Benoit Raimbault

Less is better...

Designer Andreas Dober brings us back to tradition with this unique mechanical clock. Though it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, the Catena Wall Clock produced by Anthologie Quartett, still seems familiar in its analog mechanical nature. The Catena — named after the Latin word for chain — rotates a vertical bicycle chain with attached brass numbers in a clockwise direction. At the top of every hour the time appears at the zenith of the rotation. Between hours you can eyeball the amount of chain between numbers and get a surprisingly accurate estimate of the time. In the above clock photos, for example, it is approximately 11:05. I love the clever simplicity of the Catena’s design, as well as the look.

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.

Matthias Schade was born in 1984 in Berlin, Germany. His latest work is a series of photographs named (un)defined spaces – an investigation of urban space. An investigation of our living environment. Schade explains the concept behind the series: Contrary to the daily natural perception of urban space, my artworks of the (un)defined space series offer a directed and focused view on our surroundings. They invite the beholder to critically and consciously face its environment. It is not about a mere documentation of our environment but rather the chance to question things and to create new experiences. The young artist has been shortlisted for the Celeste Prize 2011 within the photo, digital graphics category back in November 2011. I love these very minimal and undefined photographs.

For more than thirty years, Hiroshi Sugimoto has produced series of highly refined black and white photographs. His subjects, which include movie theaters and drive-ins, natural history dioramas, waxworks, and seascapes, provoke fundamental questions about the relationship of photography and time while exploring the mysterious and ineffable nature of reality. Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948. In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles and studied photography at the Art Center College of Design. Sugimoto lives and works in New York City and Tokyo.

Studio potter Lilith Rockett started her career in ceramics in Los Angeles before moving to Portland. Her work, created by hand on the potter’s wheel, reveals a deep interest in the subtle qualities of the material: translucency, fluidity, density, and the velvety softness of an unglazed polished surface. Minimal in both form and surface, her work calls attention to subtle nuances of line or shadow, with a delight in the quiet imperfections that characterize the handmade. Rockett believes that interacting intimately with handmade objects enhances our feeling of connectedness and enriches our daily life. Everyday housewares in elegant white porcelain, I love it.

Located in Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, the Endémico Resguardo Silvestre hotel from Mexico’s Habita hotel group, is a set of twenty independent rooms of twenty square meters each. Designed by architect Jorge Garcia, one of the principal premises was not to interfere directly the land, as part of the philosophy of the project is to respect nature in every possible way. Clean and minimal steel structure elevates the skeleton of the room, named EcoLoft, to avoid contact with the soil. The employment of corten steel to cover it, which over time changes its color, achieving harmony between the environment and the building. Opening in 2012.

The Superheadz Clap mini digital camera is simply Pick and Plug into your computer! Runs on a Micro SD card, the CLAP is a 2 megapixel colorful digital camera that shoots both still images and movies and connects through your computer USB port. A super tiny and minimal digital camera to own for casual purposes only I believe.

Aparte is a French design agency who recently presented a prototype of their paper-thin Katra chair, made of ramie fiber. Katra is inspired by the intrinsic qualities of the material from which it is made. Formed from a composite consisting primarily of ramie, the material offers superior strength, lightness and durability. Katra’s design reflects these qualities and represents the unique creative opportunities the furniture industry is just beginning to explore with the composite. A great combination of minimal design and eco-friendly technology.

Birillo by Alessi, is the ultimate no-mess bathroom set. It is made up of 10 minimally designed bathroom accoutrements assembled out of imperfect squares and wrong circles, according to the designer, Piero Lissoni. And while they are clearly designed to camouflage themselves, items like the soap dish can’t help but stand out as particularly pleasing forms. Great minimal design.

It’s not every day you come across a real innovation in backpacks. Solid Gray is a solid backpack to carry and protect your personal items. These bags feature a minimal folding hardshell design, EPDM foam lining and straps for keeping your tablet or laptop safe and secure, two interior compartments for keeping small items handy, a built-in document clip – so your papers don’t end up smashed at the bottom of the bag – and a flexible fit, which means your back will like it just as much as your eyes do. I love it.

Designed by Pierre Favresse, Jean is a small and minimal bubble of time, a dome of lightness struggling with weight, a 21st century digital tribute to the mechanical heaviness of Napoleonic clocks beneath bell jars. Edited by Super-ette, Jean is as precious as the symbolic values, which vary between contrasting functional and playful, light and solid, to maliciously mark our little daily rituals. Each clock is accomplished with a single blow and is as unique and variable as a small moment of life. Favresse says: Time and life are inextricably linked – we feel time pressures in our daily lives and wish we had more time; our time on this earth is limited and dictated by a clicking clock… Time therefore is something powerful yet fragile, which is why I wanted to encase it in a delicate white cloud of glass.

French designer Jean-Sébastien Poncet and ÉSÉ present a series of abstracted wooden animals based on an extremely simple and minimal concept. Pieces of wood, cut in simple geometries, are put together in order to create archetypal animal forms, a doe, cow, bull, rabbit or a stag. The resulting objects recall the impromptu toys of our childhood, when a few pieces of wood and a lot of imagination resulted in endless creative play-time and improvising narratives. The Animali Domesticki series form a beautiful home accessory or children’s toy. Jean-Sébastien Poncet also decided to scale up one of the series elements to transform the original piece into a beautiful sculpture.