Milan based architect and industrial designer Monica Armani, internationally recognised by the precision of geometry, the purity and consistency of her work, designed in 2010 the minimalist, sleek and stunning WGS Stool for Italian furniture brand, Gallotti&Radice. The WGS Stool is designed in bright stainless steel as well as embossed white or grey aluminium, which can be covered by felt, 3D Tex, leather, suede or fabric in a variety of colours and patterns. Measuring 45 x 30 x 45 cm, the low stool is a simple and subtle piece of furniture that would surely compliment any contemporary interior. I really enjoy the thinness of the design, its smooth rounded corners, and the iced 3D Tex finish is particularly beautiful.
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Low Table is a series of solid wood low tables, created by the Belgian designer Marina Bautier for her own furniture and products brand, MA. After ten years of working in the furniture industry, it felt like the right time for the launch of my own label along with its own retail space. MA is short for ‘Marina’, it coincidentally means ‘the space in between’ in Japanese, a translation fitting well with the brand’s ethos. MA was launched recently, with all product manufacturing taking place in Belgium. What is clear to me from these table designs is the incredible quality and care taken, producing a quite beautiful finish to each piece. I am certainly excited to see how this brand develops.
A living space where the presence of the family would always be felt. This brief from the client led Keiichi Kiriyama of Airhouse Design Office to design this single family house located in Yoro, Gifu Prefecture, a steel structure that allows an expansive open living space with no columns. Complimenting the open-concept kitchen , dining and living areas specified for the food-loving owners, minimalist details of the interior finishes and exposed structure enable the brightness and uniformity in the very large space. The private spaces of bedrooms and bathrooms are designed within a box-like structure with the children’s bedroom and play area above it. What I am drawn to most about this project is that the architect addresses the needs of the client first and foremost in the living requirements and cost efficiency. Constructed to minimize heat loss and improve insulation especially in the challenging open-concept interiors, it maintains a consistent design aesthetic throughout with a few welcomed surprises in color for the private spaces, giving this family home the spatial experience it wants and the personality it needs. Images and text courtesy of Keiichi Kiriyama of Airhouse Design Office. Photography by Toshiyuki Yano
Australian designer Dion Lee’s 2013 Ready to Wear Fall collection is, in a word, beautiful. As an emerging talent, launched recently into the design scene, first in Australia, and now capturing fans globally, his work is modern verses classic, structured verses fluid, understated verses arresting. His most recent contribution to the world of adornment is his 2013 Ready To Wear Fall 2013 collection, which is a fusion of the evolution of him as designer thus far. Typically known for his feature of neoprene shapes, 3-dimensional printing, recently launching a line with glow-in-the-dark string dresses, this collection is said to have been not as flashy as the last one. However, I see the further experimentation, with the technique of felting wool into mesh, as a continuation of his aesthetic journey. I see the restraint as a obvious development also. He gave a bit of unexpected lift to certain silhouettes. Lee is a rigorous thinker. I am unashamedly in lust with Dion Lee’s work, and rightfully proud of his Australian roots also. Images Courtesy of Style.com
I love the vibrant colored sleeves by reWrap. The sleeves are created according to the Cradle to Cradle principle. This means: 100% reusable materials, 100% renewable energy and 100% social production. The sleeves are made of felt (98%) and yarn (2%) and are fully biodegradable. To avoid unnecessary use of materials for the label, the logo is stamped into the sleeve, a nice detail. By time the logo will slowly fade. The makers expected the use time to be 5 years and after use your sleeve will turn into compost rather than waste. The sleeves – available for laptop, Macbook, iPad and iPhone – are sewn together in a small Amsterdam located workshop that provides employment to people with a handicap.
Lasso shoes, created by young French designer Gaspard Tiné-Berès, are a thing of simplicity that goes beyond the aesthetics. Made from a single piece of natural wool felt, they are shipped flat, which reduces shipping cost and storage space. The shoes acquire their 3D form through a simple 2D geometry and easy assembly. Here is how designer describes the concept: The slippers are delivered flat-packed for assembly by the user by “sewing” the seams with the standard laces supplied in a colour of their choice. The act of self-assembling the slippers increases the sense of ownership and emotional connection with them and allows for personalisation through the choice of laces used. The Lasso shapes are die-cut from sheets of 5mm thick felt with minimal and affordable tooling - making this product very suitable for small-scale local production. Simple design and simple business idea… A great example of shoestring wisdom! The Lasso shoes go on sale at the Tiné-Berès’ dedicated site starting this September.
