Moving Mountains is an interdisciplinary studio founded by Syrette Lew, who was born and raised in Hawaii. With a sustainable solution of producing and realizing her designs within the United States, she focuses on making utilitarian objects through whimsical simplicity. Confetti Credenza is one of the children from that playful minimalism that the designer explores in her work. Standing on four thin legs made of blackened steel, the credenza has a clean contour with an opaque color of maple wood. Its illusion / reality of a mass relying on such thin supports is a wonderful work of balancing. The symmetrical design is then broken by the randomized confetti pattern that subtly adds a quirk to the product. Thoughtfully, the thin steel lines complements the black segments of confetti, or vice versa. Lew’s design of the credenza speaks about the many sides of minimalism. On one hand, there is the familiar sleek look with clean executions. On the other, a whole horizon of possible interpretations. Photography courtesy of Moving Mountains with Ceramic Sculptures by Keiko Narahashi.
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.
This beautiful collection has been created by Netherlands based designer Benjamin Vermeulen. Called MAG (Magnetic Assisted Geometry), the line consists of three flat-packed pieces that can be assembled with magnets without the use of tools. The furniture, made from high-quality steel and wood, snaps together without any effort. Here is how designer describes his vision: My goal is to design for people. But that doesn’t necessarily mean mass production, I rather design something amazing than have something mass produced. Another goal of mine is to make simple designs that people instantly understand how to use. Another interesting aspect of this collection is the fact that it is customizable. The cabinet allows you to to select components based on the configuration you need. You can change front, select number of shelves, attach extra elements and so forth. And you can take everything apart in seconds for storage or transportation. A nice idea for a nomadic lifestyle.
The internationally recognised Dutch furniture brand, Pastoe, is a brand that stands for simplicity, timelessness, quality and craftsmanship. This year, Pastoe are celebrating 100 years of design innovation and are currently exhibiting their many designs at Kunsthal Rotterdam, including furniture, drawings, publications, photographs, posters and advertisements. Curated by Anne van der Zwaag and a host of notable designers, artists and architects, the exhibition includes design pieces from different periods of Pastoe’s illustrious history, all presented together. We have touched on a couple of Pastoe designs on Minimalissimo over the years, but I would really like to take this opportunity to share with you some of our favourite furniture collections. These include the calm, understated beauty of Vision and Vision Elements, the clean lines and elegance of Pure, and the bold colours of Shift. In addition to the exhibition, a book titled, Pastoe: 100 years of design innovation has been written by author and design critic Gert Staal and curator Anne van der Zwaag, published especially for the anniversary. This looks back on the past century, but also looks forward with a modern vision on living, interior and design. Furthermore, on 27 May, an auction of old Pastoe furniture will take...
The Tom Kundig Collection, launched in 2012 by Olsen Kundig Architects is a celebration of the moments when people become kinetically involved with the buildings and spaces they inhabit. The series features a variety of differing interaction scenarios, suitably named peek, no peek, droop, pull and earless. The collection is one of stylised conscious consideration of experience. With each piece, the user is challenged to change their interaction with the hardware, as a response to the evolution of the aesthetic that is presented. I like and appreciate this immensely. Here, design is challenging behaviour, heightening experience and giving a nod to the appreciative eye of the user. The use of steel, the consideration of the line work and seamless nature of the execution are beautiful. Seattle-based Olsen Kundig Architects were also recognised in 2012 from Interior Design magazine with a Best of the Year Award. Envisioned as the first of several product lines by the firm, the focus of the collection stems from Kundig’s well-known interest in the ways people interact with their environment. The resulting collection is one that celebrates the movement of people through architecture, and the interface of that interaction is celebrated. I look forward to the...
In 2008 Shay Alkalay of Raw-Edges designed the Pivot cabinet. The drawers of the wooden cabinet are hinged together, which means they can both be opened at the same time. A feature of which conventional drawers do not have. Since, Alkalay has created two new additions to the Pivot line for one of Europe’s leading table manufacturers, Arco: the Pivot Desk and Vanity. The Pivot Desk lowers the Pivot unit and adds a desktop. A functional workstation, great for small spaces or living rooms. The Pivot Vanity is the same concept as the desk but the top has a recessed edge and a mirror can be added.
