Minimalissimo


Iconic Award 2014 — Architect Andrea Dragoni is the overall winner of the best of the best in the category of public buildings with Gubbio Cemetery expansion in Italy. The architectural design of Andrea Dragoni defines the space for silence and meditation. The expansion investigates a new model of civil buildings and triggers a reasoning in physical continuity with the historic city and deeply tied to the mountainous landscape that represents the natural scenery of the city. The plant is an urban structure within, which a series of stereometric volumes, arranged transversely to the system of the mountains, allows us to take a look through the space for dialogue with the verticality of the mountain to the north, and with the horizontality of the plain to the south. This architecture is emphasized by the intrusion of large squares to imagine how the squares that measure the rhythmic structure of the system. Squares of silence in the form of a cube broken through the ceiling, evokes an open window at the top with the profile of a framed sky, allowing the look and the thought of abandoning the severity of mother earth.


Alain Carle Architecte is a Québecois architecture firm whose style is self-described as modest. Led by Alain Carle himself, who graduated from the School of Architecture of University of Montréal, the firm has received a lot of recognition in the past few years by many publications. In 2013, the firm completed L’Écran, a home situated in Wenworth-Nord, Canada. Surrounded by nature, the house is a minimal sculpture that was raised from the ground with black brick claddings and wooden interiors. Situated on a site with slopes, the architecture was broken into fragments and connected through the use of materials. The use of a black exterior was to create a heat absorbent to then cut down the energy use of house in such a cold environment. Wooden panels also create a sense of warmth for the residents. The contrast of the white walls against the black bricks, one smooth and one rough, complemented with shades of brown from wooden panels, was what drawn me to this structure. The abruptness of its appearance on the site is not foreign, but rather like a response to its surroundings. Photography courtesy of Alain Carle Architecte.


Macedonian design duo Natali Ristovska and Miki Stefanoski recently collaborated to produce Stripe — a multifunctional box that allows for a wide variety of configurations and forms. A single modular element is the essence of this lightweight storage and shelving box making it incredibly simple for you to design your own compositions. The designers write: Stripe boxes connect together to create customisable cube furniture. You can get even more creative by giving the Stripe a new function. An individual element can be perfectly suited as a storage box, table, transport box or seating at the same time. Perfect for people who move a lot! Stripe can also be installed and reconfigured in just a minute, with any number of units, anywhere. From rows of stacked shelving blocks to a simple little side table, I could certainly make great use of a white collection of these beautiful boxes throughout my home. Photography by Ani & Dimi.


Shirahama Roh Pinggu is a small seaside home designed by Okuwada Architects Office. Located in Wakayama, Japan, this single story home is structured to work with the island landscape. The sand and sea are on the southern side of the home, while mountains surround the other three sides. The southern wall of windows embraces the sea views. The kitchen and living room are situated in this part of the home. The mountain facing rooms contain more private areas, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms. Wooden floors connect the home with the forest behind it. A white and glass facade, and a galvanized steel roof, complete the home’s light and airy aesthetic. I love the simple design of this resort home. The soft colors and low lying structure minimize the visual impact the home has on the environment. The simple interior allows the residents to direct their focus out towards the landscape. Overall, Shirahama Roh Pinggu is a lovely vacation dwelling for a family. Photography by Tada Yuko / Yuko Tada Photography.


Chunk by Andreas Engesvik for Menu, is a simple and beautiful vessel for illumination. Designed specifically for Menu, this piece is available in both a marble and raw concrete finish. Both incredible. They are finished with either metal or copper insets to house the candle, and can be purchased in three differing sizes. Designed so that as the candle burns, the light reflects in the copper giving a beautiful glow; perfect for dinner tables and window sills; an industrial yet romantic look. Originating from Norway, Andreas Engesvik’s body of work has been highly acclaimed and diverse, but always consistent and minimal. This piece is no exception. Standing both 35mm, 55mm and 75mm high, all S,M,L have a diameter of 75mm. Available through Menu, Chunk are sure to become timeless classics. Photography courtesy of Menu.


Agata Bielen is a jewelry designer with a stunning minimalist namesake jewelry brand that resonates the elegance of pure stainless steel with subtle geometry. Shortly after her first exhibit upon graduating from the Architecture and Design Faculty at the Fine Academy of Fine Arts in Poland, an encounter with street style photographer The Satorialist Scott Schumann had encouraged Agata to launch her own label. Stainless steel is often seen in utilitarian objects, we unconsciously associate it with the functional rather than sculptural. Yet Agata’s design reminds us in its own way that the material is beautiful in its simplicity, its color and its consistency. Her designs are understated yet refined; the geometry is familiar yet the forms are original. The styling and photography by Kamil Zacharski completes the beautiful portrait of the entire jewelry collection.


