Minimalissimo


Categorized “Industrial design”

Arkki lamp collection was designed by the Swedish product and interior designer Johan Kauppi, and was recently produced by BLOND Belysning. The name Arkki, Finnish for ark, derives from the fixtures ability to balance technique with soft shapes while somewhat resembling a craft or a capsule. The shapes are also an expression of a moderate tradition in the north. Each LED lamp is made with either a single or two joined shells of pressed felt. The family consists of ceiling fixtures and pendants, with a direct or indirect light distribution. Standard colours available are black, grey and white. I would consider the ceiling lamp a particularly strong design because of the perfect integration on the ceiling.


Atelier Peekaboo recently created a minimalist ceramic piggy bank named Sur les toits. The English translation is “on top of the roofs” and refers to the place where they found inspiration for the shape of the design. One easily inserts the money in the slot on top of the piggy bank and incase one needs the money, there is no need to crack the ceramic; just angle the piggy bank and shake gently. The prototypes, ranging in colours and sizes, have been handcrafted by the Fribourg based ceramist Peter Fink. Atelier Peekaboo was founded in 2008 by two Swiss designers from Neuchâtel. Damien Ummel and Thierry Didot met during their studies at the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL). The two decided to strenght forces and by permanently questioning the industrial designer’s role in a society surrounded by objects, they try to provide elements to respond to it.


Clinq hanger by German-Latvian studio Flow Design is an idea so simple and logical, it is almost taunting. These magnetic hangers attach to any metal tube or surface without hooks. The user only needs to move the piece next to a metallic bar, and it snaps in place with a satisfying click. The magnets are strong enough for the hanger to support the weight of two kilos. Another neat thing about this design is that magnets naturally repel each other, creating even gaps between the hangers in the closet. And if you are not using some of the hangers, you can easily stack them on top of each other to save space. Clinq is handmade in the EU, using local resources, and comes in black, white and natural birch. Watch the video to see this hanger in action.


New Zealand based Boskke tries to improve conventional gardening tools and products for contemporary urban lifestyles. Boskke is derived from the old English word ‘bosky’ which means ‘a small forest’ and that’s exactly what you can create! Their latest creation is the Boskke Cube; a minimalist self-watering planter you need to water only once a month. The body is actually one big water reservoir and a slow watering system allows water to feed up into the soil, keeping your plant healthy and watered for extended periods. The transparent polycarbonate body reveals the soil and roots and allows you to witness firsthand the growth of your ‘boskke’. Boskke cube is available in 3 sizes – small, 3 small and large – you suit your needs for your urban garden.


The Check mirror has been designed by Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider of studio Kaschkasch Cologne for Danish brand Menu. Minimal in its form, the piece is also conscious of the space it occupies. Thanks to the triangle on top, the mirror can securely fit in any corner and take advantage of areas that are often left unused. And if the mirror is balanced against a flat surface, the triangle-shaped frame can be used as a rail for hanging clothes. Designers explain: Our products are casual and voguish at the same time. Precise lines and geometrical shapes give them a distinct impression, which we like to combine with intriguing colour combinations for the additional Kaschkasch touch. We want each design to offer something extra, discovered by the user little by little. The curved metal frame comes in black, white or moss green. Check has been displayed at the Stockholm Furniture Fair earlier this year.


South Korean artist Yoon Sol has produced a wonderful ceramic series titled From the Archetype, which involves layering porcelain in thin sheets to create different shapes. He writes: I work from a sphere to produce thin layers of bowl shaped elements with different diameters and heights. If these layers are placed one by one, small and big bowls can form an installation piece. From the Archetype tells a story of building up imperfection status through decomposition of a typical and perfect image, and of seeking the right pieces to complete my own pictorial puzzle. Here, Yoon Sol beautifully demonstrates the limitless of variation spawned from a single shape, resulting in a flawless collection of simple white ceramics that go beyond the aesthetics.


