Minimalissimo


Search results for “Japan”

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!


Located in Abiko, part of Chiba prefecture, stands a fractal-like structure completely alien to its surrounding premises. A modern and futuristic white residential building, designed by Japanese architecture firm fuse-atelier, graces the neighborhood with a sense of drama and originality. The building boasts beautiful large glass panels on both extremities, albeit hiding inside a striking concrete monocoque and panels from passers-by. The living room sets the tone for the rest of the house, an obligatory passage way and link throughout every ambient. It’s interesting to note the modular-like quality the project defines every function, from the kitchen to the bedrooms. The sense of perception and depth is toyed with on this modernist project, presenting an aesthetic parallel to German Expressionists set designs in movies. The theatrical strength of the concrete walls are clear, with unusual angles and shadows drawn all through the day. The gallery stands tall and absolute as a firm minimalist presence, even if future owners take the interior design to a rustic or traditional style. It sets the mind at ease knowing the owners are more than satisfied with sharp contemporary design to furnish it. This house is in good hands. Photography by Shigeru Fuse.


Simple and straightforward projects are the solution for crowded work environments, such as the usual chaotic and busy beauty parlour. Japanese architect Hiroyuki Miyake took on the challenge to design TROOVE — a space fit for one lone stylist to take care of his salon, with all the benefits a minimalist space can bring to the daily hustle and effortless style for the clientèle to enjoy. Building upon a concrete structure, Miyake makes good use of Japanese oak to endow the salon and map out each space to its function. The charming reception and waiting room; the main styling room and the shampoo booth; each one cleverly distinct from one another. Kudos to the beautiful folding screen made in galvanized iron, inserting lightness into a big visual feature. Since the 2011 earthquake, several power saving policies were put into practice, directly altering the daily life and perception of darkness and how much it is necessary to live by. The archetypal Japanese paper lamps plays a remarkable role as the gatekeepers of this charming salon. The shadow play and well defined light project spread throughout is symbolic of smart adaptation to a new reality and, remarkably, a nod to the past.


Poster is an interesting new project developed by the Japanese studio YOY. It is a series of minimalistic wall lamps that appear as a basic A2-sized poster — a great example of simple and smart design with few elements and an abundance of creativity. The shape of the lamp shade is created in the middle of a sheet of paper with several cuts, to fix to a wall with tape or pins like a poster. The lamp also features a small LED light that is hidden beneath the paper. The final result is quite incredible, whether on white or black, and the ability to print various colours and patterns can onto the surface is an added bonus.


GOBLANK is an independent design label established in 2013 by Meerim Kim. A sombre appearance in its all black répertoire, the 2015 Spring Summer collection is partly influenced by Japanese avant-garde designers. Its lithe, feminine forms of bell sleeve tops and cocoon coats; 60s mod and bat-winged dresses; A-line and accordion skirts are all familiar yet the inherent beauty of GOBLANK’s story lies in the details that sit quietly in the folds, layers and silhouettes of the entirely black collection. When asked about her inspiration behind the brand and the collection, the Seoul-based designer shared in a heavy yet beautiful realization of her own mortality upon turning 30 years of age. It is a manifestation of all the emotions Meerim experienced in isolating herself from her feelings:  the fear comes from becoming an adult, every process of life and death, the feeling that wants to disappear and the emptiness. Basically my looks are simple, have not much details but they have dark and heavy atmosphere with only a few lines. It’s about a square and the compositions of a square, in some way they comfort me. The idea that minimalism as an expression can be a providence that relieves and reassures through design is what makes this brand and collection so poignant and beautiful.


With a penchant for honest, aesthetic, clean and tactile design, Tokyo based designer Kazushige Miyake is no stranger to Minimalissimo, and towards the end of last year designed an air purifier for Japanese company Muji. Featuring a dual counter fan and 360°dust collection and deodorizing filter, this air purifier quickly removes matter suspended in the air. The outer casing of the product has a cylindrical shape in line with that of the filter. Air is drawn in from around the air purifier and clean air is emitted from the top of the device. Less junk in the air means more oxygen to breathe. The smart cylindrical design, not dissimilar to Apple’s Mac Pro, is sleek, simple and discreet, shying away from the typical bulky and unnatractive purifier appliances. Lovely work. Photography courtesy of Muji and Goichi Kondo.


