Rise is a beautiful minimalist alarm app for iPhone and iPad. Aside from its sleek design, it features a lot of useful functions and perks, including snooze with a shake or the ability create a playlist from iTunes to help you fall asleep. The most notable feature of the app, however, is the fluid gesture-friendly interface. It allows you to set and adjust the alarm time simply by tapping and sliding to the correct number. In fact, most of the actions can be performed by a sliding or pulling gesture, which makes Rise highly intuitive and fun to use. I love how the color of the screen changes from day to night and vise versa as you move your finger… Check out the video to see this and other features of the app in action.
Today we are featuring a house in Tavira, Portugal by Vitor Vilhena and photographed by Joao Morgado. The house is built around the original old building’s footprint and consists of two parts. Both parts are created through different architectural forms, one with sculpted geometry, the other with systematic, regular geometry but they communicate with a glass hallway. We get only a peek into the interior space but from what we see I like the option of enclosure with sliding doors (shown below). And as always, I enjoy when architecture nestles into the landscape and natural terrain. Not to mention the bonus of surrounding of 400 olive trees!
BeoPlay A9 is the latest creation of the renown electronics brand Bang & Olufsen and the winner of the prestigious iF award 2013. The laconic piece is a speaker, the one you wouldn’t want to hide. Here is how designer Øivind Alexander Slaatto describes this work: Sound travels in circles, like waves around a stone when it hits the water. Circles defines the grid of everything in this design and the result is obvious, minimalistic and poetic. I aimed towards a design, that looked more like a piece of furniture than as a machine. I love the versatility of the design. It can perform equally well as a free-standing speaker or a wall piece, mounted via an optional wall bracket. Check out the video to see how BeoPlay A9 was crafted.
Miami based company OCDesk, the self-proclaimed crusader for a more organized world (OCD – see what they did there?), created an OCDock – a neat iPhone docking station that attaches to your iMac and Thunderbolt monitors. The product’s most notable feature is the paper-thin cable that runs underneath the display stand, making it look wireless. Here is what designers say about OCDock on their already fully successful Kickstarter page: Less truly is more, but only so if the function is at the core. With these inspiring design principles in mind, we wanted to create a scaled back dock that would use as little material and space as possible while offering the most feature rich and comfortable docking and undocking experience. Designed as a seamless companion to Apple devices, OCDock is made using the same technologies and materials. It has been CNC machined from a solid piece of high-grade aluminium, glass bead blasted and anodized to match the finish of the iMac/Thunderbolt Display. The piece is also ergonomically conscious. It makes an iPhone easy to interact with while charging. Check out the video to see OCDock in action.
Realmac Software in collaboration with Helftone and Impending have collaborated on a Mac version of the now well-known iPhone application Clear. Popular for its minimalist and gestural interface, Clear succeeds at doing a small amount of features exceedingly well. Suitable for those looking for an alternative to heavy weight GTD systems, such as OmniFocus or Things, or as a sophisticated tool to keep lists. The Mac application will be familiar to those who have used the iPhone application, but includes some features specifically tailored to OS X. Now using iCloud, Clear syncs with the newly updated 1.2 version of the iPhone application.
The Squarespace Note iPhone and iPad app, designed by Squarespace, Inc., is a simple and intuitive way to capture thoughts, ideas, inspirations, and transfer them to various services. The app syncs seamlessly with email, Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, Facebook and your Squarespace account, should you have one. It does all that in a clean minimalist interface, which is a thing of beauty in itself. What is interesting about the app is that it’s not used as a database, but a passthrough. It becomes the first place you go to send a note or a reminder to yourself. Squarespace Note helps anyone record their ideas on the fly. Writers, bloggers, and others can use the app to record inspiration and ideas as they happen. The lightweight mobile app immediately loads a blank canvas when it’s launched. Unbranded, black and white feel lets you concentrate on content, not presentation. I love how seamless Squarespace Note is. Everything is done with minimum effort on the user’s part. Uncomplicated usability that fully matches app’s minimalist looks.