Nendo’s N Bottle is the perfect vessel for beloved sake label Nakata Hidetoshi. Conceived in 2003, its classic and timeless formality is as befitting and appropriate as ever. The cap is made by spinning aluminum into its tubular form on a lathe with the slightest of dimples set into the surface to aid the pouring process. Japanese and minimal, this piece embodies understated industrial design. The original brief requested a bottle that shields its contents from ultraviolet rays that also would explore a shape not ordinarily used for sake. Formally akin to a stick of charcoal, the resulting container is slick. N Bottle is made with Yamadanishiki and Aiyama rice varieties, making it an extremely high quality sake. The parent collaboration of great product and design, sees birth to N Bottle as a pillar in industrial design and brand alignment. Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Iwasaki.


Glass and concrete are materials I believe make for a perfect combination. The Willmann Vase is that synergy that came out of those two materials. When calling it a synergy, it is literally made up of two separate parts. It’s quite daring to inverse their weight aesthetically — for the upper portion is dominated by the heaviness of concrete and the lower holds the fragility of transparent glass. By doing so, the product gives off a sense of weightlessness, effortlessness, and of course, elegance. When fused together, they form a harmonization of femininity and masculinity, almost calming. When separated, they are still functional — the glass underneath turns into a cup and the concrete top, with its modest opening, transforms into an object with numerous usages. This clever vase design was named after its author, Hanne Willmann. As an industrial designer based in Berlin, she constantly seeks new materiality combinations to articulate her work. The Willmann Vase, in my opinion, is the product that truly defines the minimalist in her.


Halo is a hanging lamp designed by the Spanish designer Martín Azúa for the also Spanish lighting manufacturer Vibia. There are two versions of the ceiling lamp available — with circular or straight pieces, that create a subtle and magical lighting effect, seemingly floating in the open space with its great formal lightness, due to the designer’s use of LED technology and PMMA plastic. The result is stunning. Halo is available in matt white lacquer, and much like other recent Vibia products, it has been developed with a variety of configurations in mind, depending on the needs of each space. I like this.


Nendo have designed, for their own brand by | n, a new stationery collection. The collection consists of eleven minimalist items: the flip pen, contrast ruler, circle tags, link clips, rubber bands, outline tray, cross pen-stand, peel pen-case, hard cover memo-pad, edge note and the dot envelope. I would like to feature four items that caught my eye: Contrast ruler A minimalist ruler with marking fading from white to black, making the ruler easy to read on dark and light surfaces. Circle tag Normal sticky notes can be easily ripped off. The pie chart shaped notes however will stay in place for a long period of time thanks to an increased sticky surface and reduced number of corners. Link clip The link clips, made of high frictional paper, come connected and are detached one by one for use. Desktops keep tidy and they can be recycled along with the paper. Edge notes The edge notebooks have a colourful edge to help with filling. Filed with the spine outwards the books present a neat appearance, filed with the edges outwards the books are distinguishable by colour. Pages of the books are printed in a light cross pattern to provide enough guidance but less restrictive than lines....


Copenhagen is a minimalist bluetooth loudspeaker created by the Danish studio design-people for the sound systems manufacturer Vifa. Simple to use and portable, the piece can work wirelessly or connect to your devices through a mini-jack or USB port. All the buttons and controls are carefully hidden to achieve the clean, uncluttered look. Here is how designers describe their approach: Nordic design addresses complex issues and turns them into simple and appealing solutions. Keynotes are respect for materials, details, and for the user experience. All details are toned down to the essentials with high finish and ease of use. The exquisite basics for anyone who values exclusive design just as much as authentic sound. I like the balance between the clean, sleek execution and the familiar shape, reminiscent of old radios from the 60s. Copenhagen comes in six colors – black, gray, yellow, red, blue and aquamarine.


It is not easy to romanticize veneer, but Netherlands based studio Oato succeeded by designing this minimalist coat stand, aptly called Peel. Created in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier, the peace makes the best of the material - Finnish birch plywood. Here is how the designers describe their approach: We call our way of design a search for ‘the poetic side of industrial design’. Our goal is to reshape the everyday objects that surround us, by balancing emotion and industry. The Peel coat stand is definitely a harmonious equilibrium between aesthetics and utility. Inspired by the way veneer is created (carving thin strips of wood from a log) we returned the strips to a stem, from which small parts seemed to be peeled to create the coat hooks. I love the fact that the function here arises from the quality of the wood, and because of that, it looks spontaneous and, yes, very poetic.