The concept is straightforward: A simple retail space gets a wall treatment made out of a simple material of 22,000 wooden sticks. Yet the engineering behind this took customized digital tools to manage the quantity of sticks for every CNC-drilled hole on the wall, which defined the direction of each stick. Behind this concept and the new boutique for mens streetwear label MRQT in Stuttgart, Germany, is the Swiss architecture firm ROK. As described by the architects: The installation refers to the flowing forms and delicate texture of textiles and cloth. It creates a unique and sensational background for the fashion items displayed on the smoothly integrated clothes hangers. The flow of wooden sticks and subtle lighting frames a central full height mirror and forms a central “stage” for the customer. Besides the idea which inspired the unique feature wall, I love effort that went in the details of this minimalist space: how the frame to display clothes protrudes from the wall of sticks, how the mirror is backlit and adds more depth to the wall, how the rest of the walls and floors are kept calm and minimal in contrast to the warmth and energy exuded from the feature wall. The...
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The formal proportions and elements of a classically designed church is given a modern, abstract intervention by minimalist architect John Pawson. Moritzkirche, otherwise known as St Mortiz Church has survived multiple traumas of fires, wars and even changes of religion in its nearly 1000 year history in Augsburg, Germany. The abstraction of the Baroque forms is intriguing because the shapes and proportions from the cupola domes to the windows, from the nave to the apse are familiar yet appear the experience is completely different without the decorative religious elements and color. As described by the project architect, Jan Hobel: The work has involved the meticulous paring away of selected elements of the church’s complex fabric and the relocation of certain artefacts to achieve a clearer visual field. The light that enters and reflects within the reinterpretation of this church evokes a pristine, uninterrupted atmosphere that it is inevitable to find the peace that one seeks in a church. Images by Gilbert McCarragher.
The NW3 speakers by Germany based interdisciplinary collective Neue Werkstatt are designed, manufactured and distributed in close collaboration with local craftsmen and businesses.The collective tries to explore alternative forms of production and graphic shapes. Our products are simple and reticent. It is not our intention to make just beautiful forms. We are concentrated on function, comprehensibility, ecology and durability. The NW3 speakers form a natural looking and sounding HiFi system that can be used in almost every area. The drivers are from the Danish company Pearless and the housing, made of local wood, solvent-free stained and protected with natural wax, by a small carpenters workshop in Germany. The front guards are made of powder-coated steel.
The German label TSATSAS, newly established by Esther Schulze-Tsatsas and Dimitrios Tsatsas, produce elegant, contemporary and luxurious bag designs. TSATSAS bags are handcrafted in Germany, and created through a combination of materials including Calfskin leather and Lamb Nappa leather for the lining. Understated and practical, the TSASTAS collection includes Xela, a simple and striking take on the sports sack that includes multiple straps as a subtle design detail. Lucid, a well structured and elegant tote, and Niche, a small zipped tote with a handle/strap combination, all of which ultimately embody a sophistication and skill that can only serve to make each item improve with time. TSATSAS have achieved a perfect balance between function, aesthetics and execution. Stunning collection.
This simple and elegant candle holder has been created by Germany based designer Patrick Frey for homewares company Utensil. The piece is a modernized take on a Victorian hand held candlestick our ancestors used to light their way around the house. In Frey’s version, the traditional silhouette has been preserved but significantly simplified. Spike candle holder consists of two elements – a round metal plate and a meat hook, that serves both as a functional handle and a fixture for the candle. I like the effortless beauty of the piece. It is also quite practical and accommodates different diameter candles. Comes in a variety of colors.
Dutch artist Ine Vermee, based in Tilburg, has created a minimal and tranquil series of colour planes carried out in enamel on steelplate, adopting a colour sample by the well-known American architect Richard Meier (Thirty Colours 2004) and beautifully demonstrating there is not simply one kind of white. 15 Meier Whites is currently being exhibited at the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck Remagen, Germany until March 3, 2013. Vermee writes: In this exhibition my work functions as a transition between the architecture of Richard Meier and the artworks in the Arp Museum. Here the main focus is how the colours and nuances of colour relate to each other, how they emerge in successions and gradations. If you happen to visit this exhibition, be sure to share your thoughts.
