Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. British minimalist architect John Pawson has designed a ribbon to support the disaster relief effort, following the earthquake and tsunami, earlier this month. Electronic version of the design is available to download for attachment to websites and emails. A donation can be made online. I would like to express my love, respect and admiration to the Japanese population. Stay strong!
Search results for “Japan”
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 construction. The plain concrete 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.
Fusion are two wonderful wooden knives developed by the Italian designer Andrea Ponti. They are available in two sizes and colors, and also two types of blade for different uses: serrated and non-serrated. They have been made as a limited edition by Issei Hanaoka, an artist and craftsman from Japan. The combination of industrial design, craftsmanship and cultures has certainly proved to be a successful one, as Ponti explains: Two cultures and two design languages usually far apart from one another blend in the common language of design and tell the story of a project that spans from research to the creation of innovative products for markets around the world. This design and cultural blend produced Fusion. Both knives feature ergonomic grips and the packaging is a re-design of the traditional Japanese boxes called kiribako, that enclose and protect them form humidity.
Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s collaborations with the architects behind his spaces are always incredibly compatible with his distinctive creative direction. His most recent boutique is an extension by Tokujin Yoshioka who is also designed the original store. Known as a Reality Lab, this new retail project is supposed to emulate the shopping experience in a laboratory, which I suppose could be interpreted as the way things are organized in this clean, minimalist space. Designated areas have color blocks of blue and green, leaving the rest of the interiors mostly white with exposed, unfinished wooden joists and raw concrete walls. Products are organized according to color and sectioned by category (garments vs Bao Bao bags vs IN-EI lamps) while they are located in areas designed specifically for them. The details that caught my eye were how the functions of the store have been deliberately concealed. The hangers are hidden behind a deep cove so the clothes appear floating beneath a long color band; the cashier’s desk is devoid of any information and direction; mirrors are frameless and nondescript so they pretend to be an extension of the space. This retail project has a lot more depth and layers than it appears to be,...
Urban Oasis’ Still House Collection is a new take on the traditional drinking vessel and serving accompaniment. The beautifying of the everyday through materiality and finish, offer an element of occasion through form. Designed in New York City, the collection is distributed both locally and internationally and has a growing consumer base. The pieces are a combination of glazed and raw ceramic elements that are intended to bring a sense of calm and simplicity. Exhibited and sold through Still House in New York, Urban Oasis has created a collection that is both accessible, considered and embedded with deliberate minimalist detail. There is an organic quality to the forms also, playing with light and illumination through the materiality. Open since May 2011, Still House is a vehicle for emerging designers across New York, Japan, Scandinavia and Europe and is a blend between shop and gallery where they pride themselves on being a place to find new art and design talent. Nestled in East Village, I applaud the launching pad they offer for local artists and the quality and accessibility to designed pieces they offer the end user. Photography courtesy of Still House.
100 Colors is a solo exhibition created by the French-born and Tokyo-based architect Emmanuelle Moureaux, as part of the 17-day art event Shinjuku Creators Festa 2013. As its name suggests, the installation is formed of 100 different hues of color along 840 sheets of paper neatly suspended from the ceiling, which were provided by leading Japanese paper manufacturer Takeo. The whole combination creates an amazing volume of vibrant color where each sheet creates a gradual transition to the next. Beneath the installation there are bean bags to invite visitors to watch and admire the piece from different perspectives. The 100 colors are also featured on the wall in small circles, allowing the visitors to indicate their preference in color.
House in Shimamoto is located in a busy residential neighborhood in Osaka, Japan. Container Design, based in Kobe, Japan, designed the simple home with the goal of connecting the residents with nature while maintaining privacy from near-by neighbors. The home is comprised of three basic materials: steel, glass, and timber. White galvanized steel plates cover the facade, protecting the retreat from the crowded street. On the north side of the home, large glass windows bring in natural light and offer a peak at the mountainous landscape. Timber is used throughout the interior: the ceiling and wall beams are exposed and the floor alternates between a solid and slatted wood pattern. I love the restricted use of materials in this home. The steel, glass, and wood feel complimentary yet still maintain an interesting contrast. House in Shimamoto is a no-fuss home that is sure to please anyone lucky enough to reside there.
