Nendo’s N Bottle is the perfect vessel for beloved sake label Nakata Hidetoshi. Conceived in 2003, its classic and timeless formality is as befitting and appropriate as ever. The cap is made by spinning aluminum into its tubular form on a lathe with the slightest of dimples set into the surface to aid the pouring process. Japanese and minimal, this piece embodies understated industrial design. The original brief requested a bottle that shields its contents from ultraviolet rays that also would explore a shape not ordinarily used for sake. Formally akin to a stick of charcoal, the resulting container is slick. N Bottle is made with Yamadanishiki and Aiyama rice varieties, making it an extremely high quality sake. The parent collaboration of great product and design, sees birth to N Bottle as a pillar in industrial design and brand alignment. Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Iwasaki.
Undo one thing.
Marco Guazzini’s Tre bien umbrella stand stands as a pillar of beautiful minimalism. His philosophy is based on a sensorial contact with the matter and the beginning of things generating emotion. For him, the emphasis is to design to return processed experiences. He plays with a combination of shapes, feelings, sensations, details, memories, lights, suggestions, colors and gestures. Born in Florence, but now based out of Milan, Guazzini is focused on being utilitarian and simplistically beautiful. Tre bien is an umbrella stand designed to accommodate both large and small umbrellas. Structurally, this item inspired by three radial elements, stemming from a central spine. The piece is also fitted with a powder-coated metal tray at the bottom to capture the moisture present. This piece hints geometrically at something really interesting, and fits its brief quite suitably of being functional and fearless. Photography courtesy of Beppe Brancato.
Australian Bianca Chang is holding her first solo show Light Maps at A-M Gallery, Sydney. Bianca Chang is a self-taught designer and artist living and working in Sydney and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her work embodies a play of lines, through motions of movement and engagement with light. Light Maps is an exhibition comprised of a muted palette and restrained minimalist material composition. The way in which light is portrayed through her work and the approach by which light interacts with the pieces is where the subtle nuances emerge. I find these voids and subtleties are beautiful. Bianca is currently developing a body of work in ceramics and teaches design at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is one to watch, with no doubt numerous future solo shows to follow this one. Photography courtesy of Jacob Ring.
Aires Mateus & Sia Arquitectura’s House Melides on the Grandola Crest in Portugal takes the palette back to the basic elements. Situated amongst undulated terrain, overlooking the valley below, it acts as a portal to the vistas of natural elements that exist around it. In this sense, the importance of its quiet minimalism roars loudly. Comprised of unobtrusively, unusual main volumes that overlap in the shape of a cross, the resulting architecture sit both monolithically and subtly amongst its landscape. The interior is comprised of strict whites that seem to imbue its own softness through its interaction with the entering light. The otherwise metered corners throughout the interior are softened through the play on the other lines throughout the architecture. The stillness of space through finishes and articulation of lines is beautiful. The collaboration resulting in House Melides by Aires Mateus & Sia Arquitectura is to be commended. Photography courtesy of Fernando Guerra.
Kebei Li’s Bronze Cable Holder reinterprets the utilitarian. Fusing functionality and form, this piece helps to express the beauty in the un-ornate. Simplistic in finish and beautifully crafted, Li has really crafted something minimal, from an everyday untapped opportunity for assistance. Inspired by his daily frustration of charging cables falling off of the table, the intent was for this to be a very function-driven design approach with clear affordance. Rhode Island-based Li is very passionate about the use of raw and genuine materials and the absence of decoration. I find this approach very interesting, especially his quality of honesty with the materiality. His work focuses on the human-object interaction and how the reliability of use and the making of the design all connect in some way. The material itself, being bronze was specific due to its layer of patina that forms through use over time. There is also an emphasis on the controlled geometry which I appreciate on many levels. Photography courtesy of Kebei Li.
Melitta Baumeister’s White Collection is a play on light, texture and shape. The main focus of the collection is a strict minimal palette of white, which is adhered to with rigor. The collection is a combination of oversized and exaggerated cuts and drapery that seem to use the human figure as a hanger, more than the focus. The fabric is the centerpiece, the adorned is the accessory. Originally from Germany, Baumeister recently graduated from Parsons New School with an MFA in Design and Society. Her work embodies the minimalist spirit and her discipline to the discipline is courageous and beautiful. This collection has been beautifully captured by UK photographer Paul Jung. Currently living and working in New York City, she is definitely one to watch. Photography courtesy of Paul Jung.