Munich based multi-disciplinary designer Aurelian Hallhuber, has recently completed the design of 0/1 – a strikingly minimal book and thesis project providing an overview of the different modes of representation and ways of which binary codes can be used in the field of visual communication. Hallhuber writes: Whether it be filled content, as a design feature or as an inspiration for creative processes, showing a strong reduction of the binary code, the possibilities are hidden in the smallest details of the visual world. This German designer clearly knows his craft, which makes this book a joy to read, if only from a limited online perspective. Beyond the beautifully embossed cover, I’m really liking the choice of typography too. Gorgeous work.
This minimal desk by Germany-based designer André Schelbach is packed with clever features, allowing us to accommodate various gizmos without bringing any clutter to the equation. The piece is equipped with impressive storage arrangements, multiple power outlets and wire management components. All hidden underneath the sleek console frame. All drawers are lined with velvet (so that our precious devices can be stored scratch-free). Wires are organized via magnets, allowing running the cables through a metal frame, concealed from the view. Aside from the obvious tech-friendliness, I like how multifunctional this desk is. It can be used as an entryway item, a sofa table in the middle of the room, as well a workstation. The piece is customizable with 32 different surface materials and three leg finishes: chrome, smoked chrome, and satin chrome.
January 1st Tilman Zitzmann, a Germany based interaction and graphic designer, decided to channel his enthusiasm for minimalist graphics in an on-going personal project. Each and every day he publishes a new minimalist art piece, based on geometric shapes, on his tumble log named Geometry Daily. I get a serious flow when I draw simple shapes, combine them and experiment until they start to “sing”. Zitzmann explains that he wants to concentrate on relevant things, as our daily lives are full of noise and complex dependencies. He wants to concentrate on the idea and execute it straight-forward, without fuss. Since the start of the project he has build up an impressive collection of graphs of which I made a tiny selection attached to this post.
Minimalism takes a seductive form in leather and silk under one of Berlin’s most promising labels, Don’t Shoot The Messenger. Produced by Canadian fashion designer Jen Gilpin who is based in Germany’s hippest city at the moment, the line frequently uses both materials in juxtaposition. Leather provides structure to the fluidity of silk, designed to compliment the shape of the body in a sculptural, elegant style that is both visually striking and timeless. The label’s Autumn Winter look book of 2012 is styled with a little hint of drama from the small details of the outfits. Cut outs, asymmetry, and sheer silhouettes as well as capes, belts and collars stand out in the images. Together with the richness and texture of each material used for every outfit, I have to say that simplicity has never been less boring.
Berlin-based multidisciplinary creative hub HORT was charged with the daunting task of redesigning the identity of the icon of Modernism, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. The new identity’s elements consisted of stationery, brochures, posters, tickets, website etc., but also the redesign of the signage of Walter Gropius’ famous Bauhaus building. Given this, the studio wanted to make it clearly distinguishable what is part of the original structure and what new additions had been made. They followed the premise of strict typography and minimalist layout, standardised formats and no color. The chosen corporate typeface was Courier, the most generic and incidental typeface, in consonance with the studio’s belief that a generic design would work best in order to make the distinction between old and new. An important alteration of Courier’s “A” letter was made, saluting Herbert Brayer’s existing logo on the façade of the Bauhaus Dessau building, and the new logotype is always set vertically. We decided to search for a solution that would relate more to the original ideas of Germany’s most influential Modernist school instead of relying on the visual clichés connected to Bauhaus – it seems almost impossible to use circle, square and triangle nowadays without it coming across...
Emanuele Cecini designed the identity and branding for new creative agency, Orange Hive, based in Frankfurt, Germany. The designs included the creation of a logo, print stationary, website layout and art direction of the branding photography. The logo finds a surprising and elegant balance of lines and empty spaces, the branding is straightforward and uses a limited number of elements and information, and the pop of color provided by the orange accents gives the ensemble a nice twist, preventing it from being boring instead of the classy minimalism it achieved. I’m especially fond of the signage application!