Thin lines and effortless functionality are but two mere elements of Daniel Rybakken’s Ascent table lamp designed for Luceplan. Presented at Euroluce, in Milan 2013, this piece is made from a combination of aluminium and technopolymer and is available in two alternate versions, with or without a standing base. In the base-less option, there exists an anchor bolt. In both options, the lamp is designed to be suitable for larger public spaces as well as domestic use. Disassembled, the elements that comprise the Ascent table lamp are traditionally recognisable. However, its Rybakken’s reinterpretation of its reassembly that is impressive. Mounted on a slender vertical stem, by moving the head along the stem the light intensity goes from being turned off at the bottom position, to gradually ascending to the full light output at the top. This ease of use, and variation in customisation, affords the user the ability to control the light intensity, but also the spread of the light. Daniel Rybakken, based on Norway, has a growing portfolio of work that spreads installation, lighting and illumination experimentations. With a background in Fine Arts and Design, his work spans across both disciplines, pushing boundaries through innovation on both accounts. The...
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Trace Heavens by James Nizam, is an installation that plays with light in its natural form, through manipulation of the building it exists through. Primarily, his work is based on manipulating the form of homes and buildings slated for demolition with the intention to repurpose their inevitable future, through capturing a moment. The resulting works are photographic. Trace Heavens was originally composed in 2011, and exhibited in Vancouver in 2012. Nizam, originally from England, now living in Canada, is represented in galleries across Canada and Switzerland. His work is a combined portfolio of his own solo work, and collaborations with other artists, across these geographical platforms. His work can be found in a number of private collections across the United States, Europe and Canada also. Trace Heavens, as well as Nizam’s other work, centres around the idea of the rooms becoming backdrops for the discarded contents and architectural debris that he accumulated and constructed into sculptures of elegant complexity. The emphasis on re-inventing and giving meaning to an otherwise discarded object, through manipulation of its form, is at the heart of this inquiry of Nizam’s understanding of the photograph as a trace; a documentary image that comes to act as...
Pitsou Kedem Architects have recently completed a beautiful and crisply detailed minimalist single-family residence interior, Tel Aviv Penthouse 2 in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel. The predominantly white architectural finishes are anything but uninteresting in this space because of the small surprises such as the corner wall shelf, the recess for the bathroom sink faucet, the floor to ceiling movable glass partitions and the use of wood in a whole wall and door to define a difference space. I am drawn particularly to the architectural details in this project and that they are well proportioned to the volumes of the living spaces. Where the glass partition meets the solid wall, where the warm wood stops in the soffit and becomes the painted white wood cabinet door, where the cove lighting aligns with the rectilinear furniture – the details are sharp and clean then softened by floor to ceiling curtains and cove lighting. In sharp contrast to the busy and crowded city outside their windows, the residence provides a refreshing, less cluttered escape once the front door closes. Images courtesy of Pitsou Kedem Architects.
Manifiesto Futura, an independent multidisciplinary design studio based in Monterrey, Mexico, have recently added to their impressive design portfolio with this minimalist identity and packaging for the tequila based alcoholic drink, Tiqo. Tiqo is apparently a drink for a quiet moonlit night gathering at the beach, which is echoed by the circular forms in the sleek geometric logotype. Even with the stark colour palette of the bottle, it still has a strong presence and would unlikely go unnoticed on a supermarket shelf. It’s always refreshing to see such design simplicity in alcohol packaging.
Studie Drei is a series of images by Berlin-based photographer Matthias Heiderich and within this series resonates a sort of timelessness that is captured so beautifully of the top of mostly utilitarian buildings and objects. Self-taught and a DJ and music producer as well, Heiderich has a portfolio of work that makes you wish you could see that same quality of ethereal beauty in the everyday object. The composition is striking and the colors are vibrate yet its most appealing quality is in its minimalistic, almost 2 dimensional style. These shots are my favorite because of how simple yet invoking they are.
Fearon Hay are a small studio based in Auckland, New Zealand, with some of the country’s leading contemporary architects and designers. Their work is minimalist in the use of materials, yet luxurious and beautifully detailed. The Fearon Hay website however, is the focus of this article. It is a digital monograph – a publication of selected work covering more than a decade of practice. The site, designed by Sons & Co. contains many traditional book-like features that are rather unusual in website design: an index, page numbering and editorial layouts. Yet the interaction is consistent with the modern web: subtle movement and animation, keyboard navigation and smooth, transparent page-loading. This clean and lean website is a joy to browse, making use of some large imagery to illustrate Fearon Hay’s beautiful portfolio of work, but it’s the navigational elements that I find most striking.
