Minimalissimo


Bronwyn Marshall

Undo one thing.

Normann Copenhagen’s Bell Lamp is a luminous nod to industrial design. Available in four sizes and two color combinations, the lamp is both a sculpturally beautiful and functionally present piece. At the core of its design, is its simplicity. Made from aluminium and hanging from a 4m textile cord, the Bell Lamp is encompassing of the designer’s passion, to challenge the conventional design rules. Designers Andreas Lund and Jacob Rudbeck believe their designs should be based on passing on the Scandinavian design tradition and create everyday objects that have personality without being loud. A statement that speaks worlds. Based in Copenhagen, the duo are responsible for envisioning carefully articulated designs that add character and emphasize quality and stripped back minimalist thinking. The Bell Lamp is testament to that. Photography courtesy of Normann Copenhagen.


Czech duo Vrtiska Zak introduces their interpretation of minimal children’s toys, in the shape of their WOO Collection. The series represents transportation, on a very basic level, which is manifested in the resulting minimal forms. The simplicity of the materiality and its composition is both beautiful and streamlined for ease of use also. Made from bent veneer and varnished wood, there is an emphasis on symbolizing three natural elements (water — the sailboat, air — the airplane and ground — the bulldozer). WOO itself is intended to represent an injection of motion, interjection of amazement while also being a nod to the wood that comprises the pieces also. Vrtiska Zak is the combined brainchild of Roman Vrtiska and Vladimir Zak, who met during their studies and later formed a partnership during their internships at Alvar Alto University in Helsinki, Finland. Their work is an encompassment of product design, architecture and graphic design disciplines. With resulting forms such as WOO, they are a solid contender in the design realm. Photography courtesy of Vrtiska Zak.


Annaleena’s Clothing Rails collection is beautiful and unassuming. Their boldness sits almost idle while the scale and breadth are the focus. Manufactured by hand-forging Iron, these geometric forms become suspended sculptures. Their presence prevails its functional pragmatism and they become an invited addition to the architecture of a space. Annaleena’s vision is based on the idea that her work is a collection of things where uniqueness and handcraft meet and create. Based in Svartsjo in Sweden, her body of work is mainly sculptural, but at a scale that engages the user and creates an immediate element of interaction. Available in circular, square and rectangular shapes, these pieces embody Annaleena’s vision to live in free creativity and personal expression. Photography courtesy of Annaleena.


Yield Design’s Geo Stand Set adds an elements of quirk. This trio of sculptural anecdotes can be used as paperweights, name cards, photo holders, business card holders or sculptural elements. Made from brushed brass, these geometric pieces are beautifully executed. Yield’s emphasis on no need for compromise sees this series produced with an attention to detail, where sustainability and ethical production are not at odds. This is great to see. Their claim that the buyer should buy for keeps or please do not buy at all is one of boldness and a refreshing response to an ever increasing consumerist culture. Based in St Augustine, and conceived in San Francisco, Yield is a duo to watch. Photography courtesy of Yield.


Stevan Djurovic’s Luna Lamp is a bold and beautiful statement in lighting. Standing, literally, as a beacon of illumination, it also has its own sculptural presence. This piece sees a minimal powder-coated matte finish metal frame, supporting an almost floating bulb-type piece. The bulb itself is also moveable, and its movement is the method by which the light is switched on (demonstrated here). There is an almost weightless quality to the lamp, creating the illusion of it floating. The resulting form is gallant but somehow subtle. Born in Kraljevo, Serbia, Djurovic’s has seen a number of creative collaborations, international design awards and publications. He is currently studying Interior Architecture at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts in Kragujevac. The Luna Lamp is available through Monoqi.


Filippo Protasoni’s Platone wall light perfectly combines illumination void of distraction. The piece is comprised of a thermoplastic moulded shell which is painted and then attached with aluminium metal wall supports. The slow arcing bend of the mould seems to create a sweeping affect, while indirectly lighting the vertical surface. Protasoni, having studied in both Italy and Norway, and now based on Milan, Italy, has a background in a combination of product and interior design. He has exhibited and won appraise in a number of international design forums, and continues to develop his strong design philosophy. The Platone is a curated piece of form and function intertwining effortlessly. The resulting addition it adds to the space, is secondary, leaving room, space and noise for the life to occur. Photography courtesy of Filippo Protasoni.


