During this week’s London Design Festival, London based design brand Minimalux have announced the launch of a range of new minimalist products. One such announcement was of their natural vegetable tan leather sleeves for the iPad, iPad mini and iPhone. This is the result of a collaborative project with leather goods specialists, MES. Traditional hand skills and saddlery tools are used to make these tough, durable leather sleeves. Each one is hand stitched with strong beeswaxed linen thread, hand burnished and hot stamped with the Minimalux mark. The leather is untreated other than a light coating of mink oil to protect it from moisture, allowing it to age naturally and develop a rich dark golden colour. Admittedly, not the cheapest of accessories, but there’s no denying these are high end, beautiful sleeves.
Categorized “Industrial design”
Inspired by Greek mythology and the god of sleep Hypnos, Italian industrial designer Alessandro Zambelli has created this cute new table clock with an almost hypnotic feature: an internal pendulum that, functioning as a balance, sways the case in perpetual motion and transforms aptly-named Ipno into a ‘rocking’ clock. It is like a contemporary evolution of the pendulum clock of past ages, but wry, dynamic and creative. Here at long last is a clock free to move in space and support its own harmonic motion. Designed for Diamantini & Domeniconi, the clock first went on show at Maison et Objet in Paris from 6–10 September. It can stand alone, dispensing wall-mounting, and is available in its natural birch case finish, painted in various colours, or alternatively in walnut or mahogany.
The Fuji vase has been designed by Netherlands based studio toer for Belgian brand Serax. The piece is only seven centimeters high, yet, thanks to its low center of mass and relatively wide ground surface, it can easily hold a flower up to one meter high. Here is how designers explain their concept: The Fuji vase puts the focus on the flower itself. The porcelain vase serves as a steady base from which the flower can flourish. It draws the attention to the flower’s ability to delicately grow towards the sun. I love the subtle humour of the piece. Named after the highest mountain in Japan, the vase is intentionally tiny comparing to the flower it supports. I also quite like the fact that this shape allows displaying flowers diagonally and thus creating many different effects. The Fuji vase is made of porcelain and comes in six different colours.
Danish electronics giant Bang & Olufsen need little introduction. Consistently producing timeless design with high quality materials, B&O have recently released these incredibly beautiful BeoPlay H6 headphones. A pair I have been fortunate enough to test hours on end over the past week. Firstly, the design of the BeoPlay H6 is hugely impressive, striking the right balance of classic and modern design influences, resulting in a simple, elegant, and extremely comfortable pair of headphones. The design itself was conceived by Jakob Wagner, and with a choice of black or natural leather, it is a perfect match for the style-conscious consumer who refuses to compromise quality in sound, design or craftsmanship. The natural, stitched cow leather cover and soft lambskin ear pads, which I am currently using, should age gracefully with use. My favourite design features however, (aside from being the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn) are the detachable audio cable and the ports in both speakers. This not only allows you to decide which side to insert the cable, it also allows you to share your audio with others. For such high-end headphones, there is high expectations for the BeoPlay H6 when it comes to sound quality. Perhaps...
Wall Shadows is an interesting project by the Lebanese designer Charles Kalpakian for the Italian lighting company Omikron Design, which has resulted in a beautiful, minimalist, wall-mounted illumination. Wall Shadows is a project between art and design and has arisen from Kalpakian’s continuous exploration of the three-dimensionality of surfaces. Its graphic composition becomes a texture lit up by the LED bulbs placed inside the various elements, creating a canvas of shadows. These few elements certainly give the piece a great identity and a sculptural sensation without losing its functionality of ambient light.
I was recently introduced to the small, independent bicycle company, tokyobike, founded in the quiet Tokyo suburb of Yanaka. The name was derived from the design of the bikes. Much like how the mountain bike was designed for the mountains, the tokyobike was designed for Tokyo. Based on the concept of ‘Tokyo Slow’ the bikes are designed to be light to ride with an emphasis on comfort over speed. The bike is simply a way to enjoy your city, as much about the journey as the destination. There are four types available in the tokyobike range; CS, Bisou, Single Speed, and Sport – all of which have a stunning minimal design in a wide variety of colours. From the simple Cro-Mo Steel frames, to the comfortable seats and handlebars, this is everything I want in a city bike. I am particularly tempted by the black SS and the all black Sport. There are international stores in London, Berlin, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.
