Last year, the successful Spanish studio Lavernia & Cienfuegos designed the Etnia Shops, including the furniture and the image, for the brand Etnia Cosmetics, resulting in a remarkable project. The main goal was focused on establishing great efficieny, functionality and image, so the main characteristics of the shops are the modularity, the product presentation and the general appeal of the product. I love the combination of the white and the clear wood tones, giving the interior a feeling of warmth along with the carefully considered lighting. And all of these characteristics emphasise the products with their powerful colours. Fantastic work without doubt.
Jorge San Luis
Keep it simple!
With the ever captivating World Cup in its final week, the Manchester based freelance designer Rick Hincks has developed this minimalist series of World Cup Posters, trying to collect great moments of the competition’s history. The work was based on these three simple rules: it must be a significant moment that happened during the run of play; the layouts are the same; and there are only two colours used — a colour of the club and white. I really like the nostalgic feeling of these posters and clearly remembering many of these moments, making you realise just how important your team’s performance was for you, even more intensely than watching the real images.
Hang Around & Toss Around is a wonderful set of wooden cooking tools and salad servers created by the Copenhagen design studio KiBiSi for the Danish brand Muuto. The kitchen utensils are made in white beech wood and they have an extrusion cut in the back to hang on the edge of pots or pans. A really simple design with a fantastic and useful alteration to make them more practical to use. On the designs, KiBiSi explain: The kitchen utensils combine form, function and craftsmanship, but in KiBiSi’s interpretation, they are precisely designed and crafted for an essential contemporary look and functional ergonomics.
I really have no words to express my fascination by Richard Serra‘s latest work — East-West/West-East — a permanent sculptural installation in Qatar’s desert, approximately 60 kilometers from Doha at the Brouq Nature Reserve. The installation is a set of four 50ft steel towers that connect the two seas and the two parts of this ancient landscape. Serra explains: The placement is not geometrical, it’s topological; they can only be placed where they are to achieve the curvature of the land. If one walks through the pieces; he will understand not only the rhythm of himself in relationship to the landscape but also the rhythm of himself in relationship to the height and the length of the pieces. Serra has developed this stunning installation, even though it is situated in the middle of the desert, and is quite possibly the largest scene where he has expressed his art work. Photography by Sally Crane.
On Thursday 12 June, the next FIFA World Cup in Brazil begins, and yes, even on Minimalissimo we have some beautiful design related to it, because I would like to introduce the wonderful website brazilfourteen.com. Brazil Fourteen is a website that shows all the matches of the tournament, allowing you to customize it with any of the participating teams national colors. You can also download a fixture list to be in synchronization with your calendar app along with a limited edition B2 poster, printed in silver on ebony colorplan. Brazil Foruteen is a project by the British design studio Karoshi and the dynamic website was developed by Paul Davis.
Up in the air is a striking occasional table for home and contract use, developed by Ramón Úbeda and Otto Canalda for the Spanish company Viccarbe. The white lacquered cylindrical table is also made from a patented environment-friendly resin that contains handmade fish replicas, therefore no need of additional decoration than themselves. The designers explain: Fish that aren’t fish. That seem to float in water that isn’t water. They seem to be suspended in air that isn’t air. Like a dream. A wonderful mixture between minimalism and poetry is the result of this charming project, that is available in different versions of fish compositions and table sizes.
Thaw sofa is one of the latest works launched by the Japanese design studio Junpei Tamaki Design during this year’s SaloneSatellite in Milan. It is a reference to images of thawed fluffy snow, producing a wonderful feeling of softness and comfort. The curved silhouette of Thaw is accompanied by a rounded oak detail that frames the whole piece — a continuous line to serve the seat, arm and backrest in one, resulting in a great formal simplicity. I particularly like how the wood is integrated so well on this kind of design, achieving a sense of quality and warmth. Photography by Takumi Ota
Aura mirror series is a beautiful project by the Norwegian designer Bjørn van den Berg, where the hemispherical shaped mirrors are converted into a whole reflecting object, not just a surface. The project is about tactility and sensibility. Aura’s format relates to fit into two open hands. When the object is exposed to light, the light is reflected differently from the flat mirror surface and the circular body; making you aware of your surroundings and the changes in light. The series consists of a wall and table mirror and they have been developed using solid aluminium, electroplated with copper, chrome or nickel, producing a wonderful finish.
Menu has just launched the Chair #01 at the Salone Satellite in Milan this week. Designed by Stockholm studio Afteroom, the beautiful chair has a minimal solid-steel structure with three legs and back support and seat comprised of oak. Afteroom’s Hung-Ming Chen explains: The Afteroom Chair is an homage to Bauhaus and functionalism. The simplicity of its design combined with the quality of materials is what’s important. It is based on the concept of reducing the amount of materials to the minimum and by doing so pushing the aesthetic appearance to the maximum. The chair is available in black and white, and the collection also includes a stackable side table and a stoneware caddy.
Arkki lamp collection was designed by the Swedish product and interior designer Johan Kauppi, and was recently produced by BLOND Belysning. The name Arkki, Finnish for ark, derives from the fixtures ability to balance technique with soft shapes while somewhat resembling a craft or a capsule. The shapes are also an expression of a moderate tradition in the north. Each LED lamp is made with either a single or two joined shells of pressed felt. The family consists of ceiling fixtures and pendants, with a direct or indirect light distribution. Standard colours available are black, grey and white. I would consider the ceiling lamp a particularly strong design because of the perfect integration on the ceiling.
It is well known that for many years great design has come from the north of Europe, and this is another perfect example: Design From Finland, a project by the brand design agency Wekling from Finland -obviously- to indicate the origin of Finnish Design, a mark that grants The Association for Finnish Work. Wekling explains: Our approach to the design was very pragmatic. The mark has to work in internationally, so the words “Design from Finland” are required to make the mark’s meaning immediately understandable. We felt the mark also needed a visual clue or mnemonic that is memorable and recognizable. The “F:” -symbol meets this requirement, and can also be read as an abbreviation for “from Finland”. In addition, the “F:” -symbol has been designed to look like the Finnish flag. Wekling produced the circle shape as it is widely used in design objects and thus fits the visual language of many of the products it will be associated with. A simple design that transmits its message with intelligent solutions. The result? Elegance, efficacy and coherence. Bravo!
Recently opened to the public is the Infinity Bamboo Forest, a spectacular passage in a public annex building located in Wuxi, China. The installation is a reference to the traditional Japanese culture with its characteristic bamboo forests, and from the beginning experienced limitations of space, time and budget. So the result cannot be more magnificent, developing a passage of twenty meters as an infinity bamboo forest essentially using a combination of light and mirrors. The design of the installation was conceived by Prism Design, a Shanghai-based architecture and design studio, founded in 2009 by Tomohiro Katsuki.