Minimalissimo


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Mindarin introduced me to their wonderful new iOS app that I have had the pleasure of using for the last couple of weeks, that not only offers a wonderful user experience, but also features a beautifully minimal display. The app is Luna — a calculator that makes calculations instantly as you type, while keeping your expression clean and readable. It allows you to save your results as well as complete calculations, operate them, edit them, and create lists. The designers explain: We designed Luna to be truly useful. Most iOS calculators differentiate by adding cute gestures or pretty colours, our goal was to create the ultimate useful calculator, one you could use to do a quick operation or keep track of your business expenses. But keep it simple, clean and minimal. Admittedly, there are a couple of minor bugs with Luna, but as with every newly developed app, the more it is used, the better it can become. It is the aesthetics of Luna that leaves me impressed though along with the feature to alternate between black and white themes with a simple shake of the device.


22 year-old Josef Lang of Many Hands Design brings a Scandinavian edge to modern American industrial design. Inspired by functional, materiality and the fine arts, there is an overt emphasis on rendering quality, imaginative and appropriate responses to needs of modern design. CR stands for the cantilevered rod and 45 is the area code for calling Denmark. CR45 was initially conceived during Lang’s study abroad period in Denmark in 2013. The studio in which this piece was conceived, involved being split up by material, meaning each student was allowed only one specific material for the structure of their pieces. This exploration and understanding of materiality is obvious in the beautifully articulate execution of CR45. Structurally the biggest and most obvious exploration with this piece is that of cantilevering elements. Comprised of a high-carbon cold-rolled steel alloy space frame, the seat component is made with a sash cord, which has a nylon core and cotton exterior for both strength and comfort. Josef Lang is one to watch. Photography courtesy of Robert Bingaman.


Multerim is a polished minimal timer app, recently released by Evan Gulyas. It is designed for the multitasker and is useful to someone who has to juggle several deadlines at a time. The sleek intuitive interface allows you to set and name multiple timers. It required a bit of a learning curve, but once you have figured out the principle, it is very easy to set up, name, adjust and start up to six different timers. The time is arranged vertically, the upper squares give you hours, the middle ones – minutes, and the bottom ones – seconds. Swipe any square to set up a timer, tap with two fingers to start it, tap and drag to give it a name. And to reset everything, just swipe across the screen with two fingers. A good-looking app with the clear purpose.


The Minimalissimo team would like to wish you all happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas. We appreciate all of our new and longstanding readers and we hope to continue featuring beautiful minimalist designs every single day of 2014. Thank you also for all your support and feedback this year. We always enjoy a good, passionate discussion. — Carl, Adele, Bronwyn, Jillian, Jorge, Marina, Melle, Natalia, Nhat & Niels-Peter. The simple and beautifully decorated tree you see featured is by Los Cabos based freelance graphic designer, Alejandrina Bessoberto. Her design blog is a favourite of ours, which often offers an insight into Ale’s incredibly stylish home.


Systems is an exhibition of commissioned poster designs and ‘60s Braun products, presented in a single grid at the Walter Knoll London showroom from 25 Nov – 31 Dec 2013. The exhibition is curated by das programm and produced in association with Braun. An international group of graphic designers respond to the systematicity of Braun Design, each one of them notably minimalist, such as Experimental Jetset, Hey Studio, Ross Gunter, Antonio Carusone, Spin, Tomasz Berezowski, Spin and more. Featured here is Berlin–based studio Neubau‘s series of posters, exploring the concepts of Form, Typography and Colour. Find out more about each poster and the specific concept developed in each design. All the works are available for purchase as a limited edition of A1 prints, individually or as a cased set. I’d love one in my living room!


100 Colors is a solo exhibition created by the French-born and Tokyo-based architect Emmanuelle Moureaux, as part of the 17-day art event Shinjuku Creators Festa 2013. As its name suggests, the installation is formed of 100 different hues of color along 840 sheets of paper neatly suspended from the ceiling, which were provided by leading Japanese paper manufacturer Takeo. The whole combination creates an amazing volume of vibrant color where each sheet creates a gradual transition to the next. Beneath the installation there are bean bags to invite visitors to watch and admire the piece from different perspectives. The 100 colors are also featured on the wall in small circles, allowing the visitors to indicate their preference in color.


