Naked Shapes is an exhibition of aluminum Japanese household objects from the first half of the 20th century, cleaned of dirt and any sort of make-up such as paint, labels or other excess decoration. The objects were collected over the years by industrial designer Seiji Onishi, gallerist Keiichi Sumi and graphic designer Nobuhiro Yamaguchi. A group of students from Parsons The New School for Design in New York did the cleaning. The items are currently on display at the Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in the Southwest of France. Their website describes it well: In their simplicity, anonymity and material nakedness, they express a quiet yet clear poetry of everyday objects. Personally, I love the effect his cleaning has… So honest! What do you think?
Maarten P. Kappert
A beautiful, simple idea, executed with so much care: Shelframe, by London-based designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad. He writes: The shelves are designed to occupy a space normally reserved for a framed picture or painting, and they act so as to frame compositions of everyday objects. Please note how the cable starts in the center of the sides, to avoid tilting. And those little balls at the end of the cables… The whole design speaks purity and care. I like that very much.
A beautiful minimalist thought: to use qualities of the environment as part of your design, so you can leave out parts that you would otherwise consider fundamental. In this case, the Curt deck chair by Swiss design studio BERNHARD | BURKARD, uses leaning to do away with the minimum requirement of a third leg on a chair. The anti-slip coated stand provides safe grip on every surface, B|B ensures us, even though it looks dangerous. Now, if only the beach had more walls to lean against…
Annett Bourquin and Kerstin Greve are designers from Lisbon, Portugal. Under the label of ANVE, they create objects that take their time, and become more beautiful with life. Their Sacos de papel bags are particularly interesting. Although the association with an ordinary brown paper bag is easily made (Sacos de papel even means paper bags), rolling it up is actually a beautifully lo-fi and valid way to close a bag. And of course it also creates a handle out of nothing; love it.
This is Oak, the result of an extracurricular, collaborative student workshop at Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden. The goal: to explore archetypes and stereotypes in the world of furniture. The group developed a range of independent pieces, but which are actually impressively coherent. Of course it helps that they’re all made from the same single material, American oak. One of the participaring students, Karl Jönsson, describes how all pieces were stripped down to their origins. From those elements, together with a hint of humor, new pieces have been created, while considering form, usage and interaction with their surroundings. The icing on their cake: Oak was exhibited during the Milan fair 2011.
This is Rocker, a super stylish minimalist rocking horse created by Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien of London based Doshi Levien design office, for German furniture manufacturer Richard Lampert. The designers intentionally shied away from a figurative form in order to spark the imagination of children. An interesting effect of minimalist design: by leaving out elements, you leave it open for the imagination.
Ryoji Ikeda is one of the most innovative electronic musicians who has a worldwide impact on electronic music development. The Paris based Japanese artist is one of the earliest to reduce electronic music to sheer ultrasonics, frequencies and tonal variations. His work has been internationally exhibited, toured and released. Datamatics is a series of work that takes live, present data as a source to generate visuals and music. Ikeda pushes the limit of minimalism by combining abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space and uses the least of graphics to visualize them. The idea of turning the invisible to visible and how the visualized result interacts with a 3D space and human being offer a powerful and deep reflection of our living in this data exploding century. Ryoji Ikeda’s latest solo exhibition The Transfinite will find its way to the Park Avenue Armory, New York from May 20 to June 11, 2011. Photos courtesy of Liz Hingley, Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) & Forma
This is one gorgeous house. Guerrero House, located at Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain, was designed by the famous Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza. The play on light, space and proportion is extraordinary. A small opening in an 8 meter high square wall is the only entrance. Center of the house is the 9 x 9 meter central square, which has a ceiling of again 8 meters high. All these bold measurements together aid to what Campo Baeza calls the construction of a luminous shadow. Now that’s poetry.
To be frank, I have never really taken the time to investigate minimalist music. But, with the World Minimal Music Festival coming to town, now is the time to check out the work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and the likes. Ticket prices vary from € 18 to € 23. If you want to experience all 5 (!) days, there is a passe-partout available for € 130. If you are living anywhere close to Amsterdam or Eindhoven (both here in The Netherlands), let’s meet up and go together! Interested? Please comment. Update: To get you in the mood, 22Tracks has a set of minimal tracks.
With spring on its way here in Amsterdam, we open the doors to our gardens again, eager to sit outside in the sun. What better way to do just that than in a chaise longue? This lounge bed, Marilyn, was designed by Spanish architect Borja Abellán and designer Nacho Soler for a furniture contest. Abellán, who’ll soon be graduating from the University of Alicante, says that the central design concept came from Marilyn Monroe’s famous pleated skirt. When the chair is closed it is completely flat with straight lines, but when the back comes up, it has a gentle curve. All in all the result has a beautiful sculptural quality.
One of our readers just sent this in: British designer Patrick Smith (a.k.a. Graphic Patrick) made some pretty nice minimalist posters about mental disorders. Apparently, Smith was doing some research about mental health when he came across a list of mental disorders and got inspired. My personal pref goes out to Agoraphobia. Yours? (Thx, Stefano!)
5,0 Original is a German beer from the Braunschweig/ Feldschlößchen brewery. It’s a no-frills beer, positioned in the low-price segment. The packaging, designed by Germany’s Feldmann+Schultchen Design Studios, supports their unpretentious self-image: a simple two-colour label and crown cap, no pricey gold foil, and a purely text-based design. I would say that the design works well for the brand… But is it minimalist? Your thoughts please.