to be on a rampage of prints lately, so this collection was no different. This time, horror characters from his last menswear collection are replaced by fine thin lines of computerized matrix images. Those meshes, or rather landscapes, span across the entire outfits sometimes, giving those looks a head-to-toe complexion. The undulated pattern might be the only element that elevated this presentation, but with the twist of buttoned-up-sleeved button ups, the collection became a little cheekier. By no means is Christopher Kane’s menswear S/S 2014 revolutionary like his womenswear collections, but with the fun take and its extreme wearability, one can’t help but appreciate the simplicity of the forms and the topographic field of contours. Photos Courtesy of Style.com
In his 2014 Resort womenswear collection, London-based fashion designer J.W. Anderson takes an interesting step away from the classic styles that propelled him to debut at London’s Fashion Week only at 27. Because of his interest in stage costume, this is the first collection of J.W. Anderson which I have noticed, that exudes more character in the typical details. The usual silhouette of the collars, waistlines and sleeves are distorted, twisting and cutting away while their proportions are slightly emphasized to allow the fluidity of these gestures in the details. Though his designs seem somewhat conservative when one thinks of stage costume, I love this collection because with the minimal use of color and more controlled manipulation of where the fabric folds or stops. Compared to his previous collections, this feels like a more mature, well thought-out execution on the whole.
I recently discovered the wonderful collection of lighting designs from Milan based, Omikron Design. The Italian company has a primary objective to produce objects that enhance the illuminated spaces through light and outstanding design. Well, today I would like to introduce you to a particular lighting structure that does just that – Duo. The wall mounted Duo increases the functional characteristics of the cube. The structure is limited to the pure essence, enclosing the light sources and electronics with basic architectural geometry. Comprised of aluminium, Duo has a matt finish and is available in a variety of colours including black, white, silver and bronze. Understated elegance.
Located on a mountaintop in South Korea, and adjacent to an oak preserve, sits the Hansol Museum. After a tiring seven years of construction, this institution opened to the public this past May. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the Hansol Museum houses the private art collection of its namesake, the Hansol Group. The stone and concrete structure sits low to the ground on a large reflecting pool. The interior is constructed with concrete and contains simple light wells to lighten the stark passageways. The Hansol Museum is characteristic of Ando’s minimal, thoughtful design style. The building subtly incorporates the surrounding environment, allowing for a peaceful merging of architecture, art, and nature.
The Fukasawa House, located in a suburb of Tokyo, looks simple and unassuming from the street. On the interior, however, this home is a design marvel. Designed by Japanese based architects MDS, the house experiments with the characteristics and limitations of wooden structures. Fukasawa House uses V-shaped posts to support beams constructed from common timber. This arrangement allows for a open, large rooms that are divided by the wooden posts rather than solid walls. Wood framed structures are often an obstacle for modern designers. MDS took this obstacle and turned it into a playful, daring structure. The use of wood in this home allows for an aesthetically pleasing environment. But the ideas behind this residence are the true driving force of the design.