Minimalissimo


Categorized “Furniture design”

Mamba, by Bulgarian designer Victor Vasilev for MDF Italia is more than a shelf. It’s a perfect combination of shape, function and material, a unique mix of a shelf, a console and a desk with a LED light source which creates a new kind of furnishing. Mamba is a new concept of furniture comprised of Cristaplant, that fits into a modern domestic space with a unique image, sensual to the eye and to the touch that seems to materialize from the wall and then vanishes. In 2013, two years after the launch of Mamba, Mamba Light was created. A sober hanging desk or a decorative shelf that lends itself to different uses and home environments — from the living room to the studio. Mamba Light is a shelf-desk cabinet made of medium-density wood fiberboard, with variable thickness, curved mold, matt white, green, orange, blue, sand, ivory, yellow and gray coated finish. The basic shape gives the product a unique design and identity of a strong iconic character.


Paolo Ulian is an awarded Italian designer who has an artistry background. With a collaborated blood, he recently produced a series of seven items made of unwanted materials with Moreno Ratti. As a part of the Marble Weeks 2014, the two have created a collection of furniture and housing utilities with scrapped marble tiles. There is a toy-like factor to these designs since they are put together from individual pieces cut by water jet. By giving the materials slots and notches, there is an instant recognization of assembly without any confusion. According to the standardization of the cuts, the final forms hold a mix of modern and minimal aesthetics. The series contains a lamp called Ratti, a layered tool, a table named SfridO, the O-ring bowl, the +O- Lamp, the Piet fruit bowl, and the Gerla vase. For some of the items, the trick of stacking creates volumes to these initially flat marble panels. Perhaps I was always intrigued with the patterns of the marbles that I decided to write about this collection. But perhaps not only so. The sustainable decision of the two designers to give these discarded pieces a second life is somewhat heroic. With that thought, these...


Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.


Swedish designer Thomas Sandell celebrates the beauty of marble with his Melt Bookcase. Originally from Finland, his architectural and design background has found him responsible for numerous subtle minimalist industrial design pieces. The piece was produced for the Marsotto Edizioni collection, and is made from white carrara marble, with a matt polished finish. The piece is also available in a black marble, and measures 70cm x 37cm x 90cm high. Since graduating with his Masters in Architecture, Sandell has been challenging the conventional design business model. His work includes several acclaimed interiors, contributing to a portfolio of commercial and residential work with gusto. His industrial pieces have also seen mass acclaim throughout Europe, and rightly so, together with a healthy body of international published work. Photography courtesy of Miro Zagnoli.


In 1958 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed the Babela Chair for the Milan Chamber of Commerce. The brothers created a light-weight chair with minimal clearance. One can easily move the chair, stack it and create long, straight, rows. The Italian contemporary furniture brand Tacchini adopted the 1950’s design in 2010. Unlike the original chair the frame is not made of iron but of Ash timber, available with a white, black, grey, walnut or natural finish. The seat features a removable cover and may be upholstered with fabric and leather. The Castiglioni brothers playfully explored new possibilities for form and created highly functional objects that are as aesthetically satisfying as they were practical. A timeless classic!


Up in the air is a striking occasional table for home and contract use, developed by Ramón Úbeda and Otto Canalda for the Spanish company Viccarbe. The white lacquered cylindrical table is also made from a patented environment-friendly resin that contains handmade fish replicas, therefore no need of additional decoration than themselves. The designers explain: Fish that aren’t fish. That seem to float in water that isn’t water. They seem to be suspended in air that isn’t air. Like a dream. A wonderful mixture between minimalism and poetry is the result of this charming project, that is available in different versions of fish compositions and table sizes.


