Shiro Studio is a London based design practice established by Andrea Morgante, committed to the creation of unique architecture and objects. Shiro means ‘white’ in Japanese, but here it implies a philosophical translation where white is perceived as the purest creative approach. An approach which has seen the design of the award winning Nivis — a strikingly sleek and minimalistic bathroom sink for Italian manufacturer Agape. Nivis pays homage to the most intimate and fragile sculptural qualities of snow, its unblemished whiteness and deep blanket fallen on everyday objects. Comprised of white cristalplant, Nivis’s surface becomes a soft, fluid mass where water can seamlessly flow, from the main to the secondary basin by rotating the overflow hole on the horizontal plane.
Categorized “Industrial design”
When elements of nature come together, the role of a designer is to become the spectator instead of the author; he or she no longer has control of the process, but the idea and power to transform the incidents and accidents that occur along the way into a product of growth. Martín Azúa, perhaps with that idealism, understands this very well with his Vase Stone design. Using physics as an element to deform the clay mold, the Barcelona-based designer place a stone around the peripheral of each vase’s mouth. The minimal bend and indentation then creates something strange, yet whimsical. Vases with new forms then become something more than just regular objects: sculptures with a complexity in form. That new figure is a result of nature affecting nature, rather than something that the designer superimposed onto the process of producing. To me, there’s something so modest and respectable about that. As a collaboration between Martín Azúa and Marc Vidal, the series of Vase Stone blends the rugged beauty of nature into a minimal manmade product. The result is both unique and impeccable.
AÃRK Collective’s timepiece range is a fusion of tradition and precision. Each piece uses Swiss and Japanese Quartz movements and hand-dipped casings and soft Horween leather straps. The Eclipse is the epitome of this balance and discipline. Inspired by time and the duality of night and day through the dual-tones of materiality and formal placement. The simple, contrasting dial evokes the moon’s movement in relation to the earth and the sun. Based in Melbourne, Australia, AÃRK Collective sees a collaboration of four creative aligned by family and a love of design. Emphasizing the need for quality and considered pieces has meant the resulting design is the uncomplicated and imbues minimalism. There is a simplicity in the undoing, and the careful placement of elements coming together. AÃRK Collective put as much thought into the parts that most people won’t see, and the result is beautiful. Photography courtesy AÃRK Collective.
Mifune Design Studio’s Y-Hangers piece sits as a light-weight functional sculpture. The single-framed metal arm bends to create multiple hanging locations vertically. The hangers themselves are also designed, specifically, for loading the coat rack with numerous items, seamlessly, and consistently. And when not in use, the hangers sit flat, aligned with the metal, painted base. The overall result is one of clear thin lines that quietly add to a space, without dominating it. Which is beautiful. Mifune is headed by Yasutoshi Mifune, who was born in Tattori and now resides in Osaka where the studio is located. He acquired knowledge about design through self-education while working at a few architectural design offices and interior design companies. Following this, he set up his own studio that encompasses design that is true to Japanese design with regard to beauty and spirituality. Photography courtesy of Mifune Design Studio.
Little Bishop is a clever, minimalist, ceiling hook specifically designed for cable hung pendant lights. Little Bishop, shaped and cast by hand, wears a lighting cable like a “cloak”. Smooth curved flowing channels in the hook guide the cable, locking itself down. The cable is a feature of the hook, eliminating the need of any knots or clamps. Little Bishop is available in three different post heights. Little Bishop is designed with eye for detail. The hook is unique in form and function. The hook is not a feature. Hanging seamless from the ceiling it just feels like it is part of the home. It is present but not overwhelming. The designer behind Little Bishop is Melbourne based Antony Richards from Hunter & Richards. Little Bishop was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter.
Poster is an interesting new project developed by the Japanese studio YOY. It is a series of minimalistic wall lamps that appear as a basic A2-sized poster — a great example of simple and smart design with few elements and an abundance of creativity. The shape of the lamp shade is created in the middle of a sheet of paper with several cuts, to fix to a wall with tape or pins like a poster. The lamp also features a small LED light that is hidden beneath the paper. The final result is quite incredible, whether on white or black, and the ability to print various colours and patterns can onto the surface is an added bonus.
