Minimalissimo


Categorized “Furniture design”

Hold On is a modular desk and shelving system developed by the great Belgian designer Xavier Lust for the Dutch furniture company Gispen. Its elements are fixed on the wall with vertical supports that rest on the ground, producing a fantastic feeling of simplicity and lightness because of the reduction of the structure to the essential elements. Hold On is made in lacquered steel modules that create working surfaces, console tables or shelves, according to their dimensions, allowing multiple combinations and configurations to be use in private, professional or commercial spaces.


To mark its 75th anniversary Knoll joined forces with OMA, co-founded by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. At Salone del Mobile 2013 in Milan earlier this month they launched a new collection of kinetic furniture called Tools for Life. The collection features adjustable tables, swivel chairs, a stool, an executive desk, and other items. The minimalist material palette makes the furniture compatible with a range of residential and workplace interiors. I would like to highlight one of the collection pieces named 04 Counter. A horizontal stack of 3 timber blocks that can be transformed from a wall-like unit to cantilevered benches that swing around a central axis. A metamorphosis from a spatial partition to a communal gathering place. We wanted to create a range of furniture that performs in very precise but also in completely unpredictable ways, furniture that not only contributes to the interior but also to the animation – Rem Koolhaas


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...


You know the situation that your desk is covered with piles of documents? For some piles can be an effective work method to keep track of their projects. But as piles grow deeper and taller they stop being useful. Industrial designer Leon Ransmeier created a minimalist desk of lacquered aluminum and steel that gives shape and structure to the habit of stacking. The Folia desk has storage surfaces that slide out like drawers but have open sides like shelves. These stacking trays are attached to runners along just one edge, providing more visibility and easier access than a full-fledged drawer. The contents of the desk remain in sight to a certain extent and so are never really ‘gone.’ The horizontal format is retained, preserving any inherent chronology, but the piles are suspended below the work surface, freeing up desk space - Ransmeier explains.


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...


Dutch architects Fraaiheid have created a series of tables which are assembled solely on their cross shaped joints. Available in multiple sizes, they are easy and quick to put together and the designers have made a selection of sizes and finishes available as well. Besides its clean, minimal and contemporary appearance, I very much value the fact that the design of the + Tables considered minimal waste and maximum efficiency in its production. The parts of the table are precisely cut with a CNC milling machine utilizing one sheet of laminated plywood which has been sustainably produced. Imagery and details via Fraaiheid.


Italian furniture design studio Kristalia recently introduced me to one of their latest products – The Thin-K table, which will be presented at the next international trade fair in Milan. The incredibly slim Thin-K is the result of a collaborative project between Kristalia and the great Luciano Bertoncini. One of the primary features of Thin-K is of course how thin it is. Measuring a mere 6mm thickness, its structural frame is comprised of Anodised aluminium. The legs and top can be finished in a number ways, including aluminium with white, sand grey and black lacquer. The table is also available in genuine wood veneer with brush-effect, a technique that highlights the natural grain of the wood. Stunning.


The Blackbox sidetable is an incredibly simple piece of furniture design by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Design for the Danish firm JENSENplus, and was originally created to join the Blackbox modular bench as part of a collection. The base on the sidetable is designed so it touches the base on the bench and thereby gives the perfect position and balance. Available in Corian and wood, all edges of the sidetable have been cut off at the inside of the table to create a lighter design and at the same time adding clear detail and decoration. Simple, elegant, functional. Just that. What more do you need?


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.


Kaki side table has been created by Taiwan based furniture designer Kenyon Yeh. A lightweight and aesthetically austere piece, Kaki can serve to hold a vase, flower pot, books or a lamp. It can even be used as an improvised writing desk by those of us who live in confined spaces. Kaki is made of powder coated metal and consists of only two elements - a bent tabletop, which rests against the wall for added stability, and two legs. I love the simplicity and versatility of the piece. Its neutral design and light frame make it easy to move around and apply to various tasks.


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?