Nendo’s Key Calendar challenges the way we track time. The Key Calendar is a device that both requires interaction, and encourages it. The use of keys to indicate the month, days and days of the week are indicated by inserting each key. Originally produced in 2004, this piece still embodies the minimalistic aesthetic that deems it timeless. Nendo is a master of this. In a way, the traditional advent calendar also requires the user to create a relationship with the time piece, whereby the behavior of opening a door each day, then reveals its contents. Similarly, Nendo plays by similar rules. Each day, the calendar requires the user to actually move sequential key pieces, to update the time indicated. This challenge of engagement helps change the interface of how time is tracked and requires the user to search for it, engage with it, and be aware of it. The key is also a symbol of the unlocking of a new door, ie. a new day. I like this. Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Iwasaki.
Canadian designer, Lukas Peet brings us his effortlessly beautiful pendant lamp. Everyone, meet Rudi. The lamp fixture is a combination of brass tubing bent to an extruded-oblong shape, together with a moulded cathode lamp. The pendant is then suspended from its own cord, which is knotted around the brass, at its top pivot equilibrium point. Peet’s portfolio consists of a combination of lighting, furniture, objects, graphic design, installations and photography. His work has a contemporary edge and a minimalist feel. Conceived in 2013, the structural halo that Rudi creates both a geometric and a streamlined nod to illuminating the space. Rudi is available in single, large or double loops and currently available through Roll & Hill. I have a feeling Rudi is destined to make quite a few new friends. Photography courtesy of Joseph De Leo.
Recently featured designer curation store, Still House has launched a beautiful jewelry collection embodying the ethos of the store. Designed, conceived and manufactured by the store owner Urte Tylaite the pieces are a nod to the design philosophy of the pieces and artists featured at Still House. Each piece is seamlessly hand-made and finished in a selection of sterling silver and gold, with a black and gold diamond inset. Each piece has a sense of calm, seamless lines and stripped back minimalism. I like this subtlety a lot. The collection is available in their East Village store, as well as online and features a series of earrings, rings and necklaces, varying in lengths. Photography courtesy of Still House.
Miso’s latest exhibition Everywhere I Have Ever Been is testament to the propel-able artistic force she is. Every once in a while you’re introduced to an artist who really has a curious dexterity. Miso is that. Her work is reminiscent of an otherness; another reality. It seems to have both an ethereal lightness and a depth of skill and technique that both employ an incited curiosity. Miso herself finds herself between the worlds of her two current homes; Melbourne and Tokyo, although originally from Ukraine. The exhibition Everywhere I Have Ever Been is an exploration of this. She decided to make a drawing for every city and every memory for these last few years while travelling between the cities, dreaming and mapping – hammering memory clusters as holes into paper, like strands of constellation maps. Each piece involves the insertion of tiny pins to create perforations into the medium. These openings, creating opportunities for engagement with light, then evolve into the finished piece. They create shadow and somehow also a sense of tactility that wants of its own dialogue. Essentially, she was playing with all these ephemeral things and making them into something tangible. Her work has recently been purchased...
Nicolas Schuybroek Architects’ DT Appartment in Brussels, Belgium is a beautifully muted pallete of monochronism. The celebration of marble, stone and timber is harmonious and brings the spaces together effortlessly. Essentially posing the challenge of being a small apartment, NS Architects have managed to create a series of spaces that add a sense of warmth. The contrast in materiality throughout is well orchestrated and has a seeming natural feel. Named one of French Architectural Digest’s Best Interior Designers of 2013, Nicolas Schuybroek is beyond emerging. His career has spanned cross-continental borders having studied in Belgium, worked in Canada and continued collaborations across the two nations. His work is primarily high end residential, and is without a doubt, one to watch. Photography courtesy of Nicolas Schuybroek Architects.
Posh-Craft’s Luna Case is a new and beautifully minimal take on functional versatility. The inclusion of a concrete finish as an iPhone 5 cover pushes both aesthetic and functional boundaries. Based out of Seoul, Korea Posh-Craft is an arts and crafts-based design firm with an emphasis on fine tuning design details. The idea of the iPhone cover has become somewhat of a self-statement; an accessory if you will. This statement I very much like. Its underlining utilitarian nature and boldness creates a sense of brazen durability. Posh-Craft, after the launching success of Luna Case this year, now only needs to catch up with the latest smart phone available models. Photography courtesy of Posh Craft.