Fade is a collection of vessels and furniture for the bathroom, created by Stockholm based designers John Astbury and Kyuhyung Cho. It consists of 13 pieces: a low ash table, ash and copper mirror, and a collection of ceramic trays and vessels in parian clay. Designers explain: Beginning with a period of research on the subject of bathing we began to view it as both ritual and a metaphor for the work. To see ritual and water as both a transforming element and a moment of reflection. This is the foundation for the collection. The aim was the representation of the invisible, of transformation within the objects. I like the geometry within the objects, the subtle contrast between relaxed and constricted shapes in each volume. Designers say, that the shifting tones of the collection represent the view on bathing as a ceremony and nature as a transformative element. Photography by Stephanie Wiegner
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Connected Magazine is a new contemporary fashion magazine that has just launched its first issue. As the brainchild of Nani Lim and Pontus Samuel, the magazine started of as a school project and evolved into a platform for the Stockholm-based duo to express their identical love for photography, fashion and design; a platform that celebrates the motivation of good design instead of mere current trends: There is a very one dimensional look on fashion today, which is basically “buy! buy! buy!”, and we felt that the function behind clothes sort of got lost in translation. The style of minimalism is the tool that is used to express their aesthetic and visual language both in the design of the magazine as well as the articles they feature. The images exude an appealing simplicity and the styling of the editorials are of a minimalistic elegance. The magazine communicates the team’s personal tastes and inspiration to their audience. I love the fact that it is so personal and shared in such a beautifully crafted and designed publication, which makes this project more meaningful. As the editor Nani Lim so eloquently sums up: Most of our inspiration comes from meeting creative people and the interaction...
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.
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.