Minimalissimo


Natalia Repolovsky

The more you know, the less you need.

Belgium based studio Five AM completed the interior of the new bedroom suite at a house in Bellegem, west Belgium, initially designed by studio Arch-id. The space was transformed by lifting the attic roof, which allowed to locate a bathroom isle inside the big open room. Arch-id explain the design: As the owner wanted an open and airy feeling, we designed a monolithic white box that doesn’t reach the ceiling. The height delivers the privacy when needed, but makes it still possible to interact with each other. The entire bathroom was produced in ‘solid surface’, which ensures seamless surfaces. The sidewall can unfold which makes interaction between sleeping and bathing possible. I love the delicate staircase leading to the bedroom and the sense of secluded space inside the all-white bathroom cube. The low bench that wraps around the room conceals ample storage, a nice touch, contributing to the clean and uncluttered state of the space. Photography by Thomas De Bruyne/Cafeine


These simple and well-thought-out glasses were created by young designer Félicie Eymard Ericsdóttir for Belgian glassware brand Durobor. Called Sopp, which means mushrooms in Norwegian, the glasses feature curvy shape. Designer claims that this shape makes them easier to handle. Sopp comes in three sizes, which are made from the same mold. Thanks to this unified base, the glasses can be stacked. The product is a 2014 Mad Surprize Young Belgian Design Product Design award winner. Photography by Julien Hayard


This beautiful example of minimalist graphic design has been created by Sydney based Zé Studio for the start-up technology company Connected Apps. The project included identity concept and development, as well as an icon set and animated monogram for use within the company’s app framework. Designers explain: In defining the identity for Connected Apps, we avoided obvious connections from point A—B. In our strategic research, we came across a formula known as Dijkstra’s Algorithm which finds the shortest connecting path using a series of placed nodes (commonly used to find the shortest path for navigation maps). This formed the basis of the visual identity. I really like the subtlety of this approach. Instead of illustrating the concept, designers stimulated our imagination by the clever use of the dotted grid. The nodes do not visually appear to connect until the monogram animates from a start to end point in the shortest path – a way in which Connected Apps aim to reach their clients’ audiences.


Fade is a collection of vessels and furniture for the bathroom, created by Stockholm based designers John Astbury and Kyuhyung Cho. It consists of 13 pieces: a low ash table, ash and copper mirror, and a collection of ceramic trays and vessels in parian clay. Designers explain: Beginning with a period of research on the subject of bathing we began to view it as both ritual and a metaphor for the work. To see ritual and water as both a transforming element and a moment of reflection. This is the foundation for the collection. The aim was the representation of the invisible, of transformation within the objects.  I like the geometry within the objects, the subtle contrast between relaxed and constricted shapes in each volume. Designers say, that the shifting tones of the collection represent the view on bathing as a ceremony and nature as a transformative element. Photography by Stephanie Wiegner


The House of the Infinite, recently completed by Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza, is more than a dwelling, it also an impressive piece of landscape architecture. Erected on the seashore, the building features a long horizontal plane, that merges with the sea view, appearing almost as a continuation of the horizon. The architect gives his poetic description of the concept: On a marvelous place like a piece of earthly paradise, at Cádiz, we have built an infinite plane facing the infinite sea, the most radical house we have ever made. At the very edge of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea unites the new and the old continent, emerges a stone platform. At the place where all the ships from the Mediterranean used to pass and still pass by as they head off into the Atlantic. To accentuate this dramatic idea, all the terrain has been moved as far back as the entrance wall separating the building from the street. Because the main entrance to the house is located on the roof platform, all public areas are concentrated on the upper level. It houses the living room, dining area, kitchen and a massive balcony. Bedroom suits are located on...


This small and minimalist timepiece by Korean studio Elevenplus encompasses 24 different timezones in its body. The trick is in the cylinder that allows you to view and switch between geographic locations in a single intuitive motion. Simply rotate the clock to put the desired timezone on top, and you will have the correct time. The designers explain: Let’s say someone living in New York wants to know the time in London. When it is 5:57 pm in New York, you can see that is is 10:57 pm in London if you roll the clock so that London appears on top. See the number on the clock to read the hour and the position of the minute hand to read the minutes. The hands of this world clock move independently from the rest of its body, so they quickly transition to any timezone. The piece comes in three colors: gray, blue and orange. Check out the video to see the clock in action.


This asymmetrical pen by London based studio Beyond Object, employs the intuitive desire of a human mind to align and organize things. The piece is composed of three sections. When not in use, the middle section is dislocated from the rest of the the body. To use it, twist this middle part until it aligns with the lower section. Designers explain: Simplicity, quality, function and innovation have been the central tenets during the design process throughout this project. The mechanism we designed for this pen is completely unique, yet intuitive and reliable. We wanted to transcend the classical twisting or clicking mechanisms by developing this precise and user friendly piece of engineering. The pen comes in two sizes and three finishes. Check out the video to see this design in action.


This minimal wristwatch, aptly called Moreless, has been created by Denny Liao and Karen Han of Los Angeles based design studio, Mean. The watch face is clear of any visual clutter, the time increments are displayed on the inner side wall of the timepiece. As you tilt your hand, your reading of the time becomes more precise. You see less when you look straight at the watch, you see more at an angle. Here is how the designers describe their concept: The project explores a simple way for a watch to display time based on the user’s level of curiosity. There are many ways to communicate time on a watch, but how specific does the information need to be? The answer varies depending on the occasion. In most cases, you might just want to get a rough idea of the time of the day. Or rather, when an important meeting is coming up, you might want the information shown on the watch to be very specific. Thus, we asked ourselves: can some of the information on the watch be kept out of sight when not needed, and only appear as it becomes relevant to the user? The end result is an extremely minimal watch...


Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.


One of world’s most prolific studios, Nendo, recently unveiled another beautiful minimalist design. Snap Glasses are made from light, flexible polycarbonate resin and envisioned for those of us who need reading and computer spectacles. When folded, they snap onto the nose supports (hence the name), which allows them to stay in place and create a thin profile. Another fun element is the interchangeable arms, that detach at the temples, so you can enjoy different colour combinations. The available colours are black, red, beige, grey, matte brown, matte green, matte blue and matte dark grey. Snap Glasses are  exclusively available from Seibu department stores.


St. Petersburg based designer Lesha Galkin created this clever minimalist desk organizer, called Shkatulka (Russian for ‘keepsake box’). The piece unfolds to reveal the series of modular components, allowing you to hold your pencils, papers, paper clips, notepads and other desk essentials. Here is how Galkin reflects on this project: Caskets with a ‘secret’, special opening mechanism, were very popular in Russia from ancient times and were used for keeping valuables and important items. Storage kit Shkatulka has a secret too, as well as valuable contents. It is a set of various modules. You can change their combination depending on the functional needs. I like the versatility of this design. You can expand it, if the space allows, or keep it compact. I also love the combination of wood and marble. It was is a collaborative effort. The woodwork was made by Pavel Brick and Matthias Marte of Verstak, and Aleksandr Baharev of Formadimarmo carved the marble.


Duncan Shotton, a young British designer based in Japan, created this fun and simple timepiece, called Color O’Clock. The all-white disk features a window at its base which slowly shifts through all colors of the spectrum, greens, purples, blues, and everything in between. This changing element allows you to tell the time through hue and tone. I love that the clock itself blends with the wall, only leaving the hands and the colorful window visible. Shotton thinks that this method of reading time is more relaxed and intuitive. The clock base is made of plastic, the hands are made of matt steel. Check out the video to see the piece in action.