Minimalissimo


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The Squarespace Note iPhone and iPad app, designed by Squarespace, Inc., is a simple and intuitive way to capture thoughts, ideas, inspirations, and transfer them to various services. The app syncs seamlessly with email, Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, Facebook and your Squarespace account, should you have one. It does all that in a clean minimalist interface, which is a thing of beauty in itself. What is interesting about the app is that it’s not used as a database, but a passthrough. It becomes the first place you go to send a note or a reminder to yourself. Squarespace Note helps anyone record their ideas on the fly. Writers, bloggers, and others can use the app to record inspiration and ideas as they happen. The lightweight mobile app immediately loads a blank canvas when it’s launched. Unbranded, black and white feel lets you concentrate on content, not presentation.  I love how seamless Squarespace Note is. Everything is done with minimum effort on the user’s part. Uncomplicated usability that fully matches app’s minimalist looks.


dOCUMENTA (13) — 100-notes-100-thoughts are a series of 100 notebooks designed by Italian design company Leftloft and published by German art house Hatje Cantz, in order to mark the occasion of this year’s edition of the 100-day arts festival that takes place in Germany once every five years and will be running in Kassel from June 9 until 16 September. Comprised of facsimiles of existing notebooks, commissioned essays, collaborations, and conversations of artists, scientists, philosophers, linguists, psychologists economists and political theorists involved in the event, the notebooks appear in three different formats (A6, A5, B5) and range from 16 to 48 pages in length. The idea is to document and share the musings and thought processes of many influential figures, in a true It’s the journey that matters philosophy, as said by the organizers: A note is a trace, a word, a drawing that all of a sudden becomes part of thinking, and is transformed into an idea. Bold colors and understated typography make these books into simple and desirable objects… I’d want one of each!


New York based DBA comes with The Endless Notebook. A notebook that can be grouped with notebooks due to a specially designed pocket on the front cover. Combine the notebook with other Endless Notebooks, an existing diary or Moleskine notebook. The Endless Notebook is available in a ruled or a blank edition.


(This is the second of a series of two posts) Examine a paper notebook. Mostly, it captures our dreams around ideas. As if doodling on a notepad would be the happiest activity on earth. Detour notepad global exhibition, including fifty Moleskine notebooks showcased the creative discipline of architects, designers, and artists in 2009. Japanese product designer, Naoto Fukasawa’s notebook was featured. Mr. Fukasawa’s Moleskine notebook sketches show the main attributes of his creative philosophy: Simplicity, objectivity, and modesty. He believes we can live with fewer objects. Instead of creating new forms, he feels we should rethink how objects are used. Some of Mr. Fukasawa’s iconic work includes a wall-mounted MUJI CD player and a humidifier for ±0 (Plus Minus Zero). “I want to design the unnoticeable.” says Naoto Fukasawa. And no more. Call it human simplicity.


Nendo have designed, for their own brand by | n, a new stationery collection. The collection consists of eleven minimalist items: the flip pen, contrast ruler, circle tags, link clips, rubber bands, outline tray, cross pen-stand, peel pen-case, hard cover memo-pad, edge note and the dot envelope. I would like to feature four items that caught my eye: Contrast ruler A minimalist ruler with marking fading from white to black, making the ruler easy to read on dark and light surfaces. Circle tag Normal sticky notes can be easily ripped off. The pie chart shaped notes however will stay in place for a long period of time thanks to an increased sticky surface and reduced number of corners. Link clip The link clips, made of high frictional paper, come connected and are detached one by one for use. Desktops keep tidy and they can be recycled along with the paper. Edge notes The edge notebooks have a colourful edge to help with filling. Filed with the spine outwards the books present a neat appearance, filed with the edges outwards the books are distinguishable by colour. Pages of the books are printed in a light cross pattern to provide enough guidance but less restrictive than lines....


Copenhagen is a minimalist bluetooth loudspeaker created by the Danish studio design-people for the sound systems manufacturer Vifa. Simple to use and portable, the piece can work wirelessly or connect to your devices through a mini-jack or USB port. All the buttons and controls are carefully hidden to achieve the clean, uncluttered look. Here is how designers describe their approach: Nordic design addresses complex issues and turns them into simple and appealing solutions. Keynotes are respect for materials, details, and for the user experience. All details are toned down to the essentials with high finish and ease of use. The exquisite basics for anyone who values exclusive design just as much as authentic sound. I like the balance between the clean, sleek execution and the familiar shape, reminiscent of old radios from the 60s. Copenhagen comes in six colors – black, gray, yellow, red, blue and aquamarine.


