I have long been a reader of Thisispaper Magazine, and when in late 2012 they decided to expand to the analogue world, selling a range of stunning and simplistic products, I for one, was thrilled to explore the designs. Initially launching a series of bags and rucksacks, Thisispaper Shop also recently introduced a beautiful range of kitchenware. It is however, one of their bag designs that I find to be something our Minimalissimo readers will appreciate most. The Natural Irma Bag is incredibly basic with a light linen material. Measuring 25 x 42cm, the bottom is made of nubuck leather. Other leather elements are made of vegetable-tanned natural leather. The lining is 100% cotton and features two small interior pockets and a thick cotton string. Beauty, we believe, lies in the simple objects we use everyday, without even acknowledging it.
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Building blocks are a toy box staple. They encourage creativity and help develop imagination. Designed by Laurence Calafat for Cinqpoints, a French maker of architectural stationery and toys, Archiblocks is a tremendously beautiful and minimalist construction set of building blocks. The mission of Cinqpoints is to spread contemporary architecture, so Archiblocks is designed to capture modularity, balance and composition, with an intergenerational appeal. The set contains 16 pieces, smooth to touch and with precision-cut edges and angles, made from untreated lime-wood, and then sanded by hand. They are also available in three colours: natural, black and white. Photography courtesy of Ode to Things.
It is always exciting to find innovative designers off the beaten track. Tiko Paksashvili from Tbilisi, Georgia, is such a designer. Currently working for fashion house Matériel, she created a pure, elegant Autumn/Winter 15/16 collection which radiates a warm, embracing aura. Tiko understands not only the limitations, but also the opportunities that lie in exploring the outline and volume of a silhouette. She skilfully cuts through these outlines by integrating multilayered textures and transparent elements into the outfits. The colour palette is reduced to black, white and natural hues of grey, and there seems to be only one pattern: subtle window check. My personal favourites are the outfits which combine soft winterly padded clothes with transparent layers, creating their very own patterns just by combination.
Agata Bieleń’s collaboration with Mosses Lichen sees the launch of a nature inspired line. The Nature Line Collection is, as the name suggests, mused by nature and the organic and seamless lines that result. Available in a sterling silver finish, all pieces are subtle lines of irregularly shaped geometries for adornment. The feint and light-weightedness of the collection is typical of Bieleń, and her style, and this collection is no exception. This collection sees a launch from her traditional, more rigid geometries and sees her exploring natural materials and fauna as inspiration. Based in Poland, the emphasis is on round and soft forms which opposes her traditional style. Inspired by water lilies floating on the pond surface and spreading aquatic circles, organic and light objects adapt to the part of the female body discreetly emphasizing their shape and beauty. Handcrafted and playing on the cross-over of modernity and natural form, this collection is a beautiful addition. Photography courtesy of Marta Zgierska, Michał Matejko and Mchy Porosty.
Faire Chaolais is a lovely holiday home located on the coast of Morar, Scotland. Designed by Dualchas Architects, this small home frames the views of the coast’s peaceful beaches and stunning skies. The structure of Faire Chaolais is unique: a long rectangle with a traditional roof partially cantilevers over a hillside. Under the gabled roof the structure is partially recessed to create room for an unobtrusive balcony. A lower story is tucked into the hillside under the cantilever. The living spaces are located on the upper floor, capitalizing on the sunlight and landscape views. The bedrooms rest below in the smaller and more private rooms buried partially underground. The furnishings are limited to the necessities; just the things one would need for a weekend getaway. I love the form of this house. It is dramatic and exciting, yet still simple enough to not disrupt its natural landscape. What more could one want in a holiday house?
Inkster Maken’s Eclipse Wall Light epitomises what combined tradition, method and passion can spawn. Hailing from South Australia, the vision and hands behind the label, draws from designer Hugh Altschwager’s background and rural upbringing to create a beautiful collection of hand-made illumination pieces. The Eclipse Wall Light is a wall sconce light made from locally sourced limestone, measuring 275mm in diameter and 150mm deep. Altschwager notes both Nordic local influences to his work, with regard to using traditional methods and local materials to refinement. Altschwager’s background in architecture and construction project management saw him recognise an opportunity in a bespoke niche market. Inkster Maken, conceived in 2013 was intended to utilise totally locally sourced natural unprocessed materials to create long lasting products with a timeless northern European aesthetic. All pieces of the collection are made to order, based on demand, and are designed and hand-crafted in Melbourne, Victoria. The Eclipse Wall Light and the overt attention to detail and nod to tradition, are to be revered. Photography courtesy of Inkster Maken.
