Minimalissimo


Niels-Peter Foppen

The details make the difference.

The Brick Lamp by HCWD Studio is a minimalist lamp that works very intuitively with a hand gesture. A warm toned light is activated when the lamp is raised and deactivated when laid flat. This clever switching mechanism is designed to work on all kinds of firm and horizontal surfaces. The side facets function as a natural handle and also direct the light when the lamp stands on its side. The lamps weight is engineered to make it stand stabilised. The objective is to capture the moment of light — being concealed and revealed. This unique lighting design would turn a quotidian routine into an enriching experience, providing an unexpected, fun quality to a daily object. The Brick Lamp is multi-functional and one can use the lamp wirelessly. A built-in battery allows the lamp to glow for up to five hours with a single charge. The housing of the Brick Lamp comes in three styles: concrete (light and dark), wood and metal (silver and black). My personal favorite is the metal (silver) edition with the matte finish on the facets and brush texture on the top surface.


The Knob Spice Grinder by Umbra Shift has a traditional look with a modern twist. The grinder consists of two parts: the grinder and a separate base. On top of the cylinder shaped grinder, one can see the grinders turning mechanism. This mechanism was inspired by an oven knob — an archetype for turning, the creators explain. The grinder includes an internal ceramic mechanism to finely grind spices. The separate base serves as a catch-all or pinch pot for freshly-ground spices. Ideal for cooking or presenting salt and pepper at the table. The grinder has a really nice aesthetic. The base and bowl are both made of beechwood and are available in natural, black and aqua finishes. My personal favorites are the natural and black finished grinders. The Knob Grinder is part of the inaugural collection of Umbra Shift, an extension of Umbra Studio focusing on contemporary collections, presented during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair last year. The mission of Umbra Shift is to rethink all manner of everyday items, in minimal design and for maximum effect.


Cologne based design studio Kaschkasch created a slim wallmounted, foldable desk named Fju. Folded down you have a small workspace with a smooth writing surface. When you are done you just place your belongings in the storage pockets under the desk and fold up. Now the storage pockets are revealed and the desk has transformed into a shelf. Within seconds you create some extra space when needed. Fju consists of two main components: a steel bracket, mounted to the wall, and the wooden body made of 8mm thick veneered oak plywood. Fju comes naturally finished or dyed with charcoal. Like Fju the products of design studio Kaschkasch, founded Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider, are characterized by precise lines and geometric shapes.


Fit Pack is a stylish, functional and minimalist gym/work bag designed and created by Aer from the San Fransico Bay Area. Fit Pack is a versatile backpack that you take with you to the office, gym and everywhere in between. We aim to create products that balance a clean, architectural aesthetic with smart functionality. The design is smart: distinct gym and work compartments keep your gear organized and protected. The front-load main compartment gives easy access to store your gym gear. A smaller separate compartment, lined with a moisture resistant polyester, gives space to store shoes or dirty clothes. But the 19L volume backpack has more to offer. The back compartment gives storage for office tools and accessories. The padded laptop pocket in the same compartment fits up to a 15″ MacBook Pro. Your personal items are always within reach with the quick access pocket on the top. The exterior is made of heathered polyester. This water repellent layer keeps your gear dry and protected. The stylish and minimalist appearance makes that the backpack is suitable for many occasions. Take it with you to the office and afterwards to the athletics track for a training. I think you can also...


Little Bishop is a clever, minimalist, ceiling hook specifically designed for cable hung pendant lights. Little Bishop, shaped and cast by hand, wears a lighting cable like a “cloak”. Smooth curved flowing channels in the hook guide the cable, locking itself down. The cable is a feature of the hook, eliminating the need of any knots or clamps. Little Bishop is available in three different post heights. Little Bishop is designed with eye for detail. The hook is unique in form and function. The hook is not a feature. Hanging seamless from the ceiling it just feels like it is part of the home. It is present but not overwhelming. The designer behind Little Bishop is Melbourne based Antony Richards from Hunter & Richards. Little Bishop was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter.


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!


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...