Jasper Morrison designed his iconic Air Chair for production by Magis in 2001. I recently bought a few of these for my new apartment and it surprises me how well the design has held up over the years. Coining—in conjunction with Takashi Okutani—the term ‘super normal’ to describe the kind of work he aims to produce as a designer, these chairs certainly do seem to be nothing special on first (and second) glance, but nonetheless exude an atmosphere of quiet, grace and honesty through their simplicity. One of the first significant pieces of furniture design to apparently use injection blow moulding technology, this chair is crafted from polypropylene with added glass fibre and is stackable. The chair has several variations (the Folding Air-Chair and the Air-Chair with arms) and is accompanied by the Air-Table and the Air TV table.
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Undoubtedly many of us have been keeping an eye on the time during our New Year celebrations, and so I thought it fitting (being the first post of 2013 here on Minimalissimo) to feature this beautiful impetus for reading the time. Designed by Minimalissimo-favorite Naoto Fukasawa for production by Magis in 2011, Tempo is a plastic wall-clock that has an all-white ground with details punctuated by a single color (orange, brown, black or grey). Despite the absence of a second-hand, the clock makes an audible ticking sound. Its graphic (almost drawn-like) quality, the rounded shapes used on the face and the use of depth give this otherwise minimalist piece a softness and playfulness that I very much enjoy. For Magis, Fukasawa also designed a reductionist cuckoo clock, titled Cu-Clock.
A modern, minimalist take on the traditional Rocking Horse by renowned industrial designer Marc Newson results in Rocky, a much-loved child’s product reinvented in its technology. Abstracted from its ubiquitous form, Rocky maintains the original function in a parallelogram motion beneath its mold, attached to a non-protruding base that appears safer and sturdier than its traditional inspiration. Rounded edges with smooth contours add to both the minimalist design as well as making it less hazardous for the extra active user. What makes this design of a minimalist Rocking Horse successful isn’t just how attractive it is, but also because the experience has appeared to be improved. While the traditional rocking horse may not be dangerous per se, Rocky won’t crush any toes nor let anyone fall off, allowing the design of a simple gold rein in place of the typical handles. Even though the forward and backward ‘rock’ may not be simulated exactly, I am really interested to see the parallelogram motion which sounds more realistic of a horse on its four legs. Made out of recycled polyethylene, Rocky is durable and recyclable. It will soon be available in brown, white and black for purchase through Magis.
Brainstorming in the offices of Agentur Loop, an Austrian Digital Advertising agency, might be the pinnacle of envy for most if not all creative types. Headquartered in Salzburg, huge chalk board walls display and incubate ideas that are supplemented by a table football (foosball), an electric guitar corner, socializing in the bistro and lounge areas, an outdoor grill and even a supposed soft-serve ice cream machine. Digital Candyshop indeed. Yet the minimalistic interiors are portrayed elegantly with its clean, modern design using just black and white in the architectural finishes, the furniture and even in the toys and peripherals. Full height walls of square glass blocks on the exterior let in a lot of light and give a sense of scale to the large open-plan commercial building where the agency resides in. Modular cushioned cubes of varying heights and adjustable configurations serve as seating within an interaction space, challenging the traditional form of communication that takes place with sofas or arm chairs. The supply of award-winning furniture designer Konstatin Grcic’s Chair One in black furnishes the bistro, tying in a modern and clean socializing space. In my opinion, short of a pool and a rock-climbing wall, the office has otherwise achieved a truly...