Overlooking the seaside in Greece is the elegant Villa Melana. Created by local designers Panagiotis Papassotiriou and Valia Foufa, the focal point of the home is the spectacular view of the sea and sky. Each of the main living areas was designed to take in the stunning Greek environment, and the materials used were carefully selected to incorporate the home into the natural landscape. On the exterior, rough stone walls tie the home in with the rocky surrounding landscape. Bright white walls contrast with the stone façade. The white walls also reflect the sun, which helps the house stay cool in the dry heat. Climate-appropriate landscaping, wood terraces, and stone paths create an inviting outdoor atmosphere. The stone continues on the interior, providing a welcome connection to the landscape outside. Walls of glass provide a view to the pool while sleek doors open to a covered terrace. Adjacent to the terrace, the infinity pool pairs perfectly with the soft Mediterranean water. Just imagine the lazy days and perfect nights at this seaside getaway. What could be more perfect?
Rob Kennon Architects designed this lovely family home located in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Burnley House is a perfect example of beautiful and liveable modern design. The home is divided into private and public areas, distinguished by a clever use of materials. The public areas of are filled with airy materials and a plethora of natural light, while the private rooms are smaller, darker, and cozy. The large and open great room features tall ceilings and a stretch of white cabinetry. Long, sleek windows occupy a position on every wall and wood floors bring a pleasant texture into the room. In the bedrooms, the walls are clad in a deep brown wood and the floors are covered with soft rugs. The mix of materials in Burnley House is flawless. Concrete, wood, black-framed windows, and smooth white surfaces are incorporated throughout the home, creating visual interest and continuity of design. I love how the furnishings completely compliment the surfaces and textures of the structure. Every piece of Burnley House is seamlessly pulled together, creating a structure any family would be lucky to call home.
Architecture infused with natural form: That is how Los Angeles based designer Zaid Affas describes the Spring/Summer 2015 collection of his eponymous label. Luxurious fabrics from the mills of Japan, Europe and Great Britain come in clear but warm colors, such as off white, cream and dark sand, matched with austere silhouettes in black and distressed silver. I’m very much taken by the decisive message of the Zaid Affas’ work, which is perfectly conveyed by the very sunny yet austere imagery of the current collection. The architectural silhouettes are presented by the models like sculptures from an ancient culture, while heat and weathering seem to refine the surface of the fabrics in a unique way. It’s a perfect balance between ease and severity.
Flood installation by Alban Guého has been selected to participate in Paris in the next nuit blanche festival. The theme for this year is the climate echoing the COP 21 to be held in December 2015. A project with a minimalist look focusing on an essential matter for the planet. In recent years many extreme natural phenomena took place in the world with a frequency that is accelerating. The history of Paris has also experienced remarkable weather conditions including in 1910 with an exceptional flood that inundated much of the town and paralyzed public transport. This phenomenon of heavy precipitation remained, and over 100 years on should become more frequent due to the current climate change. Flood serves as a reminder of the fragility of our planet. This installation is composed of two overlying structures, placed opposite to one another on the floor and ceiling, connected by a series of PVC sections. A black liquid, either oil or paint, will be pumped through the PVC representing the slow and continuous degradation of natural elements and resources. A strong impression. A strong message. Support this beautiful project on Kickstarter.
Experiments in Natural Philosophy is Australian artist Todd Robinson‘s latest exhibition, having just wrapped up at the Galerie Pompom in Sydney, where large balloon sculptures combine a form of proto-engineering with weird yet wonderful studies in comparative materiality. This new body of work draws on an ongoing series of balloon inspired sculptures featured in his previous exhibitions, which feature balloons that droop and slump as the force of gravity appears to bear down upon them, presenting Robinson’s inquiry into sculptural presence, materiality and conditions of audience reception. In conceiving this body of work, Robinson references the history of science and Natural Philosophy, a predecessor of modern science that had yet to dismiss the concept of nature, rendering imaginary forces visible of which we are unaware, yet appear natural to conventional observation.
Situated in Paço de Arcos, a seaside neighborhood of Lisbon, this beautiful and entirely white house, designed by Jorge Mealha architect, proposes an arrangement of several solids trying to attenuate the overall mass due to a huge functional program requested by the client. A very functionalist approach. The result is a dialogue between a range of different solids and voids, using light to draw or reflect on the surfaces, proposing a changeable reading of space and volumes during the day. The metal screening/shading devices create large smooth textured surfaces on the façade of the house, emphasizing forms and controlling the relationships between indoor and outdoor, or between external and internal spaces. The staircase and main corridor are finished in white painted metal, which are slightly detached from the walls, leaving opportunity for natural light to pass in between. Pure minimalism at its best. Photography by Jorge Mealha.