City Rain designed by 25togo Design is the ultimate combination of androgynous minimalism. The fusing of glass and concrete materiality make for an texturally interesting drinking experience. Made as a labor of love, City Rain is manufactured through the process of mixing the right amount of concrete, and painstakingly hancrafting the set. Taiwan-based 25togo Design studio have this item available through their website. The intention of their site is to turn exceptional ideas into functional everyday objects. City Rain is an exceptional example of this clear passion. They introduce products that tell stories or a fresh point of view by creating them as a designer as well and through selling them online. Practical, beautifully executed and texturally interesting, City Rain is commanding of a designer audience. I like this piece a lot.
Originally intended for exhibition in Milan in 2010, Minimalux has produced the ideal minimal culinary accompaniment. Commissioned by Wallpaper for their Handmade exhibition, these pieces are characteristic of the London-based Minimalux label with their dedication to the minimalism discipline. The crisp and uninterrupted lines of the Knife & Spork are a celebration of stainless steel. Mirror-polished and completely flat and linear in profile they display an obvious harmony and formal symmetry. Ignoring ergonomics, these pieces seem to play with the conventions of industrial design and challenge the user to engage in a changed eating experience. Too often is this challenge posed. Less emphasis therefore on the food than on the way in which the food itself is to be consumed. I like this. Measuring 150 x 15 x 30mm in size, the Knife & Spork are a true gem. Minimalux is an online portal for their designs and collaborations with various designers. I urge those excited by these forms to check out the rest of their collection online.
Based in New York City, artist and designer Doug Johnston has been focusing since 2010 on a process of coiling and stitching rope into a variety of functional and sculptural objects. From this new bag collection, photographed by Brook&Lyn, each piece is handmade and hand-formed one at a time in Johnston’s Brooklyn studio. The rope works are made from sewing thread and braided 100% cotton cord, stitched on my vintage industrial zig-zag sewing machines. The fabrication technique was learned from the crafting community and adapted for my sculptural and formal explorations. His work spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture and music – Johnston has conducted explorations in the varying worlds of installation, fiber art, sculpture, photography, collaborative performance and even architectural metal fabrication. Such a multidisciplinary background obviously informs everything he makes, helping him create thoughtful and functional pieces that have become widely sought after.
Stack inkjet printer is a graduate project by young designer Mugi Yamamoto. Sleek and compact, the device simply sits on top of a paper stack (hence the name) and moves down as pages get printed. Here is how designer explains his idea: Thanks to this new way of printing it is possible to remove the paper tray, the bulkiest element in common printers. This concept allows a very light appearance and avoids frequent reloading. The tray on top can accommodate a pile of 200 pages, which is pretty good considering the printer’s size. Perfect for a home or small office.
South Korea based industrial designer Kim Seongjin, a recent graduate from Hongik University, has designed a digital camera that pays homage to Dieter Rams. Rams’s work in the 1950′s and 60′s for German consumer products giant, Braun, has proved to be hugely inspirational over the years and so Seongjin has designed this simple, minimal, and incredibly beautiful digital camera concept. One that I would love to see produced. As a designer, understanding the design DNA of a particular company is important, and as a tribute to Braun, I wanted to create a new generation product with Braun’s design DNA of the 1950′s. If you are not familiar with the work of Dieter Rams during his time at Braun, there is a fantastic purchasable collection over at das programm.
Pebble is the result of a collaboration between Jacob Juul of newly established Danish watch brand Bulbul and KiBiSi. The distinctive asymmetric watch face was inspired by the smooth contours of the pebbles found on Scandinavian beaches. Pebble combines organic shapes and fine Italian crafted leather with the industrial feel of the injection molded silicone loop defining an international hybrid of heritage and openness. Swiss movement and sapphire glass are high quality components designed to last with the design. It is available in four colour variations, but what I really enjoy is the inspiration behind the design, mixing an organic feeling and simplicity to produce a different and stylish watch.