Pedrali, an Italian multi-disciplinary design firm established in 1963, has recently launched their newest furniture collection that showcases their collaborative ethics with innovative thinkers. With a series of wooden and upholstered products, the functionality gives rise to designs that are both fun and simple. With notable seating items such as “Snow Junior” by Odo Fioravanti; “Log” by Manuela Busetti, Andrea Garuti, and Matteo Redaelli;  “Tivoli” by Cazzaniga, Mandelli, and Pagliarulo; and “Zippo” by Pedrali R&D; they apparently show the way of integrating technology into craft, quality, and materiality. “Parenthesis” by Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pocci consists of three different coffee tables with quirky shapes and a tongue-in-cheek set of round brackets. “Flag” By Pio and Tito Toso is a variety of coat hangers that are both sleek and unconventional. All of the objects mentioned above combined to be a colorfully minimal collection and adds a punch of personality to one’s home, while still maintain an exuding elegance. Minimalism doesn’t mean simply black and white, but it means functionality over aesthetic; this 2014 furniture set of Pedrali proved that effectively. And the way these products are displayed is just a cherry on top to this wonderfully curated showcase.


Thaw sofa is one of the latest works launched by the Japanese design studio Junpei Tamaki Design during this year’s SaloneSatellite in Milan. It is a reference to images of thawed fluffy snow, producing a wonderful feeling of softness and comfort. The curved silhouette of Thaw is accompanied by a rounded oak detail that frames the whole piece — a continuous line to serve the seat, arm and backrest in one, resulting in a great formal simplicity. I particularly like how the wood is integrated so well on this kind of design, achieving a sense of quality and warmth. Photography by Takumi Ota


Armada armchair has been created by Croatia-based designer Zoran Jedrejcic. The base of the piece is comprised of a steel frame covered in wood, and the seat features a thin steel layer covered in high quality leather. This combination gives Armada the structural integrity it needs while preserving the weightless appearance. I love how sculpturesque and beautifully balanced the piece looks. Additional elements, such as cushions, upholstery and back support, can be added to Armada via magnets. Different types of leather and wood are available. The chair can also be made to order and accommodate custom measurements.


Menu has just launched the Chair #01  at the Salone Satellite in Milan this week. Designed by Stockholm studio Afteroom, the beautiful chair has a minimal solid-steel structure with three legs and back support and seat comprised of oak. Afteroom’s Hung-Ming Chen explains: The Afteroom Chair is an homage to Bauhaus and functionalism. The simplicity of its design combined with the quality of materials is what’s important. It is based on the concept of reducing the amount of materials to the minimum and by doing so pushing the aesthetic appearance to the maximum. The chair is available in black and white, and the collection also includes a stackable side table and a stoneware caddy.


Dutch design office Oato., who’s work we have previously featured, recently introduced me to their latest design — Shift — a minimalistic set of tables with a playful design with many different sides and subtle bending details. The Shift tables are laser-cut from a continuous rectangular sheet of 3mm steel. We strategically left small segments of a few millimetres connected so it becomes possible to fold the table into the desired shape merely by hand. The outcome is a playful setup, which was created by balancing the desired structural and visual effect. The tables, which are available in two sizes — a side table & a coffee table — are finished with a slightly textured matt white coating to give maximum expression to the shape with all the different angles and edges in various shades of white. Oato.’s lead designer Stefan Tervoort explains: We think that this table’s aesthetic and details of the hand bending sets it aside from many other cold, straight folded sheet metal furniture. There is a certain softness/emotion in those corners, something unpredictable that brakes with the industrial nature of the design. We think we made a transition from displaying a technique into using a technique...


It is now our third feature of the work by Takuro Yamamoto Architects. However this time, it is not an architectural structure, but rather a complement to the living space. With an eye and a mind for minimal designs, the firm recently launched a series of lamps under the name of Minimal Green, consisting of Twig, Blossom, Bud and Flower. While the former two elegantly stand tall with their elongated thin bodies, Bud and Flower are more modest, acting as the younger siblings of this collection. It is in the details that one can differentiate the four from one another: on the trunk of these lamps, branches sprout out of the body to imitate the rustic feeling of plants, as the designer put. Not only do they act as an aesthetic communicator, but they can also be functional — used as a hanger for lightweight accessories and outerwear. I especially find Blossom the most provocative. Its straight body extends up to then flourish into a white mass, supported by a bent brach that plays with the eyes. The structure’s offset is what makes it interesting and intriguing, while its simplicity helps put it on the top of my wish-list.