This beauty salon is located on a busy 6-lane street of Osaka, surrounded by the hectic life of the megalopolis. 10 years after opening of the place, the owner decided to embark on a remodel and bring the appearance in sync with the business’ aesthetic identity. Architect Tsubasa Iwahashi was hired to make this transition happen. On March 30, 2013 the salon was reopened with the new minimalist look. The wide entrance allows to see the serene interior, offering a beautiful combination of white with light wood elements. The space is divided in three areas – reception, styling and a hidden section for beauty procedures. The austerity of the overall design reflects the owner’s philosophy. It also cleverly distinguishes the building among its surroundings.
The more you know, the less you need.
This chic laconic bag has been created by London based designer Katharina Eisenkoeck. The piece is crafted from high quality leather and intended for your laptop and not much else. Here is how designer explains her vision: It is hard to find well-made, simple, and non-fussy bags without the usual extra pockets and gold or silver additions. Hence the laptop bag was designed against the movement toward excessive decoration. The challenge of determining the simplest solution possible was playing a major role in this project. It was crucial to create a minimalist and functional shell through sharp lines, a subtle colour, and smart proportions. I love the versatility of the piece – you can use it as a backpack or a tote. The shade and thinness of the bag resembles a simple manila folder, which adds to its understated beauty.
Stack inkjet printer is a graduate project by young designer Mugi Yamamoto. Sleek and compact, the device simply sits on top of a paper stack (hence the name) and moves down as pages get printed. Here is how designer explains his idea: Thanks to this new way of printing it is possible to remove the paper tray, the bulkiest element in common printers. This concept allows a very light appearance and avoids frequent reloading. The tray on top can accommodate a pile of 200 pages, which is pretty good considering the printer’s size. Perfect for a home or small office.
Flow is a beautiful transparent FM radio, created by Philip Wong for the French brand Lexon. A Red Dot Design Award 2013 winner, the piece allows to see each part as if suspended in the air inside a polycarbonate box. Designer explains: The main goal in creating Flow was to design a minimalistic radio, limiting the design to the strict minimum. The idea was to offer the user the possibility to discover and understand the industrial design of the object by allowing, with the transparent casing, to see inside and see the composing elements. Powered by 4 standard AA batteries, Flow has no distracting cables and cords. It also performs as an MP3 amplifier and 3W speaker. The line-in jack allows you to connect it to any audio source you choose.
The Small b bookshelf has been created by Hamburg based design studio Holon ID. The idea of this piece is beautiful in its simplicity: thin metal brackets, mounted to the wall, support a solid wooden frame. Once the shelf is filled with books, the brackets become invisible, creating an illusion of books floating in the air. The piece comes in twelve different sizes that accommodate most book types. There is even a corner unit, which allows you to take advantage of all the underused nooks in your home. The Small b shelf is made from solid oak and stainless steel.
Amsterdam based artist Berndnaut Smilde is known for his cloud installations. After the TIME magazine listed them as one of the Top 10 inventions of 2012, people’s fascination with Smilde’s work became widespread. The latest cloud installation, called Nimbus Green Room, took place this summer at the Veterans Building in downtown San Francisco. Here is how artist comments on this project: It’s not so much about the shape of the cloud but about placing it out of its natural context. It brings duality, because you can’t really grasp how to interpret the situation you are viewing. People have always had strong metaphysical connections to clouds as they symbolize the ominous. Even though the clouds look spontaneous, each takes meticulous preparation. The room has to have the right temperature and humidity for the effect to last several seconds. Probably the most fleeting installation in history, Numbus creates a profound impact. And each chosen room adds new context and atmosphere. Watch the film about the Nimbus project to see it in the making.
These clean geometric shapes are hydroponic terrariums, designed by Daisuke Tsumanuma and Kenichi Yamada of 10¹² TERRA. Instead of hiding the water part, as most hydroponic systems do, these structures showcase it, allowing us to observe the growth of the plant and its roots at the same time. Here is how designers explain the thinking behind the product and the company: The name of the brand “[ 10¹² ] TERRA” was inspired by the number of cells produced per day (10¹²) and glass cases called terrarium, made for collecting and showcasing plants. We started this brand to create products that mirror the constant changes of life, full of new discovery. The clever construction of each piece allows you to lift the upper part without disturbing the plant and change water easily. I love the transparency and geometric simplicity of this design. Also check out the brand movie by Makoto Yabuki, which is a delight for the senses in itself.
This two-story house has beed completed by Case Design Studio in Ueda Nagano, Japan. The site surrounding the building is a part of a peach and pear orchard, which provides a beautiful green panorama. This backdrop of cultivated greenery emphasizes the laconic color scheme of the house, ranging between black and white with ochre yellow accents. The ample terrace creates a secluded frame, separating the building from the open fields. I love how light is organized in this project. Open lower level almost becomes one with the outdoor space, while the second floor has more private feel, achieved by a narrow window frontage, overlooking the tops of the fruit trees.
This beautifully linear house has been completed by mA-Style Architects in Shizouka, Japan. The building consists of two volumes connected by a wooden patio. On a sunny day, the sliding glass doors can be opened, and the entire footprint of the house can become one room. The different levels of the interior are accessible via ladders that are minimal and transparent. I like how fluid the layout is. Every room, aside from kitchen and bathroom, is interchangeable and can be used as the mood or necessity dictates. Designers elaborate: Although Idokoro is merely somewhat ambiguous, it produces various scenes. Idokoro also brings various expression and sense of distance to space. Another interesting element is the combination of different wooden textures. Artfully alternated and put against the white backdrop of the walls, they create perspective and warmth. These wooden frames also pay stylistic homage to traditional Japanese architecture.
These simple folded wallets are created by Romania based studio CleanEverything. The company name is a motto as well. Designers were aiming to reduce their product to the absolute essentials. Each wallet is cut from a single piece of leather and then wrapped around cash. This origami-like approach eliminates stitching and additional details. Only a piece of leather and a single stud. I like that the laconic nature of the design does not compromise the function. Each piece holds bills (of any currency) and 2-3 credit cards, which is what most people use on a daily basis. The wallets are made from 100% Italian vegetable-tanned calf leather and come in red, white and green.
Naoto Fukasawa has recently completed this inspiring design for the Spanish furniture brand Viccarbe. A modular seating system, called Common, is comprised of eight cushioned forms, varying in size and height. Each piece is supported by the natural oak hardwood feet. The collection is accompanied by two auxiliary tables, also made of solid oak. I love how the pieces correspond to each other, creating harmonious seating landscapes. The manufacturer claims that high-density foam, used in creating these pieces, retains purity of the lines, even after intense wear.
The Lunaire wall light has been created by French designer Ferréol Babin for Italian lighting brand FontanaArte. Inspired by lunar eclipses, the piece produces beautiful effects on the wall. It consists of two disks: the smaller one, containing the light source, is set inside a large aluminium diffuser. The small disk rotates, changing the position towards the diffuser and creating various lighting effects. I love the versatility of this piece. It can be set to create an intense direct light, an indirect soft one, and many variations in between. Also, thanks to its generous diameter, Lunaire can illuminate any space, even a big one, while remaining minimal and unobtrusive to the eye.