Today I would like to share a few quotes and diagrams from a book to which I often return to when needing a simple but meaningful pick me up during the design process. 101 Things I learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick has been around for a while and many of you might have already heard of it or even own a copy. For those of you who don’t, may this be a sneak preview of what is inside. The book aims to: Firm up the foundation of the architecture studio by providing rallying points upon which the design process may thrive. One of my favorite quotes: Architecture begins with an idea. Good design solutions are not merely physically interesting but are driven by underlying ideas. An idea is a specific mental structure by which we organize, understand, and give meaning to external experiences and information. Without underlying ideas informing their buildings, architects are merely space planers. Space planning with decoration applied to “dress it up” is not architecture; architecture resides in the DNA of a building, in an embedded sensibility that infuses its whole.
In March of this year, multidisciplinary designers Signe Emma and Alice Young produced and exhibited an installation titled The Edge, at the Stour Space Gallery in Hackney Wick, London. The beautifully crafted project focuses on the vulnerability of the Eurozone, illustrating how the Euro is teetering ever closer to the edge of collapse. To demonstrate the effect of this collapse we used 100 sheets of A0 paper, which were individually cut to represent the imminence of a foreclosing gap. The assembly of the economy is ultimately the bane of its existence as expressed through each layer and finally to the last where none of the edges of the countries are cut out. An almost transparent Euro symbol in the top left hand corner serves to further the idea of weakness in the currency. I really enjoy the visual effect and simplicity of this installation whilst communicating a very complex issue. Very nice work.
Berlin based German artist Thilo Heinzmann is currently exhibiting his solo project, Tacmo at the Andersen-S Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark. This interesting and wonderfully executed collection of canvas paintings has been beautifully presented in the gallery, running until 11 August 2012. Each canvas has an intricately structured black surface, illustrating elongated swings, elegant curves, straight lines of varying length and width that result from working into the paint. An acknowledgement of the tradition of colour-field painting, these black planes also become the site of inscription for sparse and well-calculated movements that the artist executes with both a brush and his hands. They produce a visual suppleness and the impression of speed that they project, emerges amidst the general calm that exudes from the paintings. If you managed to see this exhibition in person, please share your thoughts, or if you’re in the vicinity, try to catch it in the next couple of days.
Japanese graphic design firm D-Bros have recently released a new line of stationery called D-Bros for Business. The collection is aimed at working professionals and consists of three essential items - the notebook, the file and the card case. All three designs are elegant and minimal, giving a simplistic take on stationery classics. The Javaring File allows for all shapes and sizes of paper or documents to be quickly stored away for retrieval later. The Pen and Note is a clever little notebook featuring a pen and paper pocket. And the Paper Card Case is based on a simplistic form born from a single piece of paper and a single fold. All three products are available for purchase through caina.
Norwegian Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter recently finished a National Tourist Route Rv 889 in Havoysund, Norway. The objective was to magnify visitors’ experience of walking from the roadside down to the seaside. The winding concrete ramp does not only allow universal accessibility but becomes an integral part of the journey. It slows down visitors in a measured, restrained approach and brings out the awareness of one’s surroundings within the remoteness of a place. Located in the extreme north of Norway, in a landscape almost lunar in its barren and inhospitable beauty, the facility should ideally be completely self-sustainable in terms of power input and waste output. The general notion was to create a human detail in the vastness of the landscape that is as timeless as the landscape itself and that brings attention to the relationship between the duration of experiences and the hugeness of the spatial circumstances. I would love to walk that path in slow, measured and restrained steps as the architects intended, wouldn’t you?
Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda recently designed an exhibition for the Hamburger Bahnhof museum in Berlin, which ran from 28 January to 9 April of this year. The project’s title ‘db‘ (abbr. for decibel) refers to the symmetry of the two halls on the upper level of the museum’s east and west wings, while simultaneously indicating the complementary relationship between the two exhibition spaces. The project is a composition in which time and space are shaped through the most minimal use of sound, light and visual elements. There is a very insightful video of the exhibition, which illustrates just how stunning this work of art is. If you managed to visit the ‘db’ exhibition in person however, please share your thoughts.