Sekino Architects Office brings an absolute celebration of concrete to its combined House + Office structure in Tokyo. Staying true to the aesthetic that has become typified of Japanese architectural form, this structure is one of absolute minimalism. The clean lines and open voids acting as internal courtyards connect spaces through bridges and uninterrupted rail-work. Comprised of reinforced concrete and glass, House + Office sits on a site just over 800 sqm, providing a very generous, particularly for Japanese standards, 550 sqm of internal floor area. Both the House and Office components of this beauty seem to coexist in an effortless harmony. There is also an overt zen-ness to this space and the experience of moving throughout. This is an applauding example of Sekino Architects Office’s consistent discipline and restrained deliberation. Photography courtesy of Hiroyuki Hirai.
All four walls of the Light Walls House in Aichi, Japan are nearly void of windows. Yet the interior of this home is surprisingly bright. Natural light pours down from strategically placed skylights in the exposed wooden beam ceiling. Designed by mA-style Architects, the shady site made introducing sunlight into the home quite difficult. The well-designed skylights distribute and direct the light throughout the structure. Lovely light patterns are formed on the floors and walls, creating natural artwork that changes throughout the day. Freestanding white boxes, accessible only by ladder, form private spaces above the ground floor. Light Walls House solves a common problem with a beautiful solution. I love the how all the elements in this home work together to enhance the natural light. The hidden rooms and built in furnishings allow the home to maintain a sleek, pulled-together aesthetic.
The Fuji vase has been designed by Netherlands based studio toer for Belgian brand Serax. The piece is only seven centimeters high, yet, thanks to its low center of mass and relatively wide ground surface, it can easily hold a flower up to one meter high. Here is how designers explain their concept: The Fuji vase puts the focus on the flower itself. The porcelain vase serves as a steady base from which the flower can flourish. It draws the attention to the flower’s ability to delicately grow towards the sun. I love the subtle humour of the piece. Named after the highest mountain in Japan, the vase is intentionally tiny comparing to the flower it supports. I also quite like the fact that this shape allows displaying flowers diagonally and thus creating many different effects. The Fuji vase is made of porcelain and comes in six different colours.
The Australian label Bassike is well known for their structured collections that emulate both minimalism as well as the carefree attitude of beach living. In their Spring Summer 2013 Women’s Campaign, each piece appears well tailored while looking relaxed; chic in the minimal palette and elegant in forms and material. Reputed for using high quality in material and an emphasis on local production, Deborah Sams and Mary-Lou Ryan, the duo behind the label, always design with comfort in mind for both sexes: The beauty of bassike is its appeal to men and women whose easy-going style still requires an element of subtle luxury. Bassike’s very specific aesthetic is influenced by the contrasts of loose australian beach style and the integrity and simplicity of japanese design. Draw-string and dropped-crotch pants have not looked any more stylish on women with Birkenstock sandals. This collection Bassike has taken relaxed luxury to another level.
House K may look small from the street, but this intelligent design is large enough to house two families. With a maximum width of a mere seven feet, House K stretches into the sky to create additional square footage. Designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects, this home achieves a comfortable living space by utilizing towers and space-saving staircases. Two thirty foot towers are connected by a central hall. Each tower holds the living areas for one family, allowing for privacy as well as connectivity. I appreciate this housing concept: two distinct but coupled spaces allow for an extended family to live in sync. The combination of wood and concrete is also lovely: the wood evokes the memory of traditional Japanese homes, while the concrete is distinctly modern. House K’s thoughtful design is a solution I hope we can see more of in multi-family housing.