Based in Portland, Oregon and hailing from Los Angeles, designer T Ngu has recently released three new collections within her lovely and elegant Upper Metal Class jewellery line: Arc, Grace and Wave. Boasting a minimalist style with a hint of light hearted fun, each hand-crafted design is developed with simplicity in mind while drawing inspiration from architecture, math, science and the natural life around us. Personally, I’m enjoying the fresh, minimalist use of typical geometrical shapes found not only within our surroundings but also in busier visual styles like the renaissance of Memphis-inspired graphics. UMC also seeks to follow an environmental friendly practice, using recycled metals and packaging that is biodegradable. Photography by Dawn Di Carlo.
Less is yes.
Still life photographer Benedict Morgan‘s portfolio consists of pure, uncluttered product shots, set against simply lit backgrounds and boasting a clean, sharp finish that convey a style based on clarity, composure and a striking minimalist sensibility. Based in London, Morgan works predominantly in the fashion industry and has shot for clients such as Givenchy, Hermès and L.K.Bennett, as well as magazines such as British Esquire and Wonderland. My personal favourite is his Perfume series (featured image), highlighting the singularity of those classic bottles through mysterious and alluring lighting.
Handmade by Brooklyn-based S.D. Evans, these heirloom-quality quilts are made from natural fabrics like cotton, vintage yukata cotton, linen and leather. The designs give a nod to traditional quilting patterns and the very nostalgia of quilts, but Evans has added a bold, contemporary, and beautifully simple aesthetic. The motifs reference nature, daily rituals and personal landmarks — the quilts have everyday and revealing names like Gravity, Migration, Stereo, Library Steps and Two Rivers — offering a glimpse into the designer’s life and inspirations. I love how they work as a fresh addition to urban and country dwellings alike!
Seattle-based company Up Dog Toys created the Odin, a puzzle dog toy with a modern modular design, with the belief that dog toys can be functional and beautiful without compromising anything. Fun and expandable like Legos, the Odin was carefully researched and designed, prioritising ergonomics, functionality and aesthetics. The puzzle toy has four differently sized holes for treats to be placed inside and spilled out at different rates, engaging dogs on multiple levels, giving them mental stimulation and physical activity. It’s also dishwasher safe and constructed with non-toxic tough materials, providing peace of mind for pet owners – I love that on top of everything it also works perfectly as a stylish piece of home décor! The Odin launched this week as a Kickstarter campaign. Head over to learn more about the product and help fund this unique, innovative endeavour.
New York-based, Finnish designer Lotta Nieminen has recently updated her website with a year’s worth of projects, each of them refined and showcasing a mastery of subtlety, now a trademark of Lotta’s style. One of my favorites is the branding, art direction and website design for Paintbox, a modern manicure studio in New York offering classic manicures and a curated selection of nail art. Making something look simple, effortless and beautiful is one of the trickiest aspects of creative endeavours, and usually the result of relentless study. I had the opportunity to witness Lotta present the making of this project during OFFF Barcelona 2014, and follow her initial struggles that ultimately culminated in a beautifully rounded, successful project – not surprising from a designer of her caliber. Brand strategy by Figure NY and website development by NoFavorite.
This collaboration between French lingerie line Maison Lejaby and Belgian designer Lea Peckre has bred an Autumn Winter 2014 collection focusing on a sophisticated use of light toned neutrals in see-through bodysuits, with sheer fabrics in asymmetrical drapes and geometric volumes. The figure-hugging shapes emphasize the female curves in a feminine, ethereal and seductive way. Paris-based creative studio Twice were responsible for the art direction and graphic design of the lookbook, framed in simple and elegant graphics that highlight the collection’s power. Photography by Harley Weir.
From one of Japan’s luminaries of simplicity, Tokyo-based design studio Nendo, comes a delightfully ethereal furniture collection created for Italian company Desalto, known for their metal furniture. The wonder of the collection lies precisely in the fluid, light way the hard steel is worked, bent as naturally as if it were paper, as described by Nendo. By adding flipped, bent and wrapped details to metal sheets and rods, the ordinarily hard material gains new functionality and a light, flexible feel, as though the metal has become paper or cloth. The collection comprises three benches, a chair, a family of small tables, a coat rack and a family of wall shelves. Imagery courtesy of Desalto.