Elise Rijnberg’s Piattona sees a seamless curated culinary assemblage brought to life. Originally designed as a prototype, this beautifully minimalist set is a response to the hurried thoughtless consumption of our frazzled times and seeks to get people to relax and take time to enjoy their food. The streamlined silverware set has a series of strong lines that simplify and force the user to engage in another way, to the act of using the items; and consequently to the act of eating itself. Based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Rijnberg is a freelance photographer, food stylist and designer. Her work is inspired out of her travels and engagement with culinary diversity. The name Piattona was originally introduced by Pellegrino referring to cutting the food without haste and chewing it slowly. This prototype collection challenges the user and changes the experience. Photography courtesy of Elise Rijnberg.
Dish 60 by Minimalux is a seductive and sophisticated gesture to the professional desktop. Amid the gadgets of interconnectedness, this piece sits as a sculptural nuance. Made with a stainless steel base and from solid brass, mirror polished by hand and electroplated in black nickel, this bowl is beautifully crafted. Also available in a plain, non-plated brass finish, this 60mm x 30mm piece is available through Leibal. The Liebal Store is a place of curated items focused on quality, minimalism and functionality. Dish 60 is no exception. Photography courtesy of Liebal Store.
Scales is a minimalist range of ceramic tiles that generate unexpected reflections. Neon colors are used along two rear sides of the smooth white glazed tiles. The individual tiles, arranged as fish scales, irradiate a colorful glow over the adjacent tiles. The 12x12cm square tiles, made in Spain, are available in eight different colors and one can create multiple compositions. We seek to imitate the feeling of vibrating movement transmitted by the sheeny skin of fishes when they ripple under water. Scales is a project between Alberto Sánchez, founder of Valencia based design studio Mut design, and Peronda, ceramic manufacturer for over half a century. What I particularly like about Scales is that you can make your tiled wall really stand out. You can easily create a colorful composition without it being too dominant in your space. Photography by Asier Rua and Designboom.
I met Studio Vit for the first time two years ago at Fuorisalone in Milan. I was affected by their radical minimalistic design, even through their business card and website. The studio, founded in 2010 by Helena Jonasson and Veronica Dagnert in London, design and create well made products, lighting and furniture with great attention to detail. After Globe and Marble Lights, Cone lights is a collection which is about opposites. It consists of two elementary forms, the cone and the sphere, that are combined in different ways. Spheres in handblown glass and cones in matt white or mirror polished metal make up lights that cast light from the ceiling, wall or floor. The materials are hollow or solid, matt or reflective. The pieces are sold as numbered editions from Etage Projects and each item is handmade in London. Light, materials and volume are key elements of Studio Vit production in relationship to the space. The objects should coexist harmoniously and at the same time create a tension in relation to each other. Cone Lights are not just simple lamps. They are beautifully geometric.
IKEA has recently launched Sinnerlig, a collaboration with London designer Ilse Crawford from Studioilse, on a range of cork and natural-fibre homeware products prominently featuring neutral colours that were chosen to fit into any home. In Crawford’s words: It’s supposed to work in a bathroom in Mumbai as well as a kitchen in Neasden, it has to fit into people’s lives. It is quite low key but we deliberately designed it like that, we see it as background, it’s not trying to compete with these fantastic icons of design — it’s a different thing. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Ett Hem hotel, also designed by Studioilse, the collection contains a range of around 30 products, from larger furniture pieces such as cork-covered tables and a daybed down to hand-blown glass bottles. The collection was unveiled during Stockholm Design Week and will be available in stores in August.
L & G Studio’s sculptural salt and pepper Cylinder Shakers are outstanding. Formally and functionally, they are a streamlined, sleek and glistening beacon to what they essentially stand to represent, the adding of a nuance to a situation; the culinary situation. Seattle-based Ladies & Gentlemen Studio is founded by Dylan Davis and Jean Lee and explores playful explorations in materiality where they blend their resourceful curiosity with the desire to find unexpected pairings. Available in Brass, Copper and Aluminum, these stealth pieces are 1.25” diameter and 3.25” tall. Since L & G Studio’s inception in 2010, their curated collection is one to watch. These pieces, being no exception. Their ever-evolving set of ideas and experiments collected from their everyday discoveries, explorations and surroundings should inspire and excite. Photography courtesy of L & G Studio.