Aidlin Darling Design have been my favorite San Francisco based architects for quite a long time. With a portfolio filled with one stunning project after the next, it is easy to see why. I have chosen to highlight the Sonoma Spa Retreat as it has become somewhat an iconic project to which I often return to for inspiration. The spa pavilion is an intimate private retreat extending of an existing rammed-earth house and is opened to the landscape, framing distant views of San Francisco to the south. The simplicity of the space only accentuates the impeccable precision of detailed design decisions which admirably come across effortless. One is then able to appreciate the spatial quality (immediate and outer) through curated material selection and mentioned framed views. In each project, we seek to uncover an inherent spirit of place and interpret constraints as catalysts for performative design. The individual character of each project emerges through poetic spatial relationships, material richness, and exacting detail. Fantastic design philosophy, don’t you think? I hope you enjoy their work.
The dynamic Belgium architecture firm Govaert & Vanhoutte was recently featured on Minimalissimo with their amazing Villa Roces and when browsing through their website I couldn’t resist highlighting a couple more of their interior projects. However, I highly suggest visiting their portfolio which is filled with modern, minimal designs. One of the projects you see on the left and below is an office space/showroom Govaert & Vanhoutte did for Mercedes in Roeselare, Belgium. Strong graphics on the walls lead the eye throughout and become the main design point that compliments rather than competes with the purpose of the space. The application of concrete, glass and wood floors keeps the space modern, yet classic. The other project is another office/retail space, this time for a Belgium fashion label San Martino. Again, the use of concrete plays an important role in the concept with white oversized tables and storage units supporting the easy flow througout. The main color element is left up to the clothing itself, providing I’m sure an ever-changing visual treat.
Hungarian born Akos Major, currently residing in Vienna, is a freelance graphic designer and amateur photographer. However, there is nothing amateur about this stunning photographic series entitled Lumen. Although I’m perfectly aware the summer time season is upon us, I was not prepared to wait a further six months before featuring this beautifully minimal winter series. Major looks to capture and display the spiritual and emotive textures that he sees in muted and often monotone landscapes across northern Europe. Although I feel Lumen is a wonderful representation of Major’s photography work, his exemplary portfolio will surely not disappoint. What do you think?
Maine based artist Kate Beck creates paintings and drawings coalesced of intensity, intimacy and silence that result from a systematic starting point of materials and geometric shape. A particular illustration of Beck’s work I would like to share with you today is the quite wonderful and minimal Form Surface collection. This quiet, yet deliberate collection of line drawings and paintings displaying subtle gradients of soft and subdued tones, include the application of poured oil, graphite on aluminium, linen and paper. Form Surface in my opinion, strongly reflects Beck’s manifesto: I believe white to be the most inherently beautiful colour as it carries with it the potential to simultaneously expose and negate space. I believe black to be the most innately powerful colour as it is defined by the presence of light as well as by the absence of light. There’s not a single piece in this collection that fails to impress me, but what do you think?
Hélène Binet is a renowned architectural photographer who has photographed the work of contemporary and historic designers. Her diverse portfolio includes work of leading architects such as Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Le Corbusier, and Alvar Aalto. I have chosen to highlight Binet’s portraits of Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Kapelle, a chapel in Mechernich, Germany. Binet’s incredible images of this structure stand out as a unique achievement among architectural photography. Zumthor’s buildings are a notorious challenge to capture on film. This is because his design theory is based on the phenomenological aspects of the space. Zumthor’s structures are designed to be enjoyed through full sensory experience. The look, feel, and even scent of the materials come together as one moves through the space. This results in a collage of sensory input that manifests as an overwhelming presence of building. How is one to capture this experience in a still image? Binet met Zumthor’s challenge with vigor. Magically, her work captures the very essence of the Bruder Klaus Kapelle. Through her images, the viewer has a sense of approaching, entering, and leaving the space. I am aware of the weight of the obelisk-like structure as if it loomed above me. I can...
The purpose of minimalism is to expose the essence of a design by eliminating all non-essential forms, features and concepts. In web design, minimalism erases potential distractions and strips away elements into their most basic forms. Yuna Kim‘s use of elementary shapes helps to organize her portfolio and goes perfectly with her personal logo. This minimal web site design experiments the use of geometric shapes that makes design so effective. The simplicity is also carried through the navigation making it enjoyable to explore.