Minimalissimo


Niels-Peter Foppen

The details make the difference.

Londen based design pratice DesignWright, founded by the brothers Jeremy & Adrian Wright, created a minimalist eye catching wrist watch named NUNO for Lexon. The NUNO wrist watch is a solid Quartz analog watch with a steel case and leather strap. The Wright brothers play with the expectations of a traditional watch; the traditional hands were replaced by two rotating discs. Two markers indicate the hours and minutes. The watch is completed with a simple steel case and leather strap. The NUNO wrist watch is suitable for both men and women. Currently there are four colour variants, all of which are equally attractive in their simplicity.


Atelier Peekaboo recently created a minimalist ceramic piggy bank named Sur les toits. The English translation is “on top of the roofs” and refers to the place where they found inspiration for the shape of the design. One easily inserts the money in the slot on top of the piggy bank and incase one needs the money, there is no need to crack the ceramic; just angle the piggy bank and shake gently. The prototypes, ranging in colours and sizes, have been handcrafted by the Fribourg based ceramist Peter Fink. Atelier Peekaboo was founded in 2008 by two Swiss designers from Neuchâtel. Damien Ummel and Thierry Didot met during their studies at the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL). The two decided to strenght forces and by permanently questioning the industrial designer’s role in a society surrounded by objects, they try to provide elements to respond to it.


New Zealand based Boskke tries to improve conventional gardening tools and products for contemporary urban lifestyles. Boskke is derived from the old English word ‘bosky’ which means ‘a small forest’ and that’s exactly what you can create! Their latest creation is the Boskke Cube; a minimalist self-watering planter you need to water only once a month. The body is actually one big water reservoir and a slow watering system allows water to feed up into the soil, keeping your plant healthy and watered for extended periods. The transparent polycarbonate body reveals the soil and roots and allows you to witness firsthand the growth of your ‘boskke’. Boskke cube is available in 3 sizes – small, 3 small and large – you suit your needs for your urban garden.


In February Noon Studio launched their latest iternation of the steel stool we have featured in the past. I did like the previous edition, the simple construction and use of honest materials, but I like the latest iternation even better. The founders of Noon Studio, Gautier Pelegron and Vincent Taiani, have worked on a few important details in the construction and decided to powder coat paint the high grade steel sheet. I love the contrast of the oiled European ash and the black steel. Pelegron and Taiani say the stool is influenced by traditional English craftsmanship and Provencal (southeastern France) rawness. The stool tries to express the direct simplicity found in real traditional antique Provencal furniture and the know-how of British craftsmanship which still holds today. The stool is not just a stool. One can easliy use it as a side or coffee table, book holder or shelving system.


Nendo have designed, for their own brand by | n, a new stationery collection. The collection consists of eleven minimalist items: the flip pen, contrast ruler, circle tags, link clips, rubber bands, outline tray, cross pen-stand, peel pen-case, hard cover memo-pad, edge note and the dot envelope. I would like to feature four items that caught my eye: Contrast ruler A minimalist ruler with marking fading from white to black, making the ruler easy to read on dark and light surfaces. Circle tag Normal sticky notes can be easily ripped off. The pie chart shaped notes however will stay in place for a long period of time thanks to an increased sticky surface and reduced number of corners. Link clip The link clips, made of high frictional paper, come connected and are detached one by one for use. Desktops keep tidy and they can be recycled along with the paper. Edge notes The edge notebooks have a colourful edge to help with filling. Filed with the spine outwards the books present a neat appearance, filed with the edges outwards the books are distinguishable by colour. Pages of the books are printed in a light cross pattern to provide enough guidance but less restrictive than lines....


Strike is an eye-catching collection of redesigned matchboxes in seven different dimensions and colours. Clara von Zweigbergk and Shane Schneck joined forces for Danish design house HAY to rethink the ordinary matchbox. They combined the original functionality of a matchbox with a colourful cardboard box. The striking area once was just functional now it is part of the design pattern on each box. The common matchbox is used almost exclusiving for advertising while the intricate red phosphorus pattern along the sides are secondary to the advert. Strike honors the activity of creating a flame. Strike is available in the colours fluorescent red, fluorescent yellow, fluorescent orange, turquoise, light blue, mint green and apricot. Strike was recently awarded with a Wallpaper Design Award 2014 for “Best Fireside”. The awards are an annual celebration of things that caught the magazines eye over the last year.


Lapka has introduced another clever health tracking accessory: the Breath Alcohol Monitor. The Lapka BAM is an accessory for your phone that allows you to track alcohol metabolism over time and compare and share your measurements with friends. Another piece where technology and aesthetics come together in harmony. Lapka BAM is a minimalist black ceramic cylinder, that uses inaudible sound waves to communicate wireless with a custom app on your smartphone. The use of the Lapka BAM is easy: hold it in your fist, take a deep breath and blow for four seconds. The edge of your hand becomes the mouthpiece. The BAM icon on your phone screen will fill up completely when finished. The design of the app is cleverly done: the more drunk one is, the simpler the appearance of the app becomes. One sees an indication of the current blood alcohol level along with a description of what that means in practical terms.


Ninebyfour is a minimalist LED ceiling lamp by the Amsterdam based studio Waarmakers. The LED light tubes do not generate any heat during use, allowing the creators to use atypical materials for the fixture: wood and cork. Every year thousands of trees are felled in the Amsterdam area. Usually the city trees disappear from root to branch in a shredder. The wood for the Ninebyfour fixture however comes from these salvaged trees. The former location of the ‘unfortunate’ trees are stamped on the cork. Simply enter the coordinates in Google maps and find out the trees’ origins. A first batch, from the Albert Neuhuysstraat, is now available.


Vessel must be one of the most relaxing bath tubs I have ever seen! Struck by the synergy between the shapes of a hammock and a bath tub the founders of SplinterWorks, Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington, were inspired to create an engaging and inspiring furniture piece for the bathroom. Or as they describe it themselves “a piece that would provide the ultimate vehicle for total escapism.” Elevated above the floor, Vessel, made of carbon fibre, is a real eye-catcher with its smooth curves. The bath tub is filled using a floor standing, stainless steel, tap and the waste water released through the base into a floor drain. Apart from black, Vessel is also available in red, blue, yellow, pink, bronze and pure silver.


Looking for a great bicycle to navigate life in the metropolis? Have a look at the collection of BIKEID New York for a few beautiful steel horses. BIKEID offers a wide range of bicycles, but personally I prefer the those with the classic drop down handlebar. The models ‘Stockholm’ and ‘Malmen’ look great, but ‘Svart’, created exclusively for the MoMA store in New York, really strikes the eye in my opinion. Have a look at this, chic, matt black frame while the other components are high-gloss black, creating a great contrast. Sportive and classic drop down handlebar and smart rear hub. The rear hub has a built-in two speed gear system, eliminating the clutter of cables and levers, and a foot brake in addition to the front brake. Svart currently only available through the MoMA design store. Photography by Ruvan Wijesooriya


Desk Pad by the German designer Eric Degenhardt is a wall mounted secretaire with extractable leather pad and storage. Degenhardt tends towards formal lightness – letting the pieces hover, with sleek shapes and clean details and a minimum of different materials. There is a large multi-functional storage space hidden underneath the desktop. A traditional book rest and pen holder are situated on the side and backside. The Desk Pad is available for left of right sided walls, depending on your needs to keep disturbances away and remain focused on your work. Desk Pad is offered in two colours: brick stone and grey-olive. Calm, warm colours that make this furniture piece really stand out without claiming all attention.


I like high-end minimalist products but sometimes I stumble upon a more ordinary, everyday, product. The new tableware Eugeni Quitllet created for Air France catched my eye. The collection was conceived with the ‘aerodynamics’ of the air crafts in which they will be used on in mind. A design that disappears to give away the spirit of an idea: the search for the essential, objects sculpted by air and for the air. From the collection I would like to highlight the cutlery, of which the formal aspects have been fashioned to look like a plane, and comes as an assembly kit, which can be easily pieced together for use. The result: an orginal, minimalist, cutlery set with a fun twist suited for adults and children.