The great and ever inspirational creative director Fabien Baron, under his full spectrum design agency Baron & Baron, has created a quite incredible range of minimalist furnishings for the Milan based design firm, Cappellini. The range of designs include a variety of sofas and chairs, one of which is a slender lounge chair, as well as storage units and tables. All of which result in an elegant combination of materials and exceptional sculptural quality. Such beautiful proportions.
As a fan of New York-based practice Snarkitecture ever since their collaboration with fashion designer Richard Chai, I have been looking forward to their new installation in Chicago’s Volume Gallery, a series of everyday objects ‘confused’ in their original function, typical context and familiar materials, producing a collection of Fun. A lamp whose globe melts away from leaning onto another lamp. A coffee table frozen in collapse under the weight of a marble that ‘pours’ its heaviness out. These objects are kept in minimal colors and forms to convey the artists’ intention. Funiture reconsiders our reality, often centering on creating confusion – whether with familiar objects in unexpected contexts, or the dissolution of recognizable volumes into irrational forms. Snarkitecture, comprising of Alex Mustonen and Daniel Asham, has often brought the fields of topography and geography into a smaller, human scale. Shelves, smooth on the top surface to function as, well, shelves, are made out of fiberglass and wood while they resemble rock excavations on the underside. Consistent in their philosophy of making architectural sense in their work, what I like most about the collection is that it serves its purpose by reminding us that sometimes it is ok not to take architecture...
I like the versatile cabinets named Sticks, by Dutch product- and interior designer Gerard de Hoop. De Hoop’s work is characterized by simplicity, versatility and play of lines with attention to functionality. Inspired by seeing a number of placards put aside he created a cabinet system with boxes, in four different widths and heights, standing on one leg. Sticks can be used for several occasions; a low board, a side board or a casual wardrobe. Loose you can use it as a small hall cabinet or bed side table. I love the simple shapes and the playful one leg. It looks like the cabinet can fall aside at any moment. Sticks are available in plain, effect or gloss lacquer.
Minimalist product designers Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings have created this contemporary and sophisticated storage unit, Shift, for Dutch furniture brand Pastoe. Introduced during the IMM Cologne at Design Post Keulen from 15-22 January 2012, Shift offers a beautiful blend of simplistic form with an expressive and carefully considered use of colours. Due to the translucent acrylate sliding doors of the cabinet, the colours create a play of reveal, conceal with tinted overlays when the cabinet is opened and closed. It is available in two widths and can be either frame or wall-mounted. Scholten & Baijings describe the design: Shift’s clear design appears timeless, while the bold use of colours provides the cabinet with a contemporary look. This meant creating a clear design with an emphasis on surfaces and volumes. The body has been crafted from very thin materials and the handles have been recessed. Not only is it a great way to subtly introduce colour to an interior, but the finish really impresses.
Designed by Koenraad Ruys for Belgian product company Moca, the Framed storage unit is a varnished buffet composed of multiple compartments in different colors, all integrated into a black steel frame. It’s a fun interpretation of De Stijl and Bauhaus principles in all its boxy geometric glory. As it’s been said before here in Minimalissimo, by no means does minimalist mean a fear of color, and Ruys proves that point with the right dose of sass to an object that is pure simplicity.
The sideboard Conchiglia (shell) by StudioCharlie for Lema is inspired by the geometric form of a spiral, which is infinite both in its origin and its development. What we see when we observe a spiral is a portion of it. As it develops it becomes too large to be perceived by the human eye, and in its origin it is too small for us to see the minute details. The sideboard Conchiglia is built on a portion of a spiral. As the geometric form develops, the size of the doors increases, and where the details become invisible at the origin of the spiral there is a void, a concentrated space. The sideboard’s resolute design – its square shape and compact mass – give strength to its presence.