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.


Casa No Tempo is a family farm passed down through the generations that underwent a renovation under the care of Joao Rodrigues and family, with the architect Manuel Aires Mateus. The now-converted home stay is located on a magnificent site an hour south of Lisbon in Montemor o Novo, Alentejo, known as the unspoiled Portugal with the pristine landscapes filled with oak and olive trees. The connection to the earth and the surrounding terrain is a significant part of the design in this house. The expanse of the landscape fill the rooms with views of cork trees, pastures, wild fields, dams, ponds and streams through the massive windows. While the clean, minimalist architecture details allow nature to make its presence within, modern interior fixtures and fittings allow this rural getaway to be most comfortable and luxurious. I cannot help but fall in love with all the simple yet significant touches of this farmhouse. The frameless openings of the interior emphasizes the depth of the rooms, making the height of the rooms feel infinite like the sky above. Instead of tiles, the swimming pool is spread with a sand colored plaster right up to the edge, emulating a shore line that compliments the farmhouse in site. I hope to visit this beautiful site one...


The Stickbulb collection from RUX brings the ability to customize lamps to the masses. And customize in a seriously slick way. Co-founded in 2012 by Russell Greenberg and Christopher Beardsley, RUX is a fusion of minimal lines, inter-connective elements and where the design of the object is in the hands of the end user. I think this is ingenious. The resulting aesthetic is also nothing short of beautiful. The collection is a combination of pendants, wall scones, table lamps and floor lamps. The primary design philosophy of the range is that it is a pure and minimal expression. I couldn’t agree more. The construction of each lighting option is a sleek wooden beam, available in varying lengths. Interchangeable connector pieces allows for multiple sticks to be placed together, to create a feature, or to attach to walls, and to illuminate any space. The wood used is reclaimed and sustainably sourced and is coupled with efficient LED technology. The collection was designed with the least number of parts possible with connections that make the pieces easy to separate for maintenance, recycling, or reuse. These are seriously note-worthy. Available from Rux. Photography courtesy of Rux.


St. Petersburg based designer Lesha Galkin created this clever minimalist desk organizer, called Shkatulka (Russian for ‘keepsake box’). The piece unfolds to reveal the series of modular components, allowing you to hold your pencils, papers, paper clips, notepads and other desk essentials. Here is how Galkin reflects on this project: Caskets with a ‘secret’, special opening mechanism, were very popular in Russia from ancient times and were used for keeping valuables and important items. Storage kit Shkatulka has a secret too, as well as valuable contents. It is a set of various modules. You can change their combination depending on the functional needs. I like the versatility of this design. You can expand it, if the space allows, or keep it compact. I also love the combination of wood and marble. It was is a collaborative effort. The woodwork was made by Pavel Brick and Matthias Marte of Verstak, and Aleksandr Baharev of Formadimarmo carved the marble.


Nostromo is a minimalist note taking app for iPhone, created by studio Coloramama. It allows you taking notes, making photos, incorporating existing images from your phone library, and creating sketches all in one interface. The navigation is fluid, intuitive, and requires zero learning curve. I love the cross-shaped control that lets you switch between the four functions. It is also pleasing that the app loads extremely fast on my phone. A slick, simplified tool for note taking that is delightful to the senses.


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...