Berlin-based artist Olafur Eliasson, a Minimalissimo favourite, conceptualised Your House. The book, designed in 2006 by Michael Heimann and Claudia Baulesch, is a limited-edition artist’s book with a laser-cut negative impression of Eliasson’s house in Copenhagen. Each of the 454 pages are individually cut and corresponds to 2.2 cm of the actual house. Commissioned by the Library Council of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Your House is a remarkable arrangement of cutouts and imagery presented in a minimalist yet technical format. Readers gradually build a physical and mental narrative, whilst also examining the perceptual and spatial experience of domestic architecture of the house. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of the 225 printed copies (perhaps one day), I love of the combination of sculpture and architecture and the illusion of being inside the house.
South Korean designer Giha Woo is known for his minimalist aesthetic and functional approach to design. His latest creation, called Hidden Light, is no exception. Deliciously simple, the piece combines two elements – a chair and a light. Hidden in an almost continuous metal tube, the light feature is only revealed when needed. Thus, the object can be a simple chair by day, and illuminate your pages (or devices) in the evening. The top section can be swung around and adjusted to the reader’s needs. Lightweight (thanks to its hollow tubular frame) and transparent, the piece bonds function, comfort and understated beauty.
As it’s summer time, a slightly less serious post than usual… I present to you: Eve! Eve is the futuristic white robot from the successful animation movie Wall-E, created by Pixar in 2008. Eve is absolutely seamless: one single body without edges. All its technology is beautifully hidden inside. You may recognize some Apple influences, and if so, you are very right: Apple’s lead designer Jonathan Ive participated in Eve’s design.
This is Oak, the result of an extracurricular, collaborative student workshop at Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden. The goal: to explore archetypes and stereotypes in the world of furniture. The group developed a range of independent pieces, but which are actually impressively coherent. Of course it helps that they’re all made from the same single material, American oak. One of the participaring students, Karl Jönsson, describes how all pieces were stripped down to their origins. From those elements, together with a hint of humor, new pieces have been created, while considering form, usage and interaction with their surroundings. The icing on their cake: Oak was exhibited during the Milan fair 2011.
Information Architects have released iA Writer for Mac. The application accompanies iA Writer for iPad, which we featured here last September. A Writer for Mac is a digital writing tool that makes sure that all your thoughts go into the text instead of the program. iA Writer has no preferences. It is how it is. It works like it works. Love it or hate it. It’s unique FocusMode allows me to think, spell and write at one sentence at a time. iA Writer is fast; it works without mouse. It automatically formats semantical entities such as headlines, lists, bold, strong, block quotes written in markdown. I have enjoyed using the iPad app, and have been particularly excited about the prospect of the Mac OS X counterpart. So far it works exactly as advertised and as you’d expect coming from the terrific people at Information Architects. To see how it works, have a go at watching this video. → Download from the Mac App Store
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits is one of my favorite writers and bloggers. He is also a recognized expert in the field of personal productivity. You may already be familiar with his work, especially his first published physical book, The Power of Less. His latest ebook is called The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life, with the ambition to help people live a simpler, happier life! What will this ebook help you with: - Clearing clutter and reducing your possessions - Figuring out what’s necessary, and how to be content with less - Simplifying your schedule, your work, and living a less stressful life - Creating a minimalist workspace, home, computer, financial life - How to go paperless and digitize your life A Minimalist values quality, not quantity in all forms. It is not life of nothing, it is a life of richness, in less…
Calvetica is an iPhone application by Mysterious Trousers (who also make Dialvetica). It is a calendar application that aims to provide users with a clean, minimalist interface with very little UI chrome, and provide a fast and functional experience. John Gruber of Daring Fireball said of the app: $2.99 calendar app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, with an emphasis on fast, convenient event creation and a very crisp, stylish UI design. Behind the scenes, it’s built on the iOS system level calendaring APIs, so it syncs perfectly with the built-in Calendar app. There are two themes available, “Patented Calvetica Red” (the light grey theme) and “Black Is The New Fuschia” (pictured below).
If there ever was a minimalist rock band, certainly they were the White Stripes. From the visual concept to the two-only members, Jack and Meg White, respectively, guitarrist and drummer. The band was active from 1997 to 2011, making a sound with deep influences from the Mississippi delta blues to the classic rock from the 70’s. The fact that they used only guitar and drums not only caused many raised eyebrows, but also passionate enthusiasts. The strict color palette (red, white and black) was the base of their entire visual concept, creating a bold, striking and straightforward body of art, as can be seen in all their records’ artwork. Their minimalist roots are evident most notably in the “De Stijl” album (2000), designed by CHOLOMITE!, where they strongly reference the Dutch art movement both aesthetically and conceptually.
This is one gorgeous house. Guerrero House, located at Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain, was designed by the famous Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza. The play on light, space and proportion is extraordinary. A small opening in an 8 meter high square wall is the only entrance. Center of the house is the 9 x 9 meter central square, which has a ceiling of again 8 meters high. All these bold measurements together aid to what Campo Baeza calls the construction of a luminous shadow. Now that’s poetry.
Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. British minimalist architect John Pawson has designed a ribbon to support the disaster relief effort, following the earthquake and tsunami, earlier this month. Electronic version of the design is available to download for attachment to websites and emails. A donation can be made online. I would like to express my love, respect and admiration to the Japanese population. Stay strong!
To be frank, I have never really taken the time to investigate minimalist music. But, with the World Minimal Music Festival coming to town, now is the time to check out the work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and the likes. Ticket prices vary from € 18 to € 23. If you want to experience all 5 (!) days, there is a passe-partout available for € 130. If you are living anywhere close to Amsterdam or Eindhoven (both here in The Netherlands), let’s meet up and go together! Interested? Please comment. Update: To get you in the mood, 22Tracks has a set of minimal tracks.
Minimal electronic composer Eleh has been building quite a reputation for his series of waveform releases for TAIGA Records. In 2008 he released Homage to the Square Wave, in 2009 Homage to the Sine Wave and this year we will see the release of Homage to Pointed Waveforms, “a bumper, two-wave extravaganza exploring the analogue synth sounds of the triangle and sawtooth waves.” (The Wire 234) According to TAIGA, the elemental approach to construction of the pieces [...] is influenced by Josef Albers, the visual artist best known for his color studies embodied in paintings of geometric abstraction. Of the work, Boomkat says, This is the kind of academic sound you can totally become absorbed in and it should appeal to early electronic followers and minimalists everywhere! → Listen on the TAIGA Records site