Minimalissimo


Carl MH Barenbrug

Back to purity, back to simplicity.

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...


Berlin based store, SIMON&ME, has an approach to design that strips away superfluous embellishments, emphasising the very core of a product and unveiling their minimalist signature. Their latest product is an expansion of the beautifully simple, copper bracelet, this week announcing the design of a sleek silver version. This quality, hand-crafted bracelet is designed and developed from scratch in Berlin and is the perfect minimalist accessory I’ve been looking for. The silver bracelet is also nicely wrapped in white paper, presented in carefully embossed SIMON&ME packaging, and will be rolled out early next year to stockists. Simple and striking jewellery — the ideal gift. Photography courtesy of SIMON&ME.


Dutchman Cees Braakman was head of the Pastoe design team from 1945 to 1978 and was responsible for the development of the first modern furniture line. It was in 1958 that Braakman designed a chair that was to be entirely fabricated from steel wire — the SM05. One of the first of its kind. The classic, minimalistic design of the SM05 is accompanied by the KM stool series, all of which have been adapted to fit current sensibilities and brought back into production. Its wire design gives the KM & SM05 a spatial effect and the cushion and the shape of the backrest ensure a comfortable sitting experience. The KM stool, with its aesthetic and timeless design, is available in three heights: table (45cm), kitchen (63 cm) and bar (70cm). A quite incredible collection that deserves to be continually celebrated.


London based illustrator and designer, Thomas Danthony recently collaborated with Black Dragon press to create a beautifully minimalist series focused on Brutalism architecture in London. Inspired by their concrete beauty, Danthony has illustrated three of London’s most iconic buildings in all their Brutalist glory for a series of limited edition prints. The release consists of three six-colour A2 hand-pulled screenprints depicting the Royal College of Physicians, the National Theatre, and Trellick Tower, as well as an A4 concertina booklet featuring commentary from architect, critic and “Fuck Yeah Brutalism” curator, Michael Abrahamson. The series is available for purchase together or individually. Danthony successfully captures the essence of each of these Brutalist builds, beautifully highlighting their use of concrete.


Oscar Diaz is a London based design studio working in the field of product design. Plain and playful, their designs take inspiration from everyday objects, which by a simple twist become something unexpected and beautiful. Oscar Diaz did exactly this with the Loop bottle opener, designed for American brand, FIELD. Loop is a bottle opener comprised of stainless steel designed as a tool and simplified to its essence, finished in a satin electropolish, and will open bottles for as long as you’re drinking them. A minimal, but perfectly functional and robust bottle opener with a timeless design. Photography courtesy of FIELD.


We love our minimalistic storage solutions and when Thing Industries, a newly established creative studio, recently introduced the Indoor Stoop, it became a must-feature. Indoor Stoop is a high-functioning stoop for seating and storage. Featuring three soft-close drawers with peg board surfaces, the design works well in bedroom or living room corners for storage of clothes, books, or other household accessories. It could even be used as an extra seat or step-ladder. I like that. Measuring 19 inches wide x 24 inches high and 24 inches deep, the Indoor Stoop is not only a well designed, highly functional piece of furniture, it has a striking and sleek aesthetic.


Berlin based interior design studio Applied Object, founded by Dirk Rittberger in 2012, is dedicated to promoting furniture and objects conceived and created by various designers. With an eye on innovative and lightweight materials Applied Object aim to make furniture suited to mobile lifestyles known to blur the boundaries between home and work. Such furniture is the long board and short board wall shelves, which boast a beautifully minimalistic, functional and timeless design, suitable for almost every apartment, studio or house. This elegant wall shelf, made from a single folded sheet of aluminium composite, has been designed to hold books and CDs as well as crockery. Measuring 188 x 7 x 24cm and 94 x 7 x 24cm, the shelves are available to order through Berlin based store LOCAL. Photography courtesy of Simon Freund.


Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka continues to fascinate us with his simplicity in design and in particular his remarkably minimalistic work with glass furniture. His latest creation is the Prism glass chair for Glasitalia. Prism glass chair is a chair made from thick (19mm) high-transparency glass. With the cutting technique on the glass surface, it produces a clear sparkling effect like a prism. The glass is embellished with special bevelling which reflects and refracts the light, lending the object a rare preciousness. Despite its extreme lightness of form, the seat has considerable weight bearing capacity. Yoshioka writes: This creation is a chair like a shimmering sculpture in a space that miraculous expression is brought by the refraction of light. This chair may not exude comfort, but I’m full of admiration for Yoshioka’s work. Not only do his designs often have a beautiful minimalist aesthetic, but there is something wonderfully poetic about his work with glass.


Norway based designer and artist, Daniel Rybakken, has an outstanding portfolio of work that spreads installation, lighting and illumination creations. His latest — Compendium — a lamp family designed for Italian lighting company, Luceplan. Rybakken asked the question: How would you best illuminate a room with only one light source? To begin with, you would need a very strong light source, and secondly you would like to have it to come from the side, in the same manner as a window with natural light coming into the space. Thirdly, since you have this strong light source, you need to avoid glare, so you should try to diffuse and soften the light. These three aspects were the primary focus of the Compendium project. The lamp, made from extruded anodised aluminium, features a very strong LED light source directed towards the wall, and by doing this, a soft light reflects into the open space, creating a beautifully balanced illumination. The compendium family consists of a floor version with a freely rotatable stem and a suspended version, mountable either as an up or downward light. Photography by Kalle Sanner & Daniel Rybakken.


We recently caught up with Håndværk to discuss the brand, its designs, fabrics, and future. Describe your path to creating the brand, Håndværk. We felt there was a void in the market for a label that was solely dedicated to high-end essentials — crafting each piece from the finest fabrics, and focused on the details as the foundation to function. From the start, the ultimate goal was to create a label that we would love as customers, something that would make us proud. Our passion for fine fabrics was the main force driving Håndværk’s creation. Håndværk is an interesting & unusual brand name. Can you explain why you choose it? It is a Danish word that stands for artisanal, a trade, or handy-work. We felt it represents the soul of the label. At the core, we want to highlight that pride achieved by the craftsman with his honest work. We want to convey that making quality garments is a humble and tedious endeavour, miles away from the hype of the fashion world. We have always been huge fans of Danish design, specifically mid-century modern furniture — with the focus on simplicity, honest materials and function. These values influence how we go...


Danish design-house, Normann Copenhagen have expanded the award winning Geo range with six new products by Danish designer, Nicholai Wiig Hansen, which is characterised by its minimalistic style and sharp, masculine edges. The Geo Vacuum Jug is now being joined by a tray, milk jug, sugar bowl and lidded jars in three different sizes. Geo has a precise, geometric feel where all unnecessary details have been stripped away to create a stylistic design. Comprising of a lightweight plastic material with a glossy inside and a lovely mat finish on the outside, the whole Geo range fits beautifully together. Nicholai Wiig Hansen explains: The idea behind Geo was to make a range of products with character. I’ve worked with the lines, circles and shapes of the products to create a geometric harmony. The very shapes give the Geo range an edgy and graphic look, and the combined use of classic and light colours help to soften the masculine appearance. Wonderful work.