London-based designer and British bone china specialist Richard Brendon has been developing a number of studio collaborations with Patternity, a specialist organization dedicated solely to pattern, the latest being a bone china collection with the British traditional luxury homeware shop Fortnum & Mason. Resulting from Brendon’s dream of rejuvenating and repositioning the British bone china industry, the collection warps perceptions of what bone china can look like, featuring a precise, pure geometric pattern in Fortnum & Mason’s signature delicate color Eau de Nil, and are available for purchase. Born from a drive to use pattern as a tool to inspire, explore and innovate, Patternity comprises a pattern research/consultancy department, a pioneering events and education hub, and an award-winning creative studio, frequently developing collaborations with designers on a number of different fashion, interior, and product design projects.
Created by an all-Belgian team, the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign for Linda Farrow‘s male eyewear collection features highly elegant still life sets created by photographer by Frederik Vercruysse in collaboration with art direction studio Uber and Kosher. Merging architectural shapes and eyewear in a pure and conceptual manner, the sleek compositions feature clean lines and somber color palettes that offset and highlight the pieces created by the likes of Dries Van Noten, Phillip Lim, Oscar de la Renta, The Row, Matthew Williamson and Kris van Assche. Vercruysse aims to photograph his subjects in their purest forms — sometimes realistic, often minimalistic, and always highly stylized — the perfect companion to Uber and Kosher’s monolithic, elegant sculptures, grounded in a dry Belgian minimalism with a timeless signature.
HANK is an extremely simple product with a very sophisticated concept. Designed and developed by Berlin-based llot llov, Hank is an adjustable harness that holds glass mirrors with a v-shaped rope and a single drill hole, helping abandoned mirrors regain their rightful place on the wall. The kit consists of a wooden knob, waxed cotton rope and small aluminium plates, and comes in two sizes that cover every size and shape of mirror — as clever as it is light, says llot lov. The studio develops furniture, products, light and interiors and organize manufacturing and dispatch of their own label. Their design is both functional and emotional. According to their philosophy, they are often playful, always visionary, and work conceptually to aesthetically improve our day-to-day world. Photography by Ender Suenni.
You might be familiar with London-based photographer Bruno Drummond and set designer Gemma Tickle‘s work through their contribution to Printed Pages magazine’s spring 2014 edition, but the pair’s collaborations span many other playful projects. Very informed by a minimalist aesthetic, their collaborations often use graphic, formal arrangements, clean sharp angular lines, plain untextured surfaces, and as with Printed Pages, repeat the same elements again and again as a stylistic device. Continuing my on-going investigation about the process behind minimalistic work, Bruno shares with us that he wouldn’t necessarily describe their process as minimalist — It is often quiet elaborate, with ideas being discussed extensively but it does tend to result in a specific vision prior to shooting. A lot of the work is pre-visualised with ideas, materials, colours and lighting discussed in advance, although they always leave room for the unexpected, which isn’t surprising considering the joyful nature of their work. Unsurprisingly, their individual portfolios boast several other beautifully simple projects — head over to be further visually delighted!
Lucas Dias is a young Brazilian photographer and video-artist based in Barcelona who has recently opened the second show of his touring exhibition Cuerpos Urbanos (Urban Bodies). The series of double-exposures explores the limit between people and their surroundings — the skin of the body and the skin of the city — ultimately communicating the complexity of those relationships in an elegant, effortless manner. It is in the limit between body and landscape that the proposal for Urban Bodies is drawn. In an attempt of reenchantment with the world, diaphanous mirages are drawn, ethereal and subtle, provoking the observer’s eye. They reveal skins of transparent folds, and within the folds, invisible landscapes. With a background in Architecture studies, Lucas maintains the concept of ephemeral and diaphanous even in the exhibition design — the images were printed in large plates of transparent acetate, floating suspended in the air. Discussing the process behind his work, he reveals that Cuerpos Urbanos was the result of long and painful exploration, after many experiments and thoughts, confirming that a simple result is often the culmination of many iterations and hard work. Cuerpos Urbanos will be open at the aDa Gallery in Barcelona until the end of June...