Minimalissimo


Carl MH Barenbrug

Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Katamaku is a new series of products, born out of Tokyo, Japan, that utilise unused parts of the membrane material that were to be discarded. They were made into various cases and bags for everyday use with excellent durability. In order to keep its beautiful texture, the products are made from a single sheet of membrane that can be folded to protect things that are to be carried. The designers go on to explain: Katamaku can be assembled with ease, and in order to take advantage of the beauty of the material, we have designed each product as one piece of folded cloth, like a kimono. If you look at the material closely, you will see that each product is finished from the membrane allowing you to really appreciate the beauty of its detail. The minimalistic series includes a card, pass and pen case, a document folder and pochet. All of which are as exquisite as the next. Beautiful work.


I have a strong appreciation for minimalist photography, and when Portuguese photographer & filmmaker Nuno Andrade introduced his recent work to me, I was excited to share this with you, our readers. Nuno Andrade’s project titled EBM, is a brilliant and beautifully captured collection inspired by the Marine Biology Station of Funchal. This infrastructure is dedicated to scientific research and is designed to enable the development of science and technologies of the Sea, in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, especially in the areas of biology and ecology of coastal and deep waters. The building itself is designed by architect Gonçalo Byrne and consists of six floors. Minimalist architecture encapsulated by minimalist photography, which has been superbly executed by Andrade. He writes: I consider myself a coherent photographer and I know that my projects are expressions of my personal likes. I love visions with great impact, and I try to create powerful and timeless images.


Dutch design office Oato., who’s work we have previously featured, recently introduced me to their latest design — Shift — a minimalistic set of tables with a playful design with many different sides and subtle bending details. The Shift tables are laser-cut from a continuous rectangular sheet of 3mm steel. We strategically left small segments of a few millimetres connected so it becomes possible to fold the table into the desired shape merely by hand. The outcome is a playful setup, which was created by balancing the desired structural and visual effect. The tables, which are available in two sizes — a side table & a coffee table — are finished with a slightly textured matt white coating to give maximum expression to the shape with all the different angles and edges in various shades of white. Oato.’s lead designer Stefan Tervoort explains: We think that this table’s aesthetic and details of the hand bending sets it aside from many other cold, straight folded sheet metal furniture. There is a certain softness/emotion in those corners, something unpredictable that brakes with the industrial nature of the design. We think we made a transition from displaying a technique into using a technique...


Mindarin introduced me to their wonderful new iOS app that I have had the pleasure of using for the last couple of weeks, that not only offers a wonderful user experience, but also features a beautifully minimal display. The app is Luna — a calculator that makes calculations instantly as you type, while keeping your expression clean and readable. It allows you to save your results as well as complete calculations, operate them, edit them, and create lists. The designers explain: We designed Luna to be truly useful. Most iOS calculators differentiate by adding cute gestures or pretty colours, our goal was to create the ultimate useful calculator, one you could use to do a quick operation or keep track of your business expenses. But keep it simple, clean and minimal. Admittedly, there are a couple of minor bugs with Luna, but as with every newly developed app, the more it is used, the better it can become. It is the aesthetics of Luna that leaves me impressed though along with the feature to alternate between black and white themes with a simple shake of the device.


Dylan Cao — @dlancao — is originally from Vietnam, but arrived in New York four years ago to pursue a fashion design degree. Currently studying accessory design, Dylan will soon be graduating with the ambition of becoming a footwear designer. Today we gain an insight into Dylan’s creative and superbly captured Instagram collection whilst discovering a little more about the man behind the camera. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? My collection of photos actually remains as a reflector and a reminder of the consistency in simplicity I would love to achieve in both my design processes and personal life. I do feel that as a designer, my process starts with constructing and adding, which is followed by deconstruction and elimination. By posting Instagram photos every now and then, I feel refreshed in a sense that I am able to absorb and communicate simplicity not only through my body work but also through everyday life. Minimalism does seep through you to eventually form a lifestyle. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I have a very strong reaction to composition and geometry in architecture since I grew up with my father who is an engineer and also...


French born designer and illustrator Thomas Danthony who is currently based in London, has designed N — a 42 page black & white book featuring a collection of graphite and ink drawings. Self-published, N is available in two versions, one of which is a luxury book with a hand made cover. The project was an experimentation by Danthony, differing from his commercial work, which allowed him the freedom to create a simple aesthetic. He explains: My goal was to take a bit of time off the computer to create something by hand, I was looking for a way to keep my commercial style, which is digital and to translate it on paper. To make it possible, it had to be simple, so I only worked with a pencil, a brush and some black ink. I then decided to design a small book to collect the series. I really enjoy the strong and simple compositions throughout. From the concept of the book, to the illustrations themselves, this is a superbly executed self-initiated project. There’s also a short video about N, which is directed by Tom van Schelven.


