It think that the project of the award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando for Tom Ford’s ranch could not be more beautiful, with its modern, clean and minimalist lines and shapes throughout as well as the detail of the construction. The plain concrete walls are maybe the most characteristic of the project with the abrupt contrast of light, as well as the road on the small lake. It is located outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has almost 100,000 square meter, being perfectly integrated with the arid lands of the state due to a rustic palette of colors.
Jorge San Luis
Keep It Simple!
Fusion are two wonderful wooden knives developed by the Italian designer Andrea Ponti. They are available in two sizes and colors, and also two types of blade for different uses: serrated and non-serrated. They have been made as a limited edition by Issei Hanaoka, an artist and craftsman from Japan. The combination of industrial design, craftsmanship and cultures has certainly proved to be a successful one, as Ponti explains: Two cultures and two design languages usually far apart from one another blend in the common language of design and tell the story of a project that spans from research to the creation of innovative products for markets around the world. This design and cultural blend produced Fusion. Both knives feature ergonomic grips and the packaging is a re-design of the traditional Japanese boxes called kiribako, that enclose and protect them form humidity.
100 Colors is a solo exhibition created by the French-born and Tokyo-based architect Emmanuelle Moureaux, as part of the 17-day art event Shinjuku Creators Festa 2013. As its name suggests, the installation is formed of 100 different hues of color along 840 sheets of paper neatly suspended from the ceiling, which were provided by leading Japanese paper manufacturer Takeo. The whole combination creates an amazing volume of vibrant color where each sheet creates a gradual transition to the next. Beneath the installation there are bean bags to invite visitors to watch and admire the piece from different perspectives. The 100 colors are also featured on the wall in small circles, allowing the visitors to indicate their preference in color.
Dots is a really lovely gaming app developed by New York based organization, Betaworks, and its task is very simple; connect as many same-colored dots as you can using only vertical and horizontal lines. Dots has three different game modes; connect as many dots as you can in 60 seconds, another one using only 30 movements and a new endless mode, without any limitation. Its interface is incredibly clean and simple and you can compete with your friends by connecting via Twitter and Facebook. Dots has already been awarded the number one mobile game in twenty countries.
The brand identity for The Contemporary Austin, a new museum in downtown Austin, is a project by the international design consultancy Pentagram, the result of which I think is wonderful. Like the name, the new identity system is built around a simple wordmark, a sans-serif typographic solution that spells out the museum’s name in upper and lowercase but highlights the “A” in the word Contemporary with a capital letter and a change of color. This capital “A” makes reference to Art and the city of Austin, and the blue color is inspired by the lagoon at Laguna Gloria, tying in nicely with the lighting featured in the building’s facade. The capital “A” can work by itself as a icon for the museum and The Contemporary can and is already being used as a shorthand version of the identity. No doubt, this is extraordinarily clean and simple work with plenty of subtle references.
Pure is a new shoe collection by the French architect, Jean Nouvel for the Italian brand, Ruco Line. The minimalist shoe was unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week gaining great relevance, and strong opinion. This is Nouvel’s first footwear project as he looked for basic and essential lines to apply to the shoe design, which is a characteristic often seen in his architectural work. The result is an incredibly simplistic shoe with a strong identity. Pure is made up of high-quality calf leather with a rubber sole. The collection is available in a variety of colours, including; black, white, yellow and fuchsia. The shoe also features the abbreviated name of the design at the top along with its style, colour code, and date of production.
Wall Shadows is an interesting project by the Lebanese designer Charles Kalpakian for the Italian lighting company Omikron Design, which has resulted in a beautiful, minimalist, wall-mounted illumination. Wall Shadows is a project between art and design and has arisen from Kalpakian’s continuous exploration of the three-dimensionality of surfaces. Its graphic composition becomes a texture lit up by the LED bulbs placed inside the various elements, creating a canvas of shadows. These few elements certainly give the piece a great identity and a sculptural sensation without losing its functionality of ambient light.
Sackler Crossing is another wonderfull project by John Pawson, the minimalist architect who has been featured a number of times here on Minimalissimo recently. Located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in southwest London, it was developed as part of a new route and won the RIBA National Award in 2008. Pawson writes: Set low to the surface of the lake, its serpentine form seems to float across the water, allowing people to experience the surrounding landscape from new vantage points. The walkway is fabricated in only two visible materials, each chosen for their hardwearing qualities. The deck is formed of granite treads, laid like railway sleepers between bronze uprights that serve as a balustrade. There is not much more to add, as this just a great example of simplicity and elegance.
Pebble is the result of a collaboration between Jacob Juul of newly established Danish watch brand Bulbul and KiBiSi. The distinctive asymmetric watch face was inspired by the smooth contours of the pebbles found on Scandinavian beaches. Pebble combines organic shapes and fine Italian crafted leather with the industrial feel of the injection molded silicone loop defining an international hybrid of heritage and openness. Swiss movement and sapphire glass are high quality components designed to last with the design. It is available in four colour variations, but what I really enjoy is the inspiration behind the design, mixing an organic feeling and simplicity to produce a different and stylish watch.
Shade is a new lamp launched by Flos during this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan. It is a design conceived by Paul Cocksedge Studio and produces a wonderful effect because Shade is just what its name indicates, a shade. It has no bulb, mechanisms or any attached light sourse, and it is suspended with very thin wires, appearing almost as if it is floating in the air. And what is the trick? The power derives from an LED floor fitting, shining an uplight into the shade. That is great! Shade started as a purely practical problem, how to rid ourselves the clutter usually connected to light fittings. The solution actually turned out quite mysterious, almost dream-like. It utilises both floor and ceiling, but appears unconnected to either…!
In recent years there have been many new and interesting bicycle designs that have emerged, a number of which we have featured here on Minimalissimo. Not solely focused on a form of transportation, these designs also look to introduce new styles and improvements with a minimalist quality. Viks is another great example of such bicycle designs. The company started when its founder, Indrek Narusk decided to build his own bicycle, looking for something different, inspired by the use of minimalist classic lines and cafe racer style motorcycles. The result is a sleek, timeless, fast and durable, single speed urban bicycle. Viks is essentially made from two identical high quality stainless steel shaped tube frames, and is available in different combinations of colours but, without doubt, I will take the all black version!
In January of this year was the inauguration of the new L’Óreal Academy in Barcelona. The project has been developed by the international architecture studio, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and it could not be more spectacular. The project is a tribute to beauty and to Barcelona. The main concept that inspired the project is the beauty and hair, a place for training, meeting and presentation of the latest industry tendencies. Each detail of the inauguration has been carefully considered and executed with precision. From the floor, the walls and the ceiling, featuring lamps inspired by hair, to the the collages and the furniture, all designed specifically for the occasion.