Dots is a really lovely gaming app developed by New York based organization, Betaworks, and its task is very simple; connect as many same-colored dots as you can using only vertical and horizontal lines. Dots has three different game modes; connect as many dots as you can in 60 seconds, another one using only 30 movements and a new endless mode, without any limitation. Its interface is incredibly clean and simple and you can compete with your friends by connecting via Twitter and Facebook. Dots has already been awarded the number one mobile game in twenty countries.


Auckland-based design firm Resident has nailed their latest pendant offering. The Hex, Cross and Tri Pendants are all equally minimal and slight. The elements consist of tubular stems of finely crafted metal, housing various strips of light sourcing. Each piece has been created with folded metal elements that seem to grasp ever slightly their corresponding light tubes and are suspended from ceiling fixtures with thin metal cabling. These pieces are reminiscent of the halo style that is trending heavily architecturally at present. The attention to detail given by Resident is to be commended and a lesson learned. Beautiful pieces executed with a disciplined appreciation for materiality. Photography courtesy of Toaki Okano.


Jay Atherton Architect’s Meadowbrook Residence was initially inspired by fluctuating seasons of light. Situated in Phoenix, Arizona abounded by an undemanding audience, the architectural formwork is an overt abstraction; yet consciously unspoiled and quiet. Despite the employment of natural materials and local stone, the building itself sits framed by its surroundings, as well as resting respectfully amongst it. The Meadowbrook Residence, completed in 2008, stands much akin to a light box in a landscaped setting. It is organized around three main sculptural rooms, and each receives light differently through the day and year. At night, it is a seamless lantern where the contrasting finishes and textures stand to highlight and emphasize one another. The junctions between the series of uninterrupted planes throughout are finished beautifully and celebrate minimalist principles. Jay Atherton Architects are to be commended for this work and for their dedication to the firmness of discipline. Photography courtesy of Bill Timmerman.


Math done simply. Designed in the Swiss style, Sumhold is a calculator that instantly calculates and stores numbers with a fiercely reductive interface and simple swipe gesture. This is the result of a beautifully developed iPhone app by Chad Voss, an independent interaction designer from Seattle. Sumhold, featuring an attractive minimalist design, makes complex calculations and number storage simple. Sumhold is made for those everyday calculations (e.g. groceries and budgets) when you need to do simple arithmetic while keeping track of previous calculations and results. Unlike most basic calculators, Sumhold keeps a running tally of your current calculation at the top and, when calculations become complex, automatically inserts parentheses to keep everything clearly readable. There is no need for an “=” button because it calculates as you type. When a calculation is complete and you need to store the result for later, you simply drag it down toward the keypad into Sumhold’s scratch-line to make a temporary button. Having downloaded this app myself, I must say that it is a joy to use. Incredibly simple both in aesthetic and function. Currently available on the iTunes store.


There is roughly a bajillion alarm apps out there, some of them analyze your sleep, draw fancy diagrams, show twitter streams, news and weather… What I like about this app is the freedom from clutter, both in the UI and functionality. Wake iPhone app, created by Tiny Hearts, does one thing and does it well – it wakes you up. There are three waking modes: slap & flip, which allows you to slap the phone to snooze and flip it over to turn the alarm off; shake, the mode useful to heavy sleepers for it makes you shake the phone repeatedly before turning off the alarm; and swipe, a basic mode that turns the alarm off when you swipe the screen of your phone. The design of the app is minimal and intuitive. I love the dial, which reminds me of the classic iPod controls. Among other features – the ability to save eight repeatable alarms and dedicate them to specific days of the week and the choice of twelve alarm sounds, progressively getting louder as they play. Watch the demo video to see the Wake app in action.


In this 3-storey residence in Osaka, Japan by architect Ido Kenji,  the challenges of maximizing living space and optimizing natural light on such a narrow site surrounded by mixed-use buildings drive the design of this family home. It was the intention of the architect to manipulate the volume of the interiors to enable light through the skylight to penetrate down to the lower floors.  To do so, the walls of the first floor had to bear most of the structural load while the walls of the second floor rotated 14 degrees on the plan which would not only let in the light, but also create a unique and evocative living space. As described by the architect: This inclined wall frees people’s feeling by deviation from the norm, simultaneously the sense of touch of the degree of inclination and the light to reflect of that inclination cause a new physical sense. What resulted is an experience of a home that feels ethereal. Light peeks from the crevices into the volumes of the interiors which are complimented by the understated minimalist architecture and finishes. I love the fact that this house is both a retreat from the other small houses, businesses and factories...