Created by an all-Belgian team, the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign for Linda Farrow‘s male eyewear collection features highly elegant still life sets created by photographer by Frederik Vercruysse in collaboration with art direction studio Uber and Kosher. Merging architectural shapes and eyewear in a pure and conceptual manner, the sleek compositions feature clean lines and somber color palettes that offset and highlight the pieces created by the likes of Dries Van Noten, Phillip Lim, Oscar de la Renta, The Row, Matthew Williamson and Kris van Assche. Vercruysse aims to photograph his subjects in their purest forms — sometimes realistic, often minimalistic, and always highly stylized — the perfect companion to Uber and Kosher’s monolithic, elegant sculptures, grounded in a dry Belgian minimalism with a timeless signature.


Australia-based creative duo Daniel Emma created two little desktop organizers for indispensable items like paper clips and pushpins; Cork Cone & Magnetic Tower. The cone, 90 x 130mm, and tower, 65 x 100mm,are made of natural cork. For those who want more contract in material and colour; the tower available in ash as well. I love the simplicity of the desktop organizers with their geometric shapes and natural materials and appearance. Originally both organizers were produced as part of the D.E. desk, a range of self produced desktop accessories. Now they are Daniel Emma’s contribution to Sebastian Wrong’s on-going WRONG FOR HAY collection commissioned by Hay.


Fade is a collection of vessels and furniture for the bathroom, created by Stockholm based designers John Astbury and Kyuhyung Cho. It consists of 13 pieces: a low ash table, ash and copper mirror, and a collection of ceramic trays and vessels in parian clay. Designers explain: Beginning with a period of research on the subject of bathing we began to view it as both ritual and a metaphor for the work. To see ritual and water as both a transforming element and a moment of reflection. This is the foundation for the collection. The aim was the representation of the invisible, of transformation within the objects.  I like the geometry within the objects, the subtle contrast between relaxed and constricted shapes in each volume. Designers say, that the shifting tones of the collection represent the view on bathing as a ceremony and nature as a transformative element. Photography by Stephanie Wiegner


House for Mother is a simple home on a rural plot of land in Linköping, Sweden. Designed by FAF Architects, the home is composed of three staggered volumes. The foremost volume holds the entrance of the home and the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. The bedrooms and studio are located in the second volume. The third is a bathroom and laundry room. The rooms are sparse in material and furnishings. The interior features timber ceilings, plywood walls, and a polished concrete floor. These raw materials allow the home to feel modest, but not under-designed. Built in furniture completes the minimal aesthetic. The facade is covered in corrugated aluminum, lending the exterior an industrial chic look. I love how FAF Architects plays with the traditional house archetype. While the shape of House for Mother is classic, the materials and window placement are unexpected. All in all, House for Mother is an no-fuss design that doesn’t fail to captivate its viewer’s interest.


Spanish La Mamba Design Studio has re-visioned the conventional mirror. Their Mirrors collection, available through Omlette-ed, is a collection of understated beautiful lines and details manifested as a series of circular, vertical and horizontal standing mirrors. Comprised of a steel tubular frame, available in both black and white powder-coated metal finishes, these room adornments are the subtle dinner guest. The guests that everyone wants to know. La Mamba are based in Valencia, Spain and founded by designers Ommar Uribe, Pedro Rivera, and Raul Dura. Formally, these are unassuming, but the design and level of considered articulation of all elements is clear. These beauties stand at just over 1700mm high and are finished seamlessly with cork detailed legs. Nods to La Mamba. Photography courtesy of Omlette-ed.


Berlin based design studio New Tendency is an outstanding interdisciplinary endeavour following a deeply holistic approach towards furniture and accessories. The collection is a mix of original products and collaborations with selected designers. It is united by clear aesthetics and functional form as well as a consistent production strategy: Every product is crafted regionally. Most of our products are modular and/or stackable, therefore enabling efficiency in wrapping, storage, and transport. We also really care about the production of our products. We consider our products carriers of these values and believe that they also transmit these ideas. — (FvF Interview 13.01.2014) I love the conceptual context in which Sebastian Schönheit and Manuel Goller manage to combine super normal design with a very sensual impression. It is a great pleasure to touch and work with objects like the floor lamp December or the side table Meta.