The S House is a single-storey holiday home in the South of France, recently completed by Belgian architect Nicolas Schuybroek. The building, located on the Côte d’Azur (more specifically in Cap d’ Antibes), is surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the Mediterranean. The austere, linear structure plays beautifully against the surrounding terrain. The large openings frame view of the sea and the pool, letting plenty of light into the inner space of the house. I love the use of the material in this project. Understated gray concrete changes shade and texture depending on a light. It also creates the feeling of serenity and depth, blending exterior and interior into a fluid architectural whole.
The more you know, the less you need.
There is roughly a bajillion alarm apps out there, some of them analyze your sleep, draw fancy diagrams, show twitter streams, news and weather… What I like about this app is the freedom from clutter, both in the UI and functionality. Wake iPhone app, created by Tiny Hearts, does one thing and does it well – it wakes you up. There are three waking modes: slap & flip, which allows you to slap the phone to snooze and flip it over to turn the alarm off; shake, the mode useful to heavy sleepers for it makes you shake the phone repeatedly before turning off the alarm; and swipe, a basic mode that turns the alarm off when you swipe the screen of your phone. The design of the app is minimal and intuitive. I love the dial, which reminds me of the classic iPod controls. Among other features – the ability to save eight repeatable alarms and dedicate them to specific days of the week and the choice of twelve alarm sounds, progressively getting louder as they play. Watch the demo video to see the Wake app in action.
The delicate and versatile Fluida desk lamp has been created by Marco De Santi and Alessandro Paoletti of Studio Natural for Italian brand Martinelli Luce. The piece, as the name suggests, can be fluidly adjusted to changing lighting needs and uses of the desk A thin flexible strip, fitted with LEDs, is attached to two metal bases. These bases connect via magnets in multiple positions and allow to change direction of the light. The Fluida lamp is the winner of the Young & Design Award 2013. Watch the video to see the piece in action.
The Centro Interpretação is a cultural centre built by architecture studio Spaceworkers inside a nineteen-century schoolhouse in Paredes, Portugal. The purpose of the structure is to provide information to tourists and serve as a venue for exhibitions and educational events. The all-black insertion is comprised of two volumes – an auditorium and an information desk/store, separated by the space in between, also painted black. The shape of the new centre mirrors the geometry of the existing building, creating a dialogue between the two. Architect Rui Dinis explains: We wanted to preserve the identity of the place with our intervention. We didn’t want to lose the shape of the ceiling, so we chose to add a kind of replicating structure. The white creates the atmosphere, the black gives some form and the activities of the space will bring the other colours. Architects built a modern complex, that is respectful of the space it occupies, achieving beautiful synergy between the old and the new. Photography by Fernando Guerra
The String Lights installation, created by London based designer Michael Anastassiades for Italian brand Flos, was presented during Euroluche 2013 in Milan. Thin electrical cords, arranged into laconic shapes, held pendants, fitted with LED light sources. Here is how the designer describes his inspiration: Every time I take the train, I sit by the window and watch the series of perfectly parallel strings connecting the pylons, as we move at high speed. I love the way they divide the landscape and how spheres are occasionally beaded through the wires at random intervals. I also love how, in Mediterranean cultures, strings of lights are stretched between posts to mark an outdoor space for an evening party in a village square. And finally, I love how human ingenuity works around problems created by everyday things in the house (like switches and power points) that others have chosen to position where we don’t want them. I love how these delicate pensil-thin lines create the shapes our mind finishes and makes three-dimensional. Who ever said that the electrical cord is not a beautiful thing?
The Peel light has been created by Tokyo based designers Naoki Ono and Yuki Yamamoto of the studio YOY. The piece is a witty fixture that imitates a light beam, shining through a peeling wall (hence the name). It blends with the wall during a day and creates a surprising optical illusion at night, almost becoming an architectural detail. Designers explain the mechanics of the piece: OLED is used to make the light source as thin as possible and the electric cable is let to stay along a corner of walls so that it doesn’t stand out. Clever. I also love the effect of sunlight Peel creates. The piece can be attached to the wall with a regular hook.
The ENVELOPE iPad sleeve is a minimalist creation of the Lisbon based studio Anve. The association with a paper product, also suggested by the name, creates a beautiful contrast with the softness of the material (each ENVELOPE is handmade from fine lambskin with the delicate glove leather lining). Designers describe their process: Lisbon is full of old little stores still holding stock from ages ago, and they are a huge source of inspiration. The idea for the ENVELOPE collection came in a stationery shop where we bought an old dried out ink pad we actually never could use. After seeing something which stays in your mind – in this case a beautiful old paper envelope – the process of trying out and crafting begins. The ENVELOPES are produced in small editions and are often unique, depending on the materials used. I love the simplicity of this design and the graceful combination of clear lines and a soft touch.
Japanese designer Taku Omura of oodesign has created Ripple, a simple and stunning vase that overturns everything we ever knew about the art of flower arrangement. The piece, made from PET resin, supports a single flower and floats in water. Any vase, dish, glass, pond can be turned into a beautiful sight of drifting blooms. Designer explains: Normally flower decoration is stationary at one place. In this case, the flower floats nonchalantly on the water, changing its position and appearance in accordance with the movement of the air. I love the optic illusion Ripple creates. Flowers appear to be put directly in the water, frozen in time.
This simple and elegant candle holder has been created by Germany based designer Patrick Frey for homewares company Utensil. The piece is a modernized take on a Victorian hand held candlestick our ancestors used to light their way around the house. In Frey’s version, the traditional silhouette has been preserved but significantly simplified. Spike candle holder consists of two elements – a round metal plate and a meat hook, that serves both as a functional handle and a fixture for the candle. I like the effortless beauty of the piece. It is also quite practical and accommodates different diameter candles. Comes in a variety of colors.
Spot is a multipurpose light, created by Gloria Ngiam, Nigel Geh & Guillaume Bloget. Its simple design consists of only two parts – a 10 watt LED and a handle, with which it can be hung, hand-held, or placed on a surface as a table lamp. Made from durable water-resistant polypropylene (PP) material, the piece is suitable for outdoor use. We were inspired by the simplicity, and functionality of industrial work lights. With SPOT, we retained the mobility of conventional torches and industrial work lights, as well as the dynamic rotational movement of theatrical stage lights. Stripping them down to their essentials and introduced an element of playfulness to it, bringing you a refreshing design of a functional light. I love how versatile and visually unobtrusive this design is. To reserve your own Spot light check out the Indiegogo campaign currently running for the piece.
Cuoiela is a Kickstarter project currently run by Virginia based studio Nolla design. This minimalist and elegant cash and credit card holder is envisioned as a cure for bulky traditional overly stitched wallets. Cuoiela is completely smooth, not a thread in sight, and it holds your possessions discretely. During my design research, I found that many card wallets are simply about function but if you think about it, a wallet is something that we carry around every day and show off to the world. Thus, I was motivated to design the Cuoiela, the wallet that is not only slim and convenient, but also feels stylish and precious to the owner. The Cuoiela wallet is made from high quality Italian leather and elastic fabric band. The elastic band holds 2-8 cards, and the front leather slot provides space for extra cash.
Rim table lamp by Japanese born Paris based designer Jun Yasumoto is a simplified take on the lampshade idea. Made of steel, aluminium and lampshade fabric, the piece diffuses light on one side and reflects it on the other. The circular frame moves freely around the bulb, allowing the user to chose different angles and control the direction of the light. Designer claims that the minimalist style of Rim was only partly chosen for aesthetic reasons. The simple construction eliminates a complex production process and makes manufacturing more affordable. Rim lamp comes in black and yellow.