Swedish graphic designer Oda Haugerud creates beautifully simple and carefully considered printed matter, combining analogue and digital techniques. Throughout her portfolio of self-initiated and academic projects, her subdued but potent style consistently shines through in lovely paper products. All of them results of thoughtful process and research, no doubt influenced by her multidisciplinary background in art history, film studies and art & publishing apart from graphic design. My personal favorite is the featured work Meteorit, a collection of illustrations and products inspired by the event on February 15th of this year, when a meteorite was 2 minutes from hitting Malmö, Sweden before landing in Tjeljabinsk, Russia.
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Accessories have become such an important element in everyday’s fashion. With the constant rush of life, their flexibility also has transformed over time. Having that idea in mind, Paris-based industrial designer Isabelle Bois collaborated with & Other Stories, a womenswear fashion company founded in Sweden, to generate a capsule collection of bags, pouches, and cases. Made from vegetable leather, these products vary in sizes to offer a wide range of usage — from business meetings to casual rendez-vous and formal dinner parties. Being minimal in appearance with natural colors like peach, nude, and black, those factors create a versatility to these accessories when one has many occasions with little time. As a fashion enthusiast, I love the oversized portfolio-like pouches. Others might see them as a bulky addition to an outfit, but I view them as a way to create a character to the wearer. They compose a certain boldness that is not overpowering, but rather both artistic and professional. Photo Courtesy of & Other Stories and Glamour
Cathérine Lovatt is a Belgian freelance ceramicist who’s portfolio of ceramic works has found me hugely impressed, particularly because of their minimalist aesthetic. Lovatt has designed for the likes of Serax, Domani and Belgoflor, and it is this beautiful collection of ceramic crockery for the Belgian company Serax, that I would like to share with you. Family Set, which includes plates, bowls, beakers, carafe and teapot, are made in stoneware clay consisting of six different basic forms based on the cylinder. Each piece from the collection is available for purchase through the Gosto online store. The teapot would make for a particularly good Christmas gift, in my opinion. Superb.
Bitten House derives its name from the four “bites” in each corner. What started as a simple cube has been carved away to create openings in the north, south, east and west. The “bites” allow for a covered entrance and back patio, as well as the decks on the second story. Anau estudi d’arquitectura designed the home with privacy and connectivity in mind. The rough concrete exterior creates a quiet, intimate interior, while the openings allow the home to embrace the surrounding environment rather than guard against it. The carving away of space is a design technique not seen enough in architecture; many designs are focused on the addition of form and material. Bitten House is a lovely dwelling which embraces this simple and effective approach to design.
Auckland-based design firm Resident has nailed their latest pendant offering. The Hex, Cross and Tri Pendants are all equally minimal and slight. The elements consist of tubular stems of finely crafted metal, housing various strips of light sourcing. Each piece has been created with folded metal elements that seem to grasp ever slightly their corresponding light tubes and are suspended from ceiling fixtures with thin metal cabling. These pieces are reminiscent of the halo style that is trending heavily architecturally at present. The attention to detail given by Resident is to be commended and a lesson learned. Beautiful pieces executed with a disciplined appreciation for materiality. Photography courtesy of Toaki Okano.
Stein van Rossem’s London Tower Apartment in Antwerp is a deliberate and beautiful fusion of contrast. Comprised of rarely specified dark-coloured fixtures with a white-based palette, this apartment is sharp. The materiality and clean lines of the form work create clearly defined surfaces, spatial arrangements and flanking architectural moments. Brussels-based and with a completed portfolio of works throughout Europe, the Stein van Rossem studio is one of a consistent and strong minimalist authority. Although their work displays an obvious controlled restraint, there exists a delicateness to the connections and junctions between materials. There exists an almost obsessive thoughtfulness, which is by no means unappreciated. This London Tower Apartment is a beautiful muse for minimalism and pragmatism combining.
Slightly bias in this plug, but Melbourne based designer Alpha60 should need no introduction. Originating from Canberra, the brother-sister duo has been styling the fashionistas of urban Melbourne since 2005. Their collections feature bold tailoring with beautiful details and a minimalist palette. Their newest Spring 2013 Collection is a continuance to this testament. The SS13 Collection is an evolution, as with all of their work to date, of their passion for details and fabric through the expression of technique. Alpha60 has flourished into a unique, inimitable label known for its fresh take on classic styles and cute, reflecting a sophisticated quirk unique to the brand. The lines, folding and cuts of each of these pieces have a timeless-ness that seems to also embody an urban edge that is so quintessentially Melbourne. Alpha60 are not content to smell the roses and with a portfolio than spans international borders and features some impressive creative collaborations, they are a force to watch. And wear, of course.
The Small b bookshelf has been created by Hamburg based design studio Holon ID. The idea of this piece is beautiful in its simplicity: thin metal brackets, mounted to the wall, support a solid wooden frame. Once the shelf is filled with books, the brackets become invisible, creating an illusion of books floating in the air. The piece comes in twelve different sizes that accommodate most book types. There is even a corner unit, which allows you to take advantage of all the underused nooks in your home. The Small b shelf is made from solid oak and stainless steel.
Drawer House, designed by the prominent Japanese designer Nendo, responds to the limited housing situation in Tokyo. Using the concept of drawers, Nendo has designed an elegant home that allows functional elements to slide from the wall into a central living space. Several rooms worth of objects and furniture store easily in the back wall of the home, therefore only the “drawers” necessary for the task at hand are visible. The facade of the home is composed of a simple wood screen that filters light and maintains the residents’ privacy. This straightforward yet unexampled interior design creates an uncluttered space, while allowing the residents to live comfortably in a very small building. Drawer House is yet another impeccable work in Nendo’s extensive portfolio.
Two adjoining houses had been renovated to create this one House in Valencia, Spain by Fran Silvestre Architects. Designed to separate daytime and nighttime activities, public and sleeping areas are located at opposite ends of the site, leaving the services and circulation concealed within the core. The minimal architecture defines and connects the interiors like a sanctuary that draws light into its very linear spaces. The choice of lighting fixtures in this house compliments the strong amount of daylight designed to be let it through the big panels of glass on the exterior. The designers at Fran Silvestre Architects do what they do best in this project which I found by chance while browsing through their stunning portfolio: making minimalism desirable. Photography by Diego Opazo.
I have recently been admiring the work of Italian industrial designer Marco Guazzini, who has made it his life’s work to create a selection of designs that provoke an uplifting mood through a simplistic approach. Originally from the beautiful city of Florence, Guazzini now lives and works in Milan developing a hugely impressive portfolio of furniture, lighting and household accessories. One particular design caught my eye, however. That is Yo. A beautifully simple magazine rack made completely of lime stone. A sculptural object which appears as a “Y” letter with a hole in the centre. The magazines find their place between the two side wings, sitting at 90 degree angles, and rolled up into the hole, which provides a physical and visual lightness to the piece. The name “Yo” is derived from its iconic shape, and takes inspiration from the typical verbal expression. Produced by Italian stone manufacturer Pimar, Yo is a design I particularly enjoy because of the contrast of function and sculptural elements, which in fact can be found in many of Guazzini’s works.
The delicate and versatile Fluida desk lamp has been created by Marco De Santi and Alessandro Paoletti of Studio Natural for Italian brand Martinelli Luce. The piece, as the name suggests, can be fluidly adjusted to changing lighting needs and uses of the desk A thin flexible strip, fitted with LEDs, is attached to two metal bases. These bases connect via magnets in multiple positions and allow to change direction of the light. The Fluida lamp is the winner of the Young & Design Award 2013. Watch the video to see the piece in action.