Menu has just launched the Chair #01 at the Salone Satellite in Milan this week. Designed by Stockholm studio Afteroom, the beautiful chair has a minimal solid-steel structure with three legs and back support and seat comprised of oak. Afteroom’s Hung-Ming Chen explains: The Afteroom Chair is an homage to Bauhaus and functionalism. The simplicity of its design combined with the quality of materials is what’s important. It is based on the concept of reducing the amount of materials to the minimum and by doing so pushing the aesthetic appearance to the maximum. The chair is available in black and white, and the collection also includes a stackable side table and a stoneware caddy.
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The straightforward Holiday House Vindö is located on a rocky hillside on Vindö island in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden. The idyllic setting of pine trees, blueberry bushes, and exposed granite posed a challenge for architect Max Holst. How could one place a home here without leveling the site and destroying the beautiful landscape? Holst responded to the site’s unique condition with a one-story structure that hovers just above ground level. The home is accessed through a series of wood stairs and planks nestled in the hillside. A large, sheltered terrace is located on the eastern end of the structure. The terrace leads to an open living and dining room. The bedrooms are located on the opposite half on the home, separated from the public areas by a hallway that doubles as the child’s playroom. The materials chosen for this home are rooted in Swedish tradition. Painted local timber defines the entirety of the facade, while the interior uses natural timber for a light and airy aesthetic. This design is exactly what I expect from a well crafted holiday home. Lovely setting, minimal intervention, only the necessities. Photography by Hannes Söderlund.
The Check mirror has been designed by Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider of studio Kaschkasch Cologne for Danish brand Menu. Minimal in its form, the piece is also conscious of the space it occupies. Thanks to the triangle on top, the mirror can securely fit in any corner and take advantage of areas that are often left unused. And if the mirror is balanced against a flat surface, the triangle-shaped frame can be used as a rail for hanging clothes. Designers explain: Our products are casual and voguish at the same time. Precise lines and geometrical shapes give them a distinct impression, which we like to combine with intriguing colour combinations for the additional Kaschkasch touch. We want each design to offer something extra, discovered by the user little by little. The curved metal frame comes in black, white or moss green. Check has been displayed at the Stockholm Furniture Fair earlier this year.
Looking for a great bicycle to navigate life in the metropolis? Have a look at the collection of BIKEID New York for a few beautiful steel horses. BIKEID offers a wide range of bicycles, but personally I prefer the those with the classic drop down handlebar. The models ‘Stockholm’ and ‘Malmen’ look great, but ‘Svart’, created exclusively for the MoMA store in New York, really strikes the eye in my opinion. Have a look at this, chic, matt black frame while the other components are high-gloss black, creating a great contrast. Sportive and classic drop down handlebar and smart rear hub. The rear hub has a built-in two speed gear system, eliminating the clutter of cables and levers, and a foot brake in addition to the front brake. Svart currently only available through the MoMA design store. Photography by Ruvan Wijesooriya
Yenwen Tseng’s Big Hands Clock is a simplified play on lines. The interconnecting hands that comprise the timepiece are connected through a central pin. There is an intention of exploring the perception of time where the two hands interact inseparably and how various expressions of time at every moment. A feature to appreciate is the hierarchy of size, and consequential function of the two hands. It is obvious, without being overt, that the series of hands are acting as hour and minute hands, without needing numeric indicators. I appreciate this subtlety immensely. Originally from Taiwan, Yenwen Tseng studied in Stockholm and later interned in New York, and eventually started his own studio in 2011. This is one talent to watch. Photography courtesy of Yenwen Tseng.
Stockholm based design studio People People set about reinventing a classic with their latest project. They wanted to update the robust, albeit heavy and clumsy Kronan bike with a more sleek, light weight and minimalist design, stripped down to its essence. So People People designed a successor in Spiran. A robust construction combined with a sleek, light weight frame and slim racing tires, Spiran has been optimised for the agility and speed needed in a city. The designers also opted for a single speed approach, with a carbon fibre belt instead of a chain, meaning no lubrication or maintenance. In everything from the frame to the leather details, we wanted to use only genuine materials that not only last a long time, but also age with grace. Besides its clean lines and slim form factor, People People’s design also impresses with the integrated bike lock that folds out from the front basket, locking the bike in the front wheel or even around a city lamp post or fence. Simple, clever and robust. I love it.