Established and evolving artist, Dion Hortsmans is continuing to make leaps and bounds in the world of contemporary sculpture. After a veritable amount of time in the sun; sailing and searching, his feet firmly landed firmly back on soil, before plunging into his sculptural artistic pursuits. With a recent exhibition, Night Rider under his belt, his work has graced audiences in galleries and publications since 1996 across Australia. He notes that to be able to ask, and then to listen and believing in your passion are two of the prized earnings from his process. An idea is a nano-second, the journey is in making the idea, formulating it, working out how to do it, mostly when you’re on that trip you have a gazillion other ideas. Hortsmans has an extensive CV of work, spanning commissions and galleries in Melbourne and Sydney. His work is a combination of lines, embodying movement in still objects and responding to notions of want; a dynamic want. The line work is a geometric explosion of shapes resulting from lines, extrusions and playing with elements of scale. I am biased, but not blindly so, in saying that Hortsmans is a genius and his work a manifestation...


JR Loft is a project located in Brussels, Belgium and was awarded to Nicolas Schuybroek Architects with no specific design architectural qualities in the brief to start with.  The original site was a former carpenters’ workshop separated from the adjacent neighbors by a very high separation wall. After obtaining permission to demolish half of the separation wall, the architect took the opportunity to design an extremely large steel framed window over both floors to maximize the amount of light let into the loft. It is the architect’s detailing of the interiors that make this such a beautiful project. The architecture of the loft is expressed within the clean lines of the polished concrete, Carrera marble and reclaimed oak, and the datum of the joints within the materials delicately highlights the contrast  of their textures and surfaces – the wood cabinets vs the marble backsplash; the black steel framed shower wall vs the thin edges of the square white tiles etc. Noted by French magazine Architectural Digest in the 2013 Collector Issue as one of the 100 best interior designers,  Nicolas Schuybroek had decorated the loft with furniture from Jean Prouvé to Pierre Jeanneret, adding a little mid-century personality to this minimalist loft. Additional...


Speaking of the notion of ‘suchness’ in his book Zen and the Brian, James H. Austin notes: In Japanese, the word ‘sono-mama’ had long implied that something could stand as it is, untouched. In Chinese, the expressions ‘Chi-mo’ or ‘Shi-mo’ were used to mean ‘just so’, or ‘so it is.’ I open with this quote to introduce Carl Andre’s sculpture of 1966, Equivalent VIII, which consists of of 120 fire bricks arranged as a rectangular prism on the floor of the gallery space. I would like to suggest—for I haven’t encountered it myself—a Zen Buddhist reading of Andre’s work, which would frame it as a presentation of things as they are, untouched. In David Batchelor’s book on Minimal Art, André is quoted as saying this about his work: The one thing I learned in my work is that to make the work I wanted to you couldn’t impose properties on materials, you have to reveal the properties of the material. And elsewhere, speaking of his sculpture: Their subject is matter. These quotes encapsulate for me what is offered by Andre’s work: the opportunity to encounter this sculpture as just bricks. Let it be so.


London based team Studio Vit most recently exhibited their collection Globe Lights at the Milan Furniture Fair 2013. It consists of matt ceramic sphere reflectors and small globe pendants that can serve independently or together to cast light. The designers note: The collection explores how geometric volumes relate to each other and the juxtaposition of materials and light.   I love the fact that with these Globe Lights, light can be adjusted and manipulated in however the user chooses to illuminate the space in a rather unique method. Its design and form is almost poetic in the contrast and the relationship, and the experience of it as revealed in these images really makes me wish I had the chance to see them in person. Images via Studio Vit.


Japanese graphic design firm D-Bros have recently released a new line of stationery called D-Bros for Business. The collection is aimed at working professionals and consists of three essential items - the notebook, the file and the card case. All three designs are elegant and minimal, giving a simplistic take on stationery classics. The Javaring File allows for all shapes and sizes of paper or documents to be quickly stored away for retrieval later. The Pen and Note is a clever little notebook featuring a pen and paper pocket. And the Paper Card Case is based on a simplistic form born from a single piece of paper and a single fold. All three products are available for purchase through caina.


It struck me, reading Fast Company’s recent profile of Tadashi Yanai and his company Uniqlo, just how minimalist the Unique Clothing Warehouse really is. Yes, I’d be a fool to admit that the brand embodies the aesthetics of minimalism entirely (have one look at their website), but also wrong to omit the small and large ways that it is visually reductive (the much lauded Jil Sander collaboration proved its potential in this regard, and even today a customer could construct looks in a similar vein from what is currently available – I certainly do). But what really occurred to me, reading this article, are the ways in which the brand is practically minimalist. For whereas something like Jil Sander may look minimalist, actually owning and using the products reveal other ways in which it isn’t (how minimalist is it really to have dry-clean-only clothes or to wear such delicate fabricates amounting to deep care and deep pockets?) Naoki Takizawa, who previously worked as the lead designer for Issey Miyake, notes that [a]t Issey Miyake, it was about putting on more and more, and at Uniqlo, it’s about taking away. Cut, cut, cut! Speaking of an autumn/winter 2012 parker, Jeff Chu writes: But...