Caoimhe Mac Neice’s Warp collection is born on the idea of designing in a different way. The designer emphasizes that that the whole point of the collection was to get out of my comfort zone. And that she did. The resulting collection is one of challenged forms, tailoring and going beyond the conventional. Conceptually, when each of the pieces is not worn, the shapes that they envelope are plain rectangles and squares, and they don’t look like garments at all. This idea is quite fascinating. The emphasis on reduction is reduced as the construction of the elements becomes the point of focus. Warp is a collection of forms that seem to live and interact with the wearer in their own organic way. The palette is minimal, and formally, from a pattern perspective, the pieces are clear of clutter. The resulting forms however, seem to take on a life of their own, as they engage with the wearer. This is an interesting concept; to assume the end user can influence the design intent, purely through engagement with a piece. The emerging designer’s current focus is on building her portfolio, and with a precedent like this, Caoimhe Mac Neice is one to...


Faye Toogood’s Spade Chair is a perfect accompaniment to any considered space. Her work is a celebration of the material itself, and the craftsmanship behind each piece is testament to this. Available in both the chair and a backless stool, this piece helps redefine how we use elements in our environments to enable our use of said environments. Toogood is a British designer, specializing in furniture design, with an emphasis on her furniture and objects, demonstrating a preoccupation with materiality and experimentation. The Spade Chair is evidence of this. The minimal detailing and seamless composition are to be admired. There is an honesty to the rawness and irregularity of the chosen material. Her background in fine arts, and involvement in the magazine industry has meant a pre-existing exposure to product design, differentiating her from other industrial designers. The Spade Chair and its expression of textured materiality is beautiful; considered and demanding of a worthy audience. Photography courtesy of Rory van Millingen.


The OLED Desk Lamp is one of sleek formal function. Its lines are clean and minimal while illuminating the work surface seamlessly. Long gone are the days of an obtrusive lighting element, taking over the desk and its surface. As we become more remote and agile in our working styles and approach, this lamp beautifully emanates this philosophy. It supports this functionality, instead of being loud. The piece itself is made from brushed stainless steel, and its components are all carefully considerate and intentional. Designed by Russian-based Olga Kalungina, who has a background in Art History and Industrial Design, this piece is purposefully quiet. I like this. Photography courtesy of Olka Design.


Rad Hourani’s latest Unisex Ready to Wear collection captures and entices a sense of curiosity and yet embodies pragmatism. The pieces are a curation of beautiful craftsmanship and are born through an avocation of non-conformity, as the essence of individualism. Hourani himself sees modernity as an odyssey free of rules, gender, age, seasons, boundaries and conditions. This collection is incredibly befitting. Born in Jordan, Hourani himself wears a plethora of hats; designer, photographer, filmmaker, and artist. His work is an attentive study of the human body that celebrates neutrality as a defining human trait. This RTW Collection, and his overall ethos is grounded on this principle. The resulting forms and silhouettes are bold, minimal and timeless. There is an obvious effort to allow the wearer to a freer way to live and through his mindset and that of his label, his passion is obvious. He doesn’t name his collections, he numbers them, so as to attest to not following trends. The palette, the shapes, the fit and the movement of his pieces are incredibly transcendent and of-any-time. I like this. Photography courtesy of the exquisite Rad Hourani.


Q Designs streamlined solution to charging smart phones has arrived. The Q Bracelet is now available for order. Initially conceived as a solution to the ever growing issue of decreasing battery life as smart phones are becoming more technologically capable. The solution is one that is about bringing technology and beauty together in a way that challenges the status quo and embraces the bold. Based in New York City, this ingenious product is one that allows technology to be supported by a form-meets-function device. Lightweight, this piece is available in brushed and matt black (for the gents) and polished and matte silver and polished gold (for the ladies). The resulting product aims to deliver on an ever growing problem, and was born out of a frustration of the designers of other available products on the market. Said to bring simplicity and creativity, the Q Bracelet aims to aid an over-sighted element of our tech-savvy lives and can recharge up to approximately 60% of battery life. Cords are now dismissed. Photography courtesy of Q Design.


Belle Langford — @hellablissed — is an Australian writer and illustrator based in Sydney. Her Instagram collection Hellablissed is a refined stripped back collection of minimalist illustrations and vignettes. We caught up with Belle to discuss her work. What is your muse for creating minimalist work? I’m fascinated by the beauty in things that are pared back, simple and understated. I’m always drawn to the incomplete or the undone; when you have to look closely to find the beauty in something — there’s no feeling like the surprise of discovering it unexpectedly. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist illustrated work? I’m an intensely nostalgic person and memory is probably the biggest source of inspiration for me. I’m not really concerned with recreating the most realistic or accurate depiction of something, but rather a feeling of that thing; its essence. And I put that solely down to the fuzzy pictures you get when reminiscing – intense sensation and an impression of what was, but no real particulars. How do your surroundings impact your creativity? The Australian landscape really can be quite harsh, rugged and weathered but whenever I’m away from it, I can’t really function. I’ve always felt a connectedness...