Nendo’s Key Calendar challenges the way we track time. The Key Calendar is a device that both requires interaction, and encourages it. The use of keys to indicate the month, days and days of the week are indicated by inserting each key. Originally produced in 2004, this piece still embodies the minimalistic aesthetic that deems it timeless. Nendo is a master of this. In a way, the traditional advent calendar also requires the user to create a relationship with the time piece, whereby the behavior of opening a door each day, then reveals its contents. Similarly, Nendo plays by similar rules. Each day, the calendar requires the user to actually move sequential key pieces, to update the time indicated. This challenge of engagement helps change the interface of how time is tracked and requires the user to search for it, engage with it, and be aware of it. The key is also a symbol of the unlocking of a new door, ie. a new day. I like this. Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Iwasaki.
Categorized “Industrial design”
Lapka has introduced another clever health tracking accessory: the Breath Alcohol Monitor. The Lapka BAM is an accessory for your phone that allows you to track alcohol metabolism over time and compare and share your measurements with friends. Another piece where technology and aesthetics come together in harmony. Lapka BAM is a minimalist black ceramic cylinder, that uses inaudible sound waves to communicate wireless with a custom app on your smartphone. The use of the Lapka BAM is easy: hold it in your fist, take a deep breath and blow for four seconds. The edge of your hand becomes the mouthpiece. The BAM icon on your phone screen will fill up completely when finished. The design of the app is cleverly done: the more drunk one is, the simpler the appearance of the app becomes. One sees an indication of the current blood alcohol level along with a description of what that means in practical terms.
Canadian designer, Lukas Peet brings us his effortlessly beautiful pendant lamp. Everyone, meet Rudi. The lamp fixture is a combination of brass tubing bent to an extruded-oblong shape, together with a moulded cathode lamp. The pendant is then suspended from its own cord, which is knotted around the brass, at its top pivot equilibrium point. Peet’s portfolio consists of a combination of lighting, furniture, objects, graphic design, installations and photography. His work has a contemporary edge and a minimalist feel. Conceived in 2013, the structural halo that Rudi creates both a geometric and a streamlined nod to illuminating the space. Rudi is available in single, large or double loops and currently available through Roll & Hill. I have a feeling Rudi is destined to make quite a few new friends. Photography courtesy of Joseph De Leo.
Ode to Things is a microstore specialised in well-designed, quality lifestyle accessories, and when I recently discovered one of their objects in the form of the Futagami Brass Bottle Opener designed by Masanori Oji, it lead me to a store full of beautifully minimalist and simple accessories. A collection that I have no doubt many of you will also appreciate. Ode to Things explains: We love objects that add function, style, and fun to your life. That’s why we created this concise collection of everyday items that are special in the way they bring form, function, and elegance together. From Hidetoshi Takahashi’s Kami Wood Cups, to Lovisa Wattman’s Iris Hantverk Concrete Bowls, to Christina Weber’s Studiopatró Kitchen & Café Aprons, this range of household objects have been superbly selected, and as a relatively new online store, I will be keeping a close eye on how Ode to Things develops throughout the year.
If Etsy is a bottomless chest of random treasures, Ingleside Pottery‘s products are the ones that I would take back to display in my minimal pirate ship. Based in Ohio, United States, and founded by ceramist Laine Snyder in May 2011, the online shop has garnered a lot of attentions for its minimal way of fusing nature into one’s very own home. Using her passion for birds, plants, porcelains, and the classic spinning wheel, the designer created products that both bring ease to the eyes and move along with modern aesthetics. They vary from hanging planters and bird feeders to household appliances. The dedication towards craftsmanship is apparent through the seamless appearance of these cute potteries. I enjoy the subtle contrasts between the white shells and the earthy colors of their contents, the smoothness of the porcelain against the rougher textures of plants and grains; there’s a beauty in those simple differences. Photos Courtesy of Ingleside Pottery.
Ninebyfour is a minimalist LED ceiling lamp by the Amsterdam based studio Waarmakers. The LED light tubes do not generate any heat during use, allowing the creators to use atypical materials for the fixture: wood and cork. Every year thousands of trees are felled in the Amsterdam area. Usually the city trees disappear from root to branch in a shredder. The wood for the Ninebyfour fixture however comes from these salvaged trees. The former location of the ‘unfortunate’ trees are stamped on the cork. Simply enter the coordinates in Google maps and find out the trees’ origins. A first batch, from the Albert Neuhuysstraat, is now available.