If you happen to be in New York, do consider seeing Doug Wheeler’s light and space installation at the David Zwirner Gellery in Chelsea. It might reveal many new and fascinating things about the way you see, experience and perceive reality. And the best part: you will participate in this experiment both as a subject and as an observer… Doug Wheeler (b. 1939) is a pioneer of the so-called “Light and Space” movement that flourished in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s. His works appeared in such venues as Tate gallery, London (1970), Salvatore Ala Gallery, Milan (1975), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1983), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2000) and many others. The installation I saw on the weekend was ambiguously titled SA MI 75 DZ NY 12. It is a large scale exhibit that brings you as close to stepping into the void as a person can get without enduring any imminent danger. You enter the white oblivion and walk toward what you know is the back wall. The shape of the room and the special way it is lit eliminate any depth perception. You feel that your eyes are failing you, all you can see is the...
On my last post of this year, I would like to wish you a Merry Chistmas and a Happy New Year 2012 with this Wood Christmas Tree. It is a design by the Finnish studio Verso Design, specialised in interior products of personal design and high quality. The design is a great example of simple Scandinavian design with the ornaments made in felt and a candle on the top. It has been edited and produced by A+R.
This beauty of an office was created by i29 architects for Tribal DDB Amsterdam, a digital marketing agency of approximately 80 people. And as it often happens with the creative workspaces – there were many contradictory aspects to consider. The space needed to be open enough to support collaborative exchange, yet quiet enough to provide privacy and allow concentration. The design had to be cool and playful, yet serious and professional at the same time. The solution came in the use of fabric. Designers explain: It is playful, and can make a powerful image on a conceptual level, it is perfect for absorbing sound and therefore it creates privacy in an open space. There is probably no other material which can be used on floors, ceiling, walls and to create pieces of furniture and lampshades then felt. It’s also durable, acoustic, fireproof and environment friendly. Felt also adds texture, balances out the monochromatic color scheme, and creates surfaces that are pleasant to the touch. It is amazing how many design questions can be answered with one well though out gesture.
Software development agency Dark Heartfelt have created Grandview – a fully customisable and incredibly simple notepad, which allows for one-word-at-a-time-text-entry. By pressing a hotkey from any application on Mac, one can quickly enter a full-screen writing experience. The notepad allows the user to view text word by word, sentence by sentence, but also as a full page. Grandview is custimisable in the sense that the user has the option to change the font colour, size and face as well as the background colour. It can also operate in clean slate mode so that every time it is activated it clears the user’s previous entry. There is no doubting the originality of Grandview and as a distraction-free, uninterupted writing environment, it certainly amplifies efficiency. Perhaps not as sleek as other writing software, but it is very inexpensive. Well executed and well worth a try. Watch this video to see how it works.
If minimalism is about exercising restraint, then Raf Simons is one of the best in the business. Just like his recent mens wear line, his minimalist approach to color in the Jil Sander Spring 2011 RTW line is phenomenal. There are so many things to love about this line, but of note I adore the way crisp tailoring is contrasted with the baggy, ‘oversized’ look that Raf is known for in his Raf by Raf Simons line of clothing for men. The way stripes have been employed also give Daniel Buren a run for his money. In a recent interview in Man About Town, Raf Simons states: I know that Jil worked around very little, but it was shocking to go through the archives and see how much her designs had aged. It was no longer modern. I felt the brand needed to be a little more conceptual — to break out. It needed to break its own rules in order to stand any chance in the long run — with or without me.
Drevviken House is a minimalist abode in Sweden that practically disappears into its natural surroundings. The amazing architects at Claesson Koivisto Rune constructed the house with concrete slab and white stucco concrete. The structure of the house accommodates the natural foundation of the site, leaving the land untouched. Situated near a lake, the architects felt it was important to arrange the windows so that the best view would be provided. There are three different floor levels of its interior to match the surface of the surrounding typography. Photography by Louise Billgert.