Masahiko Maruyama who is behind the Japanese label Nude:MM created a delectable menswear Fall Winter 2014 collection. It is a monochromatic collection where architectural influences convolute trendy proportions of sportswear and smart casual in a mix of wool, linen twill and nylon. Exploring with layers and details of hoods, vests, lapels and belts, Maruyama presents a strong story of minimalist appeal and the familiar comfort of well-tailored menswear in his designs. Structured pliable piping at the coat hoods and adjustable slide-buckle cinch belts are some of the details that stand out in this collection made entire in Japan. This is too beautiful a collection to skip even though I discovered this late in the year. Photography by Masaru Tanaka.


After a break of three years from the fashion business, Japanese designers Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode teamed up again to present an intellectual, powerful womenswear collection under the name of HYKE in Autumn 2013. While there is relatively little information to be found about the brand on the western web, the news available is impressive. HYKE produced an amazingly tight fashion video, created a capsule collection for the British luxury brand Mackintosh and will present its adidas originals collaboration in Spring 2015. The current HYKE collection totally wins me over with its serious, no-nonsense attitude, while still playing around with uncommon silhouettes and experimental prints. Nevertheless, the minimalist attitude is quite strong in every outfit. HYKE manages to stay simple and still convey a very peculiar and idiosyncratic approach towards fashion.


Quite often Asian-inspired pharmacies are portrayed as spaces filled with dark wood, cabinets, shelves, and numerous remedies — resulting in a colourful but raucous experience for anyone but the owner. Unsurprisingly, Japanese design office id brings forward a simple and elegant updated embodiment for the Acupuncture & Pharmacy combo at SUMIYOSHIDO. A daring mint green color and clean lines fills Kampo Lounge; thus creating an ample and pleasant space for the staff and clientele. A perfect balance of the staple wall-to-wall to shelves filled with jars of medicine and contemporary touches while maintaining a strong identity as an archetypal pharmacy. On the other side of the shop sits a beautifully lit clinic for acupuncture and moxibustion treatments, making for a fresh and calming ambient for the patients. Updated versions of classic structures is a tricky territory, many times falling into unnecessary deconstructions. id skilfully averted that fate and decided to offer their clients outstanding solutions taking into account heritage and legacy, whilst keeping an eye on the end result: to resignify the experience with respect to old traditions.


Kai — @wk.ai — is a Malaysian born architectural intern, currently working in Tokyo, Japan. Today we speak to Kai and gain an insight into his wonderfully captured Instagram collection, which primarily focuses on minimalism in architecture. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? My collection is about decontextualising architecture and challenges the boundary between buildings and abstraction. Architecture become axiomatic objects in my photos, which turn our attention from judging the structural quality to the appreciation of atmosphere and pure feelings. To me the album is also a dictionary of architectural language that awaits new and broader implementation. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I spend most of my weekends hunting for architecture and visiting art galleries in Tokyo. It is a very admirable and inspiring city as it is so recognisable and successful in interpreting modern culture with their own dialect, which many cities are still in search of. But my stay in Tokyo triggers my aspiration, as an urbanite, for tranquility; that is why my photos tends to be isolated from its context. When and how do you decide to take a photo? I’ve been travelling around Europe. Taking photographs is a way of...


Located in a residential area of the northwestern part of Takashima, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, lies a beautifully minimalist white structure. On the first floor is an aesthetic dental clinic White Essence Takashima and on the second floor an aesthetic salon — Salon de M. Following his client’s requirements, designer Ryutaro Matsuura explains: The building can give the neighbourhood a sense of affinity and good impressions as a symbolic object in the town. The interior offers a the space that is enclosed by four buildings into a void area with a top light. It was turned into a comfortable place with natural light. Perforated metal screens are fixed on the outside of the windows of the first floor treatment rooms to set up buffer spaces bridging the inside and outside. This made the cozy treatment spaces with soft daylight and patient privacy. Waiting in a dental surgery has never been so pleasant. We hope that this building will endear itself to the town’s people and be nurtured by them as a new landmark of the town. In this Japanese town, a visit to the dentist will no longer a daunting experience.


I was recently introduced to Taiwan based design studio, Chi and Chi. The studio has a strong minimalist aesthetic, designing everyday objects with content and purpose, and with simple functions in their essential forms. A standout design? This striking Polygon watch. The Polygon watch is a modern and unique timepiece with special geometric features in shape. The elements on the watch are designed with simple geometrical forms consistently and unlike the usual round contours of regular watches. The 24-cut case and dial present the time in a distinctive aesthetic way, which enriches the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight. Featuring a 316L stainless steel case housing a precise Japanese movement and a durable genuine calf-leather strap, the Polygon timepiece is a unisex watch available in three colour combinations — silver/grey, gold/black, and gold/brown. I particularly like the grey. Absolutely beautiful.