Minimalissimo


Categorized “Furniture design”

Think Black Lines by Nendo was originally conceived for an exhibition (curated by Phillips de Pury and Company) at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2010 based on condensed expressions of meaning. Whereby the designs gently break the relationship of before and behind, and traverse at times the space between two and three dimensions. The exhibition was a series of utilitarian items, envisioned on this similar principle of lines, in particular the theme of ‘outlines’. The resulting series of coat racks, all exhibited as minor transgressions of one another, were the play on two and three-dimensional principles. The slightness of these outlines I think is quite beautiful. While the practical functions of the item are still represented in the form, it is the less-ness of the outcome that is emphasized. This series of experimentation with lines, cast in black metal, is quite timeless. The structures represent the ultimate fusion of form, diverging from its original functional aesthetic.


Purpose Inc., a furniture and housewares company based in Utah, have designed this wonderfully minimalist take on an iconic symbol that is the rocking chair. They call it Rokur. Perfect for that moment of relaxation and reflection, this attractive chair design, particularly impressive from the side, has an ease and simplicity about it that features thin straight lines where possible. According to Purpose Inc.: The design was an attempt to capture the look and feel of relaxation. By removing extraneous patterns and ornate fillers, we created a chair that is as beautiful as it is functional. Rokur, featured here in Brazilian cherry, is also offered with seat and/or back cushions, but you wouldn’t want those, right?


This elegant chair has been created by the prolific Nendo for Swedish furniture brand Offecct. The illusion of a cape spread over the frame is achieved by two pieces of plywood pressed together. The biggest concern both the designer and the manufacturer had with piece was the weight. This amount of plywood was quite a tall order for such small and delicate item. The solution came in using ultra light steel, developed originally for the racing car industry. Aside from this exciting innovation, the piece strikes with its aesthetic creativity. It is amazing how a basic, familiar shape received a new life thanks to one clever visual detail. 


Milan based Italian designer Henry Timi has built some incredible minimalist furniture over recent years, designing simple and pure shapes, refusing excess and the unnecessary. I would like to share with you today a small selection of seating furniture that reflects these qualities, but many more can be found on the Henry Timi website. Timi explains his design philosophy: I summarise and I develop objects with a minimalist vision. I just think of pure products – purity as the beauty. I promote the simplicity as the depth and the refinement to give value to objects and persons. I make things simpler in order to be better. These pieces may not exude comfort exactly, but what I do appreciate is their quiet elegance, clean lines and detail.


Jasper Morrison designed his iconic Air Chair for production by Magis in 2001. I recently bought a few of these for my new apartment and it surprises me how well the design has held up over the years. Coining—in conjunction with Takashi Okutani—the term ‘super normal’ to describe the kind of work he aims to produce as a designer, these chairs certainly do seem to be nothing special on first (and second) glance, but nonetheless exude an atmosphere of quiet, grace and honesty through their simplicity. One of the first significant pieces of furniture design to apparently use injection blow moulding technology, this chair is crafted from polypropylene with added glass fibre and is stackable. The chair has several variations (the Folding Air-Chair and the Air-Chair with arms) and is accompanied by the Air-Table and the Air TV table.


A Frame is a collection of elegant linear folding tables, created by London based designer Tomás Alonso for furniture manufacturer Karimoku New Standard. Each table has a simple A-frame base (hence the name), which folds completely flat when the piece is disassembled. Designer explains: It is a proposal for a “temporary” piece of furniture that accommodates to contemporary living in cities, which implies living in small spaces, that change from time to time as we move from one flat to the next. I like the idea of a single colorful metal leg, it gives artistic individuality to each of these objects. The tables are made from Japanese oak and powder coated steel, they come in different sizes and diameters.


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.


Joshua Browne created a clever and minimalist dinning table for people living in small flats with little or limited space. The dining table, named TTable, can allow for both one person to dine alone or, with the extension, accommodate for visitors. TTable is a non mechanical table with a sheet of lacquered metal that simply glides over the existing maple wooden table, hiding it when extra table top is not needed. When fully extended the sheet metal drops onto a lower part of the table removing the lip between the two surfaces.


Splinter is a new furniture line created by Nendo for the Japanese brand Conde House. As the name of the collection suggests all items have elements that look like splinted wood. This dynamic between thick and thin parts, strength and flexibility of the material, became the main theme and inspiration for the project. We splintered each piece of wood as though peeling it away. Chairs’ backrests divide to become armrests and legs, and the top of the coat stand peels away to provide coat hooks. The side table’s stand splinter to turn into three legs. We kept larger pieces of wood at their original thickness to provide strength where necessary, and used thin pieces of wood that had splintered off for more delicate parts. The Splinter collection will be presented at the imm cologne from 14 to 20 January 2013.


The German designers Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub (Jehs + Laub) have created this new sculptural wall clock for Danish furniture company, Stelton. The clock’s minute arm is linked with and forms the clock face, casting an attractive shadow on the wall, reminiscent of that original timepiece, the sundial. Simplicity gives the clock a unique, graphical look and the absence of traditional clock casing creates the illusion of floating on the wall. Made from aluminium and painted in matt black, the Stelton Time Clock measures 30cm. The design has a clear minimalist form and looks incredibly stylish, but I would also like to see the effect if painted in matt white, which may draw a stronger focus on the shadow. Either way, this wall clock is a find.


Today I would like to share the Riding coffee table designed by Emilie Cazin with you. The table is made of white oak and the parts are joint by elastic straps and leather bands. The straps and bands play a decorative over a functional role but give the table an own personality and make the composition as a whole more exciting. The wood and the vibrant red straps give a nice contrast. The table is part of Cazin’s Riding collection which also includes a bench and a storage piece. Cazin closely collaborates with the French furniture company Singularité who provide these, limited edition, furniture pieces.


The Feather chair has been created by Swedish designer Jens Fager for the office furniture manufacturer Edsbyn. Based on a traditional office chair design, Feather is more lightweight and comfortable than its predecessors. The designer explains: The name Feather evokes elegance combined with spring and resilience. We wanted it to attract all consumers, from young design offices to the dining room of a huge factory. A chair for everyone. One of the notable features of this piece is the detachable rubber-covered armrests. They instantly add comfort and allow chair to be hung off the edge of a table when mopping the floor. The frame is available in chrome, white lacquer or silver lacquer and the seat and backrest are available in white ash, natural oak, black stained oak and natural birch.