Danish audio design company, AIAIAI, have recently updated their hugely successful TMA-1 headphones range with an even more basic and minimalist design. The TMA-1 X are versatile closed headphones, democratically designed for DJing, monitoring and mobile devices that feature a dynamic and balanced sound, suitable for all types of music. Designed with comfort and portability in mind, they feature a minimalistic headband and a unique capsule design, which makes them an attractive and lower-cost alternative to the TMA-1 DJ or TMA-1 Studio. The updated design of these matte-black headphones is courtesy of the wonderful work of Scandinavian industrial designers, KiBiSi. So if you are in the market for a new pair, the TMA-1 X will surely give you something to think about. Certainly the latest addition to my wish-list.
These beautiful semi-wrinkle washi lamps have been designed by the famed Nendo for Taniguchi Aoya Washi, a traditional Japanese paper company. It is known for creating seamless washi paper, that looks and feels like plastic or glass. For this particular project, however, the technique has been modified in order to create a wrinkle effect. The designers explain: Adding devils tongue (konnyaku) to the mixture creates wrinkles that bring out the special characteristics of paper, but this process also conceals the fact that the forms are made with the traditional technique. After running into this problem, we decided to take the best of both worlds: to create lighting fixtures that are only half-formed with the wrinkle process. The wrinkles can be applied gradually so that the two different effects come together seamlessly. I love the delicate, almost fragile feel of these designs. The wrinkles look unintentional, as if they have happened by chance. A visual simplicity that took a lot of calculating and craftsmanship to achieve.
Designer Tom Dixon has collaborated with Adidas to produce an innovative collection known as The Capsule which consists of both apparel and accessories that are multifunctional, utilitarian and modern all at once. Recently featured at Pitti Uomo in Florence and London Design Festival, this project spawn from Dixon’s one experience of having to sleep on a park bench when he could not get a hotel one night in Milan. The idea of having the basic necessities that were transformable to climate and condition inspired this survival kit – being prepared for the unexpected. And what a sharp, smart looking kit it is. With its focus around two pieces of luggage – one hard and one soft, their multiple compartments hold the basic collection of minimal and utilitarian outfits of reversible tops, adjustable pants and customizable shirts where you can cut the hemlines to the desired length. Padded parkas can be turned into sleeping bags, separates that can be assembled by buttons into a one-piece suit, and shoes that come in two parts for ease of storage can be put together by PVC stitch tape. I love that the thought process that went into the function of each piece, and yet remains stylish....
This beautifully minimal collection of cylindrical objects is a tableware set, created by Lisbon based designer Miguel Lopes. Titled +cinco, the line consists of five entities - a salad bowl, a bottle of olive oil, a bottle of vinegar, a set of condiments (salt shaker, pepper shaker and a third) with a support base and a set of containers for sauces. All pieces are tied together aesthetically by the similarity of their form. Lopes explains his concept: I opted to a shape that was the mother shape of the whole project: the circumference. This shape was chosen because it determines a cycle, a circuit, a development in progress, a line of cohesion, a materia which I wanted to use in the products that I have created, timeless, avant-garde and refined solid design undefined in time. I love the strong presence these piece have as a group and as each individual object. The +cinco collection is a participant in MUJI Award 04 International Design Competition in collaboration with André Hernâni Meca. Photography courtesy of Igor Alçada.
Young Canadian designer Mark Parsons is the creative force behind this beautiful light object. Aptly called Silhouette, the piece repeats Edison’s classic in shape, but surpasses it greatly in function. Designer explains: The objective was to create a lamp that can adapt from wall, ceiling, floor or task lighting, while being manufactured to be as inexpensive & environmentally friendly as possible. The name Silhouette sprung from a literal nod at the traditional form of the incandescent light bulb whose basic design and form had remained unchanged for over 100 years. If you want to hang it from the ceiling (my favorite option), you can use a special adaptor that comes with the lamp. Silhouette is a concept piece so far, and I really hope it sees the light of production.
Posh-Craft’s Luna Case is a new and beautifully minimal take on functional versatility. The inclusion of a concrete finish as an iPhone 5 cover pushes both aesthetic and functional boundaries. Based out of Seoul, Korea Posh-Craft is an arts and crafts-based design firm with an emphasis on fine tuning design details. The idea of the iPhone cover has become somewhat of a self-statement; an accessory if you will. This statement I very much like. Its underlining utilitarian nature and boldness creates a sense of brazen durability. Posh-Craft, after the launching success of Luna Case this year, now only needs to catch up with the latest smart phone available models. Photography courtesy of Posh Craft.