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
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?...
John Pawson’s latest unveiling; Palmgren House is steadily purest to his collective body of work. Located in Drevviken, Sweden this house engrosses both an enclosed courtyard to the rear and a terrace, to the front. It aligns with the shore of Lake Drevviken and when the lake freezes over, the site is blanketed in snow, and the pale volume is all but invisible. Whether ironic, purposeful or accidental, the selection of the site to align with the minimalist palette of the build is also nothing short of considered; a nod to Pawson if there ever needed to be one. Completed recently in 2013, Palmgren House is uncompromising in its dedication to both the contemporary architecture and minimalist movements. Pawson is minimalism and this much awaited piece fits seamlessly into the collection. The pale tonal palette of white hues, together with textbook minimalist lines brings this house together with the landscape and its context. Like learning a new language effortlessly, Pawson has an ability to educate, excite and inspire through his resulting forms and spaces. The restrained consideration and the seemingly invisible effort in execution all seem to create a sense of calm through space. Palmgren House is a great example...
Stiff is a product design company based in Sweden, focusing on plastic as the core material of their designs. Launching themselves initially as pipemakers, they’ve recently uncovered the Stiff Pipe, the world’s first plastic pipe cast in one piece using polished thermo plastic. Tobacco smoker or not (not, in my case), you can’t help but appreciate this product’s sleek design and beautiful swanky colors. The pipe is equipped with a briar wood tobacco chamber and is a result of the mixture of industrial know how and hand made techniques, a hybrid that is always appealing and refreshing in an industrialized world. The Stiff Pipe Billiard limited edition was launched in Tokyo November 3rd, sold in numbered wooden boxes and coming in three minimalistic color combinations. According to the designers: Pipe smoking is a guilty pleasure, one that isn’t necessarily good for you but brings a certain quality to life. It should be approached with a Dieter Rams-like ‘less, but better’ attitude, making sure that every drag counts.
Chopping boards can be usually fairly straightforward objects, but there are interesting variations in the market using illustrations and patterns on glass and wooden boards. These designs by nionio design put an interesting, geometric spin to the business of cooking and serving. Apart from the chopping boards, Nia designs trivets and trays made of wood from Scandinavian forests and produced by hand in a family company in Sweden. Inspired by Scandinavian design, her philosophy is to keep things as simple as possible and to create a timeless look. I enjoy the clean, monochromatic pieces she’s created – as simple as the idea is, I haven’t seen products like these around before. Beautiful!
Silent Machine is a tea set, created by Sweden based designer Eunjae Lee. The laconic and unadorned pieces, inspired by industrial machinery, adhere to function-based aesthetic. Each item of the set, while being a self-sufficient object on its own, is a part of the whole. Here is how Lee describes his idea: Mathematically formulated silhouettes and details contribute to creating an image of mechanical regularity rather than being emphasized on their ornamentation. The passing of time remains machines as industrial artifacts. No longer alive, no longer remarkable but the machine-age machines have stories which make them more beautiful than they were. The set has a surprisingly strong emotional presence. It is rather startling that while emulating cold soulless machinery, designer created such a nostalgic collection, almost haunting in its evocative beauty.
I would like to share the hat and shoe rack Nostalgi, by Gunnar Bolin, with you. Created in 1937 this is a classic in the Swedish furniture history. I love the simple structure and appearance of the rack which is molded from recycled aluminum. Bolin founded Skoglunds Metallgjuteri in Anderstorp, Sweden and this rack was his first creation. Former employee Sten-Roger Bladh succeeded the rights of the classical products and continued in 2002 the traditional and artisanal production in Anderstorp under the name Essem Design. Now days Nostalgi is available in a range of 17 material and color combinations.
This is Oak, the result of an extracurricular, collaborative student workshop at Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden. The goal: to explore archetypes and stereotypes in the world of furniture. The group developed a range of independent pieces, but which are actually impressively coherent. Of course it helps that they’re all made from the same single material, American oak. One of the participaring students, Karl Jönsson, describes how all pieces were stripped down to their origins. From those elements, together with a hint of humor, new pieces have been created, while considering form, usage and interaction with their surroundings. The icing on their cake: Oak was exhibited during the Milan fair 2011.
Drevviken House is a minimalist abode in Sweden that practically disappears into its natural surroundings. The amazing architects at Claesson Koivisto Rune constructed the house with concrete slab and white stucco concrete. The structure of the house accommodates the natural foundation of the site, leaving the land untouched. Situated near a lake, the architects felt it was important to arrange the windows so that the best view would be provided. There are three different floor levels of its interior to match the surface of the surrounding typography. Photography by Louise Billgert.
Located outside Gothenburg, Sweden, House Tumle – designed by Johannes Norlander Arkitektur – exemplifies the meaning of black and white living. With an area of 168 square meters, the two-story building is profoundly distinctive as it perches on a knoll overlooking the North Sea. The white interior – a complete inverse to the corrugated, powder-coated black aluminum exterior – has a humbling ambiance that projects an unassuming sense of repose. The windows are placed in an abstract, almost capricious manner. I particularly enjoy the subtle instances of black around the bookshelf, window borders, and light fixtures. I also like how the glossy concrete floor discretely reflects the white walls and outside surroundings. Photography by Rasmus Norlander
Sunlight has an important role in sustaining life on earth and has shown a positive affect on the mood. Born in Oslo – Norway and currently based Gothenburg – Sweden designer Daniel Rybakken made an installation – Daylight entrance – to “replicate the positive sensation of sunlight” in both the entrance and staircase of an office building in central Stockholm. Using the technical princples of one of his previous projects Rybakken used over 6000 LED lights over 3 stories to give the visitor or employee the suggestion of multiple windows somewhere in the staircase. Photography by Kalle Sanner.