Annaleena Leino-Karlsson – @annaleenashem – is a Finnish interior stylist/designer currently residing in southern Sweden, but who will soon be moving to Stockholm. She works with her own label, Annaleena and runs the blog annaleenas hem. Below is an insight into her beautifully captured Instagram: What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I have always searched inspiration for my work from nature and music. There is a clear rhythm in both two and I need to feel that my products are strong and well balanced in that way. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Very much. It can be a little sad sometimes that I need so much space to create and think. But it does not mean that a loud city would hinder me to be creative, just the opposite, it can be a positive environment that inspires to something new. When and how do you decide to take a photo? When the spirit moves and when I see something that I like. Like the perfect shade or the angle of the seat. I can not always control when I take a photo but that’s part of the game. What is your favourite quote on minimalism?...
Cords and cables are notorious destroyers of visual peace and laconic beauty in minimalist designs. That is why it is so unusual to see a minimalist idea sprang from a humble cord and not much else. Petrus Palmér Jonas Pettersson and John Löfgren of Swedish studio Form Us With Love created the Cord Lamp for the brand Design House Stockholm. A textile cord is merged with a steel tube, holding aloft an oversized globe bulb. Here is how designers describe the concept: You can let it irritate you, break your neck tripping over it, or you can surrender, hide it behind the skirting board or press it into a groove. But it’s smarter to make friends with the enemy. Cord Lamp turns the cursed flex into a simple eye-catcher. If there’s any message to a lamp, just for the fun of it, what about ‘make peace not war’. I love how delicate the piece looks. A simple cord and a simple bulb, just by being made a focal point, appear quite exquisite.
Stockholm-based designers Superfront bring a fresh approach to the customization of accessible cabinetry design. Their collection is conceived on the possibility to create high quality furniture at a sensible price. There is an emphasis on affordable design that bridges the gap of accessibility to the masses. I have a great deal of respect for this philosophy. The concept is simple; their pieces (cabinet fronts, legs and handles) are all interchangeable with current Ikea stock. Based on using the standard Ikea components as a basis for the cabinetry, clients are able to create pieces that have a greater and diversified sense of individuality. All pieces are minimal in their design aesthetic, and therefore also align with the classic lines of a broader audience with little influence from trending. We design furniture based on a well-established foundation, a concept that allows our furniture to fall into a completely different price category compared to any equivalent. This collection and its concept are worth a look. Photography courtesy of Superfront.
Can is an excellent lamp collection designed by the Stockholm based architecture and design studio, TAF, for the Swedish lighting company Zero. The lamp works as a can filled with light. By keeping the light inside the lampshade the border between light and darkness appears much clearer. Can is made of cast steel which is lacquered in a bright yellow colour at the inside and available as pendant, table and floor lamp. In a low tech way the yellow colour also makes the lamp look lit even though it is off. I really enjoy the touch of yellow colour on the inside, which demonstrates how a great design can be achieved with a simple detail like this, resulting in added personality to the final product.
Teenage Engineering, a Stockholm based studio known for their simplistic industrial design, have recently unveiled the OD-11 Cloud Speaker – a wireless speaker that allows music to be streamed from cloud services. Combine this with integrated WiFi and an optional magnetic wireless Bluetooth volume remote, and you have yourself a great cloud music experience. Inside the (26 x 26 x 26 cm) minimalist cubic form, you will find a 100w class D amplifier with filters and a DSP in an attempt to deliver the best possible sound. Certainly a high-end product at $800, but it does appear to be an impressive piece of engineering and design.
Stockholm based studio Claesson Koivisto Rune was founded by designers Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto, and Ola Rune. The multi-disciplinary studio, which was originally an architectural office, have produced Kami – a minimalist-inspired series consisting of precise and elegantly designed tables and benches. Kami (paper in Japanese), true to the rules of sobriety and elegance, features essential symbols, extremely slim profiles (up to 3mm) and geometric outlines. The Kami table is entirely made in solid bamboo. Available in natural or black, it can be a precious living room table, an elegant desk or a peculiar meeting table. The absence of screws, bolts and glues and the innovative interlock assembly underline its technical and aesthetic qualities. The shallow Kami table or bench perhaps has an even more striking beauty, in my opinion. Also made in bamboo, it measures 1800mm (L) x 450mm (W) x 190mm (H) and weighs only 15kg. Wonderful.