Sarah Van Peteghem — @sarah_cocolapine — is a Belgian born and Berlin based interaction designer and interior stylist at Fantastic Frank. Alongside this, she runs the blog Coco Lapine Design, which also features a small online store of elegant accessories & prints. Today we take a closer look into Sarah’s everyday life through her beautiful Instagram collection and how it has evolved. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I like to try out many different things inside my home. When something turns out pretty, I take a picture of it and publish it. And this sometimes works the other way around as well: I think about what would look nice on a picture and end up arranging my home in that way. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I like to surround myself with objects, which I find functional and well designed, but most importantly, I’m the most creative when everything around me is organised. It’s a good motivation to clean the house. When and how do you decide to take a photo? When I find something pretty or interesting. It actually made me look at things differently: when you think about pictures and making photo’s...


Furniture manufacturer Vitsœ and German industrial designer Dieter Rams are likely to be familiar names to our readers. It is a wonderful collaboration between these two that I have the pleasure of sharing with you today — the 621 Side Table. Originally designed by Rams in 1962 for Vitsœ, it has been re-engineered in 2014 with the addition of adjustable feet, satisfying Rams’s wish that was never fulfilled by the original. 621 has many uses for a simple table — not only a side table, coffee table or bedside table, 621 is excellent as the there-when-needed table. Vitsœ writes: Its simple design allows it to stand alone or be combined as a group to satisfy a surprising range of uses in the home or office. Turned on its end it can slide over a sofa — almost any sofa. This beautifully designed table will soon be available in two sizes (36cm and 45cm) and two colours (off-white & black).


Late last year we introduced you to the simple, minimalist and superbly designed branding and packaging of Håndværk by Savvy. The small, artisanal New York based fashion brand specialises in supremely luxurious pieces with a thoughtfully curated collection of high quality everyday essentials made from the finest natural raw materials and innovative fabrics. The label was founded by husband and wife Esteban Saba and Petra Brichnacova, who both share a passion for textiles. Their vision? To create a lifestyle brand grounded on the essence of quality craftsmanship and minimal design. From the grey mélange sweatshirt, cut from super soft loopback knit fabric — to the classic white cotton crew neck t-shirt — to the light grey pure cashmere scarf — this basic collection is filled with quality and a simplicity that has the minimalist in me wish-listing. Håndværk are also offering a 25% discount using the code: minimalissimo


South Korean artist Yoon Sol has produced a wonderful ceramic series titled From the Archetype, which involves layering porcelain in thin sheets to create different shapes. He writes: I work from a sphere to produce thin layers of bowl shaped elements with different diameters and heights. If these layers are placed one by one, small and big bowls can form an installation piece. From the Archetype tells a story of building up imperfection status through decomposition of a typical and perfect image, and of seeking the right pieces to complete my own pictorial puzzle. Here, Yoon Sol beautifully demonstrates the limitless of variation spawned from a single shape, resulting in a flawless collection of simple white ceramics that go beyond the aesthetics.


At the beginning of the year, Sydney based fashion brand, Uniform Studios (UNIF.M), announced their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection containing remarkably simple, stylish and undoubtedly sought after designs for both men and women. Like many simple, minimalist garments, it is the fabric and the details that make a design successful. Here, UNIF.M have carefully considered their fabrics, sticking to the classics — wool, silk, cotton, leather — fabrics of quality and wearability. There’s minimalism, elegance and a casual feel to this range that I really do appreciate. UNIF.M explains: We see this collection as an extension of our previous ranges. We don’t really like to limit our designs by one particular story or mood. We focus on each garment individually and tend to be item-driven. It’s the small details that may not be noticeable at first that make each garment loveable to us. We care deeply about the details. Photography by Bowen Aricò.


Paul Jung — @pauljungdiary — is an Australian photographer, represented by Artist & Agency, based in New York. Today we take a closer look at the man behind the lens and into Paul’s exceptionally captured Instagram collection, that features a consistent minimalist aesthetic throughout. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? The work is about removing layers form the world around us, to find a common denominator among all of us. The remaining content is left bare to evoke feeling within, a sense of liberation and emptiness are my preferred palettes. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? My work environment has a bird’s eye view over Manhattan as well as the open sky. It allows me to remove myself and see the bigger picture every morning. My daily ritual consists of removing everything around me that is unnecessary, which I find is the only way for me to concentrate before my work begins. When and how do you decide to take a photo? After it has time to swim around in my mind over a good period of time. Taking the actual photo is essentially the last chore that happens. What is your favourite quote on minimalism? ”Perfection...