Minimalissimo


Niels-Peter Foppen

The details make the difference.

SIMON&ME is located in a small store, founded by Simon Freund, in Kreuzberg, Berlin where they sell selected menswear and hand picked selected goods. One of their goods is this beautifully minimalist copper bracelet. Produced in Munich by a blacksmith, the bracelet has an understated elegance. It is void of any logo, embellishment or detailing other than formed during the forging process. Over time the shine will fade giving the bracelet its unique color. We believe that there is nothing greater than the satisfaction of possessing a cherished piece that simply lasts; and knowing that the product you are holding is made from craftsmanship and passion. Last weekend I had the pleasure to visit SIMON&ME in their store and have a look at the products. The bracelet is a simple, beautiful, jewellery piece that will last for years and will endure seasonal trends. A perfect gift for someone special.


Edition One is a series of minimalist pastel toned linework on rich metallic paper. The pastel colors, printed with matte ink, give a nice contrast with the background and throughout the day the appearance will change by the light. Like the name says Edition One is the first edition of metallic prints by Yield. The series is produced in a limited edition of 100 pieces. Yield was founded in 2012 by Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming. The co-founders met at California College of the Arts, where Gant studied Industrial Design and Deming studied Design Strategy.


Berlin based Björn Meier created a minimalist, light, modular shelf-system named Dike. Dike is composed of several components, each made of a coated top and bottom shelf, two side elements of acrylic glass. The rear and blind are made of aluminum. The system invites you to make your own composition. The open transparent shelves encourage us to store beautiful and well crafted objects though. Else it is hard to keep the clean, uncluttered appearance. Meier founded his Berlin Product Design Studio in 2007, after his graduation in product design from the University of the Arts Bremen in 2006. Photography by Axel Köhler


I present you the Zero Chair, a minimalist chair made out of one sheet of aluminium with just three cuts and two folds. At first the chair makes a ‘cold’ and ‘metalic’ appereance. But when you take place it shows you a different personality: resilient and playful. A chair with a personality. The Zero Chair is part of the aluminium collection by DoroDesign. The chaise longue and coat rack follow the same precise cuts and clean lines. The Zero Chair was the first self-produced furniture piece by Dorodesign, an Italian design firm founded by Dario Olivero and Stefano Ollino.


The 7 Möbelstücke collection is an inspiring collaboration between a designer, Herbert Schultes, and a craftsman, Friedrich Reich. Both men had the intent to explore new ways to produce wooden objects, furniture pieces, using modern production methods, but taking mass production out of the equation. In their quest they focused on what was essential to the sitting experience of a chair and stripped back the other elements. The result is a minimalist, pretty basic, collection that consists of a chair, two stools, two tables a desk and a bread case made of European maple, American maple and oak. Frank furniture pieces made with attention for detail. Have a look at how the wood pieces run into each other, the bevel joints, etc. All furniture pieces are produced on request and can be purchased directly through Herbert Schultes Design.


The Wire Side Table by Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister, heavily relies on geometry and it is the play of lines that I particularly like. The side table is made out of powder coated, stainless steel and is actually more decorative than practical I imagine. This minimalist furniture piece is available in various colours including pink, tomato, hammerwhite, black, mint, aqua as well as different metals like brass and copper. During this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York the Wire Side Table was very well received.


Meet Stroke, an LED desk lamp that seamlessly blends into your workspace with its smooth body. Stroke is manufactured by Bsize in Japan. Best light, minimal structure. Stroke is made of a single, thin, matte white sprayed, curved metal pipe. The integrated LED gently diffuses the light so that the surrounding is illuminated evenly. A microcomputer within the lamp triggers the light to gradually get brighter instead of all at once. The simple and elegant design keep Stroke out of your field of vision allowing you to focus on what you are working on. Last year Stroke was awarded with a red dot award.


The WR.02 is a minimalist chair with a fun twist I recently discovered in Lisbon. The chair is created by the Portuguese industrial designer and art director, Marco Sousa Santos. What appeals to me are the fresh lines and the interesting combination of materials, beech wood and rubber, the WR.02 is made up of. The backseat, one piece with the rear legs composing a strong structure, is coated with Rubber Skin creating the illusion of a hard back, yet surprisingly soft and comfortable. I really like how Sousa Santos plays with this illusion. The chair, available in various colours, is part of the new collection of Branca, a new furniture label founded by Sousa Santos.


I would like to share the MVS Chaise  Maarten van Severen created in cooperation with Vitra with you. At first glance the MVS Chaise looks more like a sculptural object than a comfortable chair but upon use you immediately notice how the resilient material conforms the body. The backrest and footrest are made of a polyurethane integral foam shell with upholstered effect.The headrest is available in leather or polyurethane foam, matching the shell’s colour. The stainless steel base gives a nice contrast with the soft and elastic rest and completes the whole. A timeless furniture piece suited for indoor and outdoor use.


Japanese designer Oji Masanori designed a minimalist cutlery series inspired by the theme, Light. The series, manufactured by Futagami, contains a spoon, fork and knife. All made of lead free brass and the tip silver plated. The set is produced in slightly brushed (lead free) brass with a silver plated tip and includes a dinner fork, a dinner knife and a dinner spoon. The brass and silver go really well together and I love the way they are split by just a thin hairline. To finish it all, Masanori also designed matching brass cutlery rests.


The NW3 speakers by Germany based interdisciplinary collective Neue Werkstatt are designed, manufactured and distributed in close collaboration with local craftsmen and businesses.The collective tries to explore alternative forms of production and graphic shapes. Our products are simple and reticent. It is not our intention to make just beautiful forms. We are concentrated on function, comprehensibility, ecology and durability. The NW3 speakers form a natural looking and sounding HiFi system that can be used in almost every area. The drivers are from the Danish company Pearless and the housing, made of local wood, solvent-free stained and protected with natural wax, by a small carpenters workshop in Germany. The front guards are made of powder-coated steel.


The Revolt chair, originally designed in 1953 by the Dutch industrial designer Friso Kramer, is a true design classic. The chair, made of moulded plywood and powder-coated steel, was very innovative in those days. It caused a sensation when it was introduced and won a permanent place for itself both in the business world and in Dutch living rooms. After the Revolt chair had been out of stock for several years, Ahrend reintroduced it in 2004. Once again it has proven that a product that still has something to offer just gets better as the years go by. An ergonomic, flexible chair that gives you active support while working or having dinner. Revolt now comes with a polypropylene seat and back in black, white or dustgrey.