The benefit of choosing minimal accessories lies in their flexibility to be integrated to many outfit combinations. Recently, Collection Of Style—Swedish fashion powerhouse—launched their minimal accessories collection called In Contrast. Although the series only hold a modest number of items, the curation has a uniformed aesthetic of monochromic black and white. In Contrast ranges from highly crafted leather sandals to a leather bag with raw hems. While they don’t act as fashion statements, these accessories subtly complement the wearers with a new edge. However, my favorite is a piece of rubber block necklace that has a smaller counterpart in the form of a wristband. With a thick strap, this particular adornment stands out due to its unique and chunky nature that is not often seen in minimal fashion accessories. The collection is now live at COS online store.
Wall Cloud is a beautifully minimalist renovation project devised by Sasaki Architecture for a former waterfront warehouse in the Minato district of Tokyo that previously operated as a popular disco called Juliana’s Tokyo in the early 1990s. Sasaki Architecture intended to create an open space with floating walls and pillars. The beams and other components were reconsidered as different spatial components, and were redefined in the space. The ceilings were removed, and the beams now surround the space as drifting walls, while lights are used to enhance the sense of floating. Dividers of individual spaces for tenants are transparent glass attached beneath the wall volume. The attic of the former discotheque on the second floor remained untouched for a long period of time, causing an oppressive feeling in the space, but when an old space is given new life, it always brings excitement. I like that. The oppressive attic-like space of a symbol of the past was transformed like a wall cloud, and regenerated as an impressive and wonderfully spacious working environment. Superb. Photography by Takumi Ota.
This elegant dark home is located in Shiga, Japan and designed by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects. Framing House was built for a small family who desired to live in a habitable art gallery. The home’s name is attributed to the structure’s act of framing key spaces. This framing notion allows each space to feel unique yet still connected to the flow of the house. Three main spaces are carved into the home’s layout: an art gallery, living space, and courtyard. The courtyard links the gallery and living spaces, and has the added benefit of bringing nature and natural light into both areas of the home. In nearly every room of the home, sections of the walls are cut out to frame windows, artwork, countertops, and shelves. These features contribute to the minimal sensibilities of the home by removing the need for stand-alone furniture and hiding clutter. Framing House is not just a home and an art gallery, it is a home as an art gallery. I could not imagine a more beautiful dwelling place. Photography by Yoshihiro Asada.
Narita International Airport adds to its roster the exciting and very original Terminal 3. As a joint effort from NIKKEN SEKKEI + Ryohin Keikaku + PARTY, this project unapologetically uses the low budget to its advantage with smart choices regarding the structure, applied materials and even the layout. A great example of heavy-duty minimalism infused with playfulness. To break the mould and ignore the customary moving walkways was not only an aesthetic choice but also a monetary one, since the budget for Terminal 3 was half of the usual sum; in a bold move, rubber running tracks were installed all the way through guiding the travellers and the airport’s staff. The clear lines leave no room for doubt, the blue surface leads the way for the departing passengers, whilst the red/earth colour welcomes the arriving commuters. It’s worth pointing out the great pictograms replacing illuminated signs as well. The interior design made with much-celebrated MUJI furniture is a perfect fit for what Terminal 3 is about. The brand’s affordable and functional furnishings enriches the ambient with great visual patterns and additional colour. Since the structure is quite raw and exposed, it is a great contingency plan to add explicit soft...
Silent is Paris-based designer Damir Doma‘s diffusion line launched in 2010. In his AW 2015 Women’s collection, a language of urban minimalism surfaces as his pieces of his look book sit aside images of architecture, taking modern sportswear into the realm of stylish elegance. Addressing the needs of the active, modern woman, curves and edges in the silhouettes of the collection translate into the sporty turtle neck collars, asymmetrical A-lines and cut-outs, suggesting they were intended for the ease of movement. Sweater dresses are explored both as oversized and fitting, while the contrast in piping, exposed stitching and seams reiterate the architectonic elements that Doma so beautifully alludes to. These poised pieces are most chic and graceful, resulting in, for lack of better words: utilitarian made very sexy.
Crafted by Canadian artist Karen Zalamea, Pierre/Paysage (Stone/Landscape in French) is a collection of ten photographic images presenting transformed representations of space. Layers of acetate were cut into different geometric shapes, carefully positioned and lit to create different formal arrangements, alluding to abstract yet quite tangible architectonic, topographic and cartographic silhouettes – at once diaphanous and yet surprisingly solid. Zalamea’s work is involved in the material concerns of image-making practices, often incorporating intricate processes that fuse elements of drawing, sculpture, and performance in her photographic and video production. A stunning feat to coordinate so many disciplines into such sophisticated, minimalistic outputs.
Cologne based design studio Kaschkasch created a slim wallmounted, foldable desk named Fju. Folded down you have a small workspace with a smooth writing surface. When you are done you just place your belongings in the storage pockets under the desk and fold up. Now the storage pockets are revealed and the desk has transformed into a shelf. Within seconds you create some extra space when needed. Fju consists of two main components: a steel bracket, mounted to the wall, and the wooden body made of 8mm thick veneered oak plywood. Fju comes naturