Minimalissimo


Niels-Peter Foppen

The details make the difference.

Scales is a minimalist range of ceramic tiles that generate unexpected reflections. Neon colors are used along two rear sides of the smooth white glazed tiles. The individual tiles, arranged as fish scales, irradiate a colorful glow over the adjacent tiles. The 12x12cm square tiles, made in Spain, are available in eight different colors and one can create multiple compositions. We seek to imitate the feeling of vibrating movement transmitted by the sheeny skin of fishes when they ripple under water. Scales is a project between Alberto Sánchez, founder of Valencia based design studio Mut design, and Peronda, ceramic manufacturer for over half a century. What I particularly like about Scales is that you can make your tiled wall really stand out. You can easily create a colorful composition without it being too dominant in your space. Photography by Asier Rua and Designboom.


Gerard de Hoop, designer and interior architect from The Netherlands, has created a beautiful, minimalist, free standing bookshelf named Frames 2.0. My ambition is to make unique designs that carry the elements simplicity, surprise and versatility in them. Simplicity is mainly brought about by the use of basic geometric shapes. The bookshelf is a grid made of 12 wooden rectangle frames. De Hoop makes use of oak or American ash. When de frames are assembled the shelf has an inconsistent composition creating an interesting play of graphical lines. I love the negative space! The inset tracks give the opportunity to store books but you can also place a hanging planter and use Frames 2.0 as a room divider. Thanks to its clever design one can easily dissamble the bookshelf and store it into a pair of flat boxes. Ideal for transport.


We are now halfway through winter in the Northern Hemisphere and one needs quality apparel to face the elements. The Styrman is a waterproof topcoat by San Francisco based Mission Workshop. Their aim is to help you cover the most ground possible. The Styrman, made in Vancouver, British Columbia, is their take on the classic topcoat improved with all the advantages of modern technical outerwear. The jacket is constructed of c_change fabric developed by Schoeller from Switzerland. This membrane reacts to different prevailing conditions. It does not only take temperature into account but also humidity and body moisture. The waterproof-breathable membrane, with taped seams, gives full protection against rain, wind and snow. The storm hood is removable if you prefer. The wool exterior of this smart jacket gives a tailored appearance. The Styrman is available in charcoal or grey. A great jacket for daily commute and outdoor use!


The D3 traveller is an ultralight, strong and discreet duffel whittled down to its barest of components. The duffel was commisioned for field work in diverse and challenging environment. The creators know what they are talking about. One of them, Jan Chipchase, is a well respected design researcher who helps organisations gather insights to inform, inspire and affect change. The D3 is a 42L volume bag for the global traveller who is looking for a strong, versatile and simple luggage solution. The D3 is made of two layers of Cuben Fiber (four times stronger than Kevlar at almost half its weight) with one layer suspended inside the other. Cuben Fiber is a cool material: it can be crinkled, or rolled up without losing structural integrity. The D3 has an “oil black” finish and nicely wears over time. Like the shell the zips are water resistant. The strap and tri glide, created from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium, and Petzl Ange S carabiners make that various carrying styles are possible. There is no exterior branding but the outer zip pulls include a pebble from Kyi Chu, a river that starts in the Chenthangula Mountains in Tibet. A fantastic bag I...


The magnet stripe bar is created by Seiji Oguri and Yohei Oki, founders of id inc. The minimalist bar, part of the Magnet collection by id inc., is a holder for the alternately hidden magnets. Firstly for the magnets, secondly — when a magnet is pulled out — for paper notes or photos. Each magnet can be pulled out and placed in a preferred place. When a magnet is pulled out the space changes colour creating a nice graphic effect. Even when not in use the bar can be a nice decorative element in your space. The magnet stripe bar is made in a white-red and a white-grey edition. The white-grey is more neutral and will fit best with a wide range of interiors.


Switzerland based studio Kind of Design launched earlier this year their debut collection of furniture, called M°1. The collection consists of a table, taboret, lamp and fruit bowl but I would like to highlight the chair: Chaise M°1. As seen from the front there is a nice contrast between the slim legs and solid backrest and seat. From the side one can see the graphic lines I like so much about the M°1. Look for instance at how the back chair legs are shaped. Like the other collection pieces the Chaise M°1 is made out of thermo lacquered aluminium. The chair is available in a set vibrant matte colours: white, black, red and yellow.


Milan-based architect Victor Vasilev partnered with the Italian manufacturer Boffi, to create an innovative shelving solution in blind shape. Vasilev was inspired by the profiles of buildings, touching the sky, in big cities. The breakdown of the volumes of the buildings has created a series of staggered floors which may contain seveal objects, creating a fascinating urban setting. The modular shelving system, named CTline, are blinds with inside vertical storage units, like staggered floors, varying in height and depth. The characteristic composition with its irregular profile really strikes the eye. The modular shelving units, made of a matte-white Betacryl solid surface material, can be positioned to suit specific needs. There are six different proportions to complement your home. The bathroom unit comes fitted with a mirror on inclined front side.


The German design label Studio Hausen has rethought a modern classic of design; the hanging shelf. The link shelf is stripped down to the essentials; a number of massive ash wood shelve boards and a set of black steel mounting brackets. I like the contrast of the natural wood and dark steel and the open structure of the shelf. The open character makes the shelf perfect to store and display acquired treasures. One can easily arrange, and expand, the elements of the shelf by himself adapted to his needs and space requirements and play with the many potential compositions. The link shelf was exclusively availabale in two variants through MONOQI and was a real hit.


The minimalist Nadia coat stand by Matsuso T is constructed from wooden poles with equall diameter. The coat stand has a neat look in addition to an expansive impression reminiscent of trees. This impression is even stronger when two or more stands are placed right next to each other, creating a little forest. The stand, aswell as the other pieces of the Nadia series, has been developed by focusing on a particular method, known as ‘kumiki’, which uses interlocking construction techniques. Many of the woodworking techniques used by Japanese carpenters originate  from Japanse shopwrights. The maritime industry has been a driving force behind the innovation of wood construction for centuries and with the Nadia series the creators wanted to give an affectionate nod towards the wooden vessels of times gone by.


The Sa, currently being funded through Kickstarter, is an innovative, minimalist, geometric umbrella that reimagines structure, form, and aesthetics, with improved efficiency. I love the modern appearance of the canopy design. Like origami the Sa uses planar tension to generate its form. The inner and outer canopies, made of highly recyclable waterproof plastic, expand and contract in unison to open and close the umbrella. As a result the Sa is lighter than a traditional umbrella since there is no need for an inner, metal, skeleton. The canopy design is great, but also have a look at the internalized mechanism to open and close the umbrella. One simply needs to rotate the bottom of the handle to open the Sa. The spring-loaded mechanism will open the umbrella. To close just pull on the handle. Magnets are embedded along the perimeter of the panels allowing an effortless tight closure of the umbrella after use. Since the umbrella finds its roots in origami the creators Justin Nagelberg and Matthew Waldman created the name “Sa” from a combination of Japanese words: “kasa”(umbrella), “same” (rain) and “sasu” (the verb used to describe holding an umbrella). The Sa is offered in cyan, yellow, magenta, black, grey and...


Copenhagen based multidisciplinary design studio Norm Architects created a beautiful, minimalist, grinder. The Bottle Grinder shares the shape of a bottle and is designed to intrigue your senses and leave you curious. The ceramic body, which is available in multiple natural Scandinavian colours, and wooden grinder top combine really well and give a strong impression at first sight. The Bottle Grinders look nothing like the grinders you’re used to. And that’s the whole plan. To create something noticeable and to change a well known thing into something brand new – as a way to encourage people to try new things. The grinder has a comfortable size and weight to handle. The upside down design secures that salt or pepper sprinkles out, when you grind only. One can easily adjust the coarseness by turning the top. A timeless, durable, kitchen tool with appealing design for you cooks out there!


The Mist Cabinet by Rachel Harding is a display cabinet that curates your view. The cabinet uses a minimalist construction to create a series of clear cast acrylic boxes that react to various viewing angles. Thanks to a special coating the opacity of each box flutters between transparent and translucent as you pass by, “creating an intriguing choreography of hidden and seen” as Harding describes. I wanted to re-invent the idea of the traditional display cabinet. Instead of simply falling into the background, this cabinet interacts with the objects inside, and encourages the user to take a second look. The advantages of acrylic glass is its capacity to refract and filter light and being light weight. Acrylic glass however can have a ‘cold’ appearance and will not fit in every interior. Rachel Harding works, in addition to her studio work as an in-house designer for Droog Design, creating in-house collections and design concepts. Harding seeks to surprise with her work drawing inspiration from unexpected materials and contexts.