Milan based Italian designer Henry Timi has built some incredible minimalist furniture over recent years, designing simple and pure shapes, refusing excess and the unnecessary. I would like to share with you today a small selection of seating furniture that reflects these qualities, but many more can be found on the Henry Timi website. Timi explains his design philosophy: I summarise and I develop objects with a minimalist vision. I just think of pure products – purity as the beauty. I promote the simplicity as the depth and the refinement to give value to objects and persons. I make things simpler in order to be better. These pieces may not exude comfort exactly, but what I do appreciate is their quiet elegance, clean lines and detail.
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Reykjavik House was developed by the Polish architecture office Moomoo Architects, located in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. This minimalist house stands out for its all white exterior and two glazed walls. Although I think with this project, the environment is almost as important as the building itself, because the combined result is what draws your attention, creating a poetic feeling. The interior is finished using birch wood, a great combination for minimalist interiors in my opinion, because you can achieve a warm and plain space at the same time thanks to this wood. The architects also highlighted: The glazings on both sides of the house are slidable, so during the warmer seasons they can be folded, making the terrace a continuation of the area of the house. This manipulation of the shape of the house blurs the border between the house and the surrounding landscape.
Pieces from Raf Simons‘ final menswear collection for Jil Sander (Autumn/Winter 2012) have now made their appearance in retail stores. Fittingly, many of the now iconic items are selling like hotcakes, particularly the gorgeous whale and dinosaur sweaters made from a luxurious blend of camel wool. The one accessory that has caught my eye (and subsequently my brain) is a clutch resembling the form of a sandwich bag. The clutch comes in two distinctly different fabrics: leather and coated paper (also in black). The leather version (which I have heard is all but sold out) is emblematic of the entire collection, which juxtaposes brooding leather pieces with childlike forms and motifs. What really captivates me, however, is the cardboard version. As I understand it, the leather version of this clutch is appropriate for the luxury market that I would say the Jil Sander brand is a part of. Furthermore, the juxtaposition between form and material makes this piece successful in irony and humour. Contrast this with the cardboard version, which on the surface appears to be just a regular sandwich bag, though it is crafted from coated paper and constructed using stitching. (One would assume that the quality would be at...
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.
Surface table and chair collection is a combined effort of two giants, one from the world of furniture design and one from the world of Formula One racing car design. Terence Woodgate and John Barnard teamed up to create this innovative table for British manufacturer Established & Sons, and after the success of the project added a chair to it. Both pieces are made from the same layered carbon fibre material John Barnard famously introduced for the McLaren Formula One car chassis in 1981. Thanks to the lightweight durability of the material, the table can span 3 meters while remaining super thin (the piece has a thickness of just 2mm at the edge). The Surface chair follows the same trait of delicate form and supreme structural integrity. Its paper-thin seat can withstand even the heaviest occupant. Both Surface items come in black. The table also comes in walnut veneer.
Naked Shapes is an exhibition of aluminum Japanese household objects from the first half of the 20th century, cleaned of dirt and any sort of make-up such as paint, labels or other excess decoration. The objects were collected over the years by industrial designer Seiji Onishi, gallerist Keiichi Sumi and graphic designer Nobuhiro Yamaguchi. A group of students from Parsons The New School for Design in New York did the cleaning. The items are currently on display at the Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in the Southwest of France. Their website describes it well: In their simplicity, anonymity and material nakedness, they express a quiet yet clear poetry of everyday objects. Personally, I love the effect his cleaning has… So honest! What do you think?
Voids, an entire exhibition devoted to the art of nothing. A retrospective of empty exhibitions since that of Yves Klein (1928-1962) in 1958, who invited thousands to view an empty, white-washed room. This exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris was in 2009 one of the most radical show ever seen inside a museum. Stretched through nine rooms, completely empty, each one was the work of an artist from the past fifty years. The best explaination of the show came from the curators themselves: Bringing together propositions by Yves Klein, Robert Irwin, Laourie Parsons, Roman Ondak, Bethan Huws, Maria Eichhorn, Robert Berry and Art & Language, this very special retrospective includes only exhibitions that presented a completely space, gallery or museum. It casts light on an element in art history that has long been neglected because it represents a challenge not only to the museums but also to the art market. At the same time it raises a number of questions, such as what is an exhibition? or the possibility to revive ephemeral works, known only through documentation and the memories of those who witnessed it? An extreme minimalist experience, a refreshing reprieve to have so much room for contemplation,...
Minimalissimo asks well-known and not-so-well-known designers, architects and artists about their personal views on minimalism. As a result, we should be able to compare views – and you can form your own. Today: Rocha Tombal Architects.
Through a process of extensive prototyping, testing and calculating, Swedish designer Tobias Berneth created the only 6mm thick table Thinner. The elegant thinness really appeals to the aesthetic senses, while still the functionality is still fully intact. To gain the required stability, the table was constructed like the wing of an aeroplane. ‘Inspired by aeroplanes’… how Swedish! And although it’s not actually the thinnest table around (that must be the 2mm thick carbon fiber Surface), it is nothing less than a joy to look at.