Minimalissimo


Bronwyn Marshall

Undo one thing.

Marijana Gligic’s Type II Perfume is a prototype for the luxurious perfume bottle and package design. Its dedication to adhering strictly to minimalist lines and typography is to be commended. Gligic has made a concerted effort to express the luxury brand through its emphasis on form and one that would resemble forms found in nature, such as geographical crystals. The overarching concept was driven by a want to showcase the product and its packaging as sculptural work that can be showcased in an everyday space. I feel that this is both beautifully articulated and executed. The bottle itself is comprised of alabaster gypsum and was awarded for best packaging exhibited at the Belgrade Polytechnic College. Born and based out of Belgrade, Serbia, Marijana Gligic is one to watch. Awarded for her photographic work, editorials and graphic design, she is sure to continue to flourish through her considered disciplined dedication to beautiful simple design. Photography courtesy of Marijana Gligic.


Federico Floriani’s On The Rocks are a tribute to the traditional way of chilling drinks. Made from white marble, these beauties are founded on the principles of traditional thermal mass principles. On The Rocks are made from various geometric shaped pieces of stone that are intended to create a sense of landscape in your glass. In these, the beauty of the stone itself is the feature with its natural organic veined lines and hues of whites and greys. On The Rocks can be put in a freezer and later used in place of ice cubes to chill alcoholic bevaerages without diluting. These gems are an in valuable addition to any minimal entertaining ensemble and can be purchased through Fabrica. Hats off to Fenderico Floriani. Photography courtesy of Federico Floriani.


Federico Floriani’s 123 Lamp is a kit of minimalist parts. The sinuous composition of these elements is just the gravy. Italian industrial and graphic designer Floriani has conceived this source of illumination through a want of pushing structure abstraction to explore new aesthetics and leave behind the classic bulb. The result sees a solid oak wood body that uses two metal legs as a stand. Intended as a focused desk light that is consciously designed with minimalist lines and a simplified form. The 123 Lamp encourages a sense of interaction and engagement with the user, as well as being beautifully executed. Photography courtesy of Federico Floriani.


22 year-old Josef Lang of Many Hands Design brings a Scandinavian edge to modern American industrial design. Inspired by functional, materiality and the fine arts, there is an overt emphasis on rendering quality, imaginative and appropriate responses to needs of modern design. CR stands for the cantilevered rod and 45 is the area code for calling Denmark. CR45 was initially conceived during Lang’s study abroad period in Denmark in 2013. The studio in which this piece was conceived, involved being split up by material, meaning each student was allowed only one specific material for the structure of their pieces. This exploration and understanding of materiality is obvious in the beautifully articulate execution of CR45. Structurally the biggest and most obvious exploration with this piece is that of cantilevering elements. Comprised of a high-carbon cold-rolled steel alloy space frame, the seat component is made with a sash cord, which has a nylon core and cotton exterior for both strength and comfort. Josef Lang is one to watch. Photography courtesy of Robert Bingaman.


Nameless Architecture’s Concrete Church in Seoul, South Korea is a monolithic dance of concrete forms. The exposed and beautifully articulate concrete create architectural forms that intersect and envelop one another to bring the volumes together. Based on New York and Seoul, Nameless Architecture collaborated with local architecture JSpace firm, to create the structure that covers just over 3,000sqm. Intended to embody religious values, the series of spaces, much akin to many temples and spiritual spaces, have an open-body stillness to them. The materiality and adhesion to a minimalist palette helps aid this uncluttered nature. Formally, the analogy of the cross was utilized as a launching pad for the design and layout. The cross as a religious symbol substitutes for an enormous bell tower and is integrated with the physical property of the building whereby the minimized symbol implies the internal tension of the space. Nameless Architecture has really embodied their simple and stripped back formality through a reflective spiritual space. The use of simple volumes and a single material adapted to the site only helps reinforce this. The use and celebration of concrete as a material and structural element is the icing to these spaces. Photography courtesy of Rohspace and...


Angi Glenn-Quincy’s alias Tiny Armour brings handmade beautiful jewelry to the masses. Available through Moorea Seal Store, the collection of short, long and varied finish arc earrings is a curation of beautiful minimalist classic lines. The pieces are notably pliable and require an interaction with the wearer, to customize their fit. This encouraged engagement with the pieces, I think makes these pieces even more beautiful. Moorea Seal prides themselves on highlighting emerging handmade artists work, and through their web of networks, make these accessible. Located in Seattle, there is an emphasis on capturing the adventuresome spirit of the great Pacific Northwest, and the beautiful balance of the sleek, chic metropolitan city surrounded by fresh and rustic nature. With 7% of all proceeds from the store being allocated to non-profit organizations, there is a genuine humility in their Do Good, Do Great attitude that they employ. Photography courtesy of Margaret Jacobsen.


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.


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.