Minimalissimo


Carl MH Barenbrug

Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Swiss studio Mizko Design are the creators of this elegant and simple decorative home accessory — a maple wood bird called Woodput. Natural and clean, strong and unagitated, it is produced in small series by a local sheltered workshop in Aurau, Switzerland. The designers explain: The aim was to create a decorative object from a piece of wood with as few oscillated slices as possible. We wanted to experiment with how much you can reduce the shape so that the object is still identifiable as a bird. Woodput is meant to be an object, that tries to convince with its simplicity. Mizko Design was founded in 2012 by Sarah Hügin and Benedikt Löwenstein, two industrial designers, who’s collaborative efforts have seen them awarded a Red Dot Award in product design.


California based Brad and Jenna Holdgrafer have always appreciated owning less. The idea of buying one high quality product over many average ones, lead to the couple creating Yes — an online store selling beautiful, thoughtful and well-designed lifestyle accessories. Furthermore, their store has a strong minimalist aesthetic, featuring many products I would personally love to have in my home. Whether that is the Drip Kettle by Hario, the Cast Iron Tea Candle Holder by Naft, or the Cork Boat by Materia. With a concise collection of everyday items, superbly selected, Yes have successfully created a shopping experience that encourages you to buy less, but when you have to buy, buy better. Not just minimal design, a minimal way of living. Check out the full range of products →


Adi Adireg — @ad_i_ — is a fashion design student, currently working on his thesis collection at Srinakharinwirot University Bangkok, Thailand. Adi also runs a design blog, The Place Is Gone Now, which features his own photography, his artwork, and design inspiration. Today we highlight some of Adi’s beautiful photography, published on Instagram, whilst learning a little more about the man behind the lens. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I personally like simple things, but those simple things have to be very interesting and well considered. I like to meet and get involved with people who share the same interest and way of thinking, be it a matter of fashion, design, architecture etc. All these things reflect my style and the way I am. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Apart from my formal study, I have been observing different styles of people in the cyber world. Not only am I very interested in minimalism, which I especially like, but I also find designs of different directions very intriguing and resourceful. I often visit book stores in Bangkok where designers meet and exchange ideas. It is a great source of new inspiration. When and how...


Founded in 2008 by Ben Gorham, Byredo is a Stockholm based fragrance house, that features a wide range of products for men and women, including perfume, body care, home fragrances and accessories. With a distinct focus on craftsmanship and quality, it is particularly Byredo’s beautiful and understated packaging design that leaves a lasting impression on me. The art direction, identity and packaging was conceived by Swedish designer Moses Voigt of Acne Art Department. The project included a customised identity typeface for labels — creating an image of heritage; characters based on modernist principles and the characteristics of 1900’s gothics. Modern yet timeless through its simple elegance. From the simple typography to the minimalistic labelling, I’m certainly sold and will soon be picking out a cologne to sample.


The Minimalissimo team would like to wish you all happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas. We appreciate all of our new and longstanding readers and we hope to continue featuring beautiful minimalist designs every single day of the coming year. It’s going to be an interesting one, with many exciting announcements. All the best! — Adele, Bronwyn, Carl, Gian Marco, Jana, Jillian, Jorge, Marina, Mateus, Melle, Nhat & Niels-Peter. This year’s little festive feature is courtesy of Joyce Croonen and her handmade ombre Christmas ornaments. If you’re still feeling creative, here’s how to make them: 1. Buy white ornaments or get some old ones in any light colour you happen to have lying around somewhere. 2. Hang the ornaments outside on a piece of rope so you can easily paint them. 3. Spray paint the old ornaments completely white (if you’ve bought white ones, skip this step). 4. Once they are dry, spray paint your way up with black paint. 5. Take your time: spray paint at the bottom and try to get the ombre effect by slowly enlarging the distance between the ornaments and the paint.


British brand, Alfie Douglas is a family of creatives, who design and make simple, minimalistic, handmade goods in England. I came across their collection of incredibly beautiful leather bags and accessories earlier this year, but it was a recent preview of their 2015 collection that got me rather excited to share their work. With clean-cut lines and simple colour design, Alfie Douglas create everything from oversized totes, backpacks and duffle bags to small pouches and tool-kit covers. Their structured backpacks being a particular favourite of mine. Our products are original. They are simple visually and in the way that they are made. Ingenious in the way that they can be adapted and customised in their function. Each one is different, singular, made by hand to be reliable and sustainable. Luxurious and timeless, a.d’s bags are made from a very small range of components which are common to all of their products — made to high specifications to last a lifetime.


The KEEKO Watch is an everyday basic wristwatch with interchangeable bands designed by Elmar van Zyl in Melbourne, Australia. KEEKO aim to produce quality, timeless and minimal designs with a strong focus on traditional objects which have stood the test of time. We spoke to Elmar about the brand and his beautifully basic wirstwatch: Designed as the very essence of the watch; stock standard, brutally simple — void of all complication. I wanted to create a meaningful object which would never date, a timeless piece of design which could be passed down for generations. I think when we’re faced with instability and uncertainty we find comfort in the objects which form the core of our identity, a classic example being the wristwatch. The KEEKO Watch is available in three variants: brushed steel, black & white, and double black, along with six different coloured wristbands. The watch feels significant and solid, the body is precision machined stainless steel, topped off with a chamfered sapphire crystal lens. With such an impressive introductory design, I am excited to see how the KEEKO brand evolves. Outstanding work.


Arnhem based Dutch designer Jet de Bruijn creates beautiful interior products with clean lines manufactured from pure materials, under the label jet. Her latest design is the minimal, modular and elegant lamp, Tammel, comprised of a slim stainless steel frame and oak/walnut socket. The Tammel lighting range is a reference to her childhood — Tammel being the name of the farm where she grew up. This is where her predilection for craftsmanship and the application of wood and steel originates. The lamp, which can can used as a table or wall lamp, is available in a variety cable colours, including white, red, yellow, and black. An incredibly simple concept, but beautifully executed. Photography courtesy of Joyce Croonen.


Born in Eindhoven, Dutch abstract painter Arjan Janssen is the creator of incredibly striking, minimal canvases. With a background in art and philosophy, Janssen’s abstract work, with reduced elements, is always vertically oriented, keeping it grounded. He writes: I try to achieve this by the way I work with the material. You can see and feel the working process in the lines and in the paint. In the composition there are always elements which pull the work downwards. His arrangements, often muted and dark, alongside the balanced geometric elements placed upon the canvas, gives the viewer a sense of mystery. My art moves between being withdrawn into myself and being outwardly directed. A tension that requires a delicate balance. Beautiful work.


Kai — @wk.ai — is a Malaysian born architectural intern, currently working in Tokyo, Japan. Today we speak to Kai and gain an insight into his wonderfully captured Instagram collection, which primarily focuses on minimalism in architecture. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? My collection is about decontextualising architecture and challenges the boundary between buildings and abstraction. Architecture become axiomatic objects in my photos, which turn our attention from judging the structural quality to the appreciation of atmosphere and pure feelings. To me the album is also a dictionary of architectural language that awaits new and broader implementation. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I spend most of my weekends hunting for architecture and visiting art galleries in Tokyo. It is a very admirable and inspiring city as it is so recognisable and successful in interpreting modern culture with their own dialect, which many cities are still in search of. But my stay in Tokyo triggers my aspiration, as an urbanite, for tranquility; that is why my photos tends to be isolated from its context. When and how do you decide to take a photo? I’ve been travelling around Europe. Taking photographs is a way of...


I was recently introduced to Taiwan based design studio, Chi and Chi. The studio has a strong minimalist aesthetic, designing everyday objects with content and purpose, and with simple functions in their essential forms. A standout design? This striking Polygon watch. The Polygon watch is a modern and unique timepiece with special geometric features in shape. The elements on the watch are designed with simple geometrical forms consistently and unlike the usual round contours of regular watches. The 24-cut case and dial present the time in a distinctive aesthetic way, which enriches the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight. Featuring a 316L stainless steel case housing a precise Japanese movement and a durable genuine calf-leather strap, the Polygon timepiece is a unisex watch available in three colour combinations — silver/grey, gold/black, and gold/brown. I particularly like the grey. Absolutely beautiful.


Sophia Molen — @sophiamolen — is a Dutch fashion blogger originally from Amsterdam. Having previously studied in Bio-Medical Sciences, Sophia now runs a number of successful blogs including Blog and The City and Minimal Blogs. With a strong focus on minimalist fashion, we take a closer look at Sophia’s beautifully captured Instagram, selecting some of our favourite photographs, and discovering how she has come to create such a striking and stylish collection. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? The philosophy of Taoism is a great inspiration to keep things simple. I find harmony and peace in minimalism. And you know what? I do even find spontaneity in simplicity. I guess because of the truth lying in harmony. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? To be honest, being surrounded by people tends to decrease my creativity. Being surrounded by things associated with my dreams, positively influences my creativity. Yet something as simple as light, might have a magnificent effect on me as well. When and how do you decide to take a photo? I don’t really randomly take photographs. Mostly trying to be in the moment, I often don’t even consider capturing it. However, during planned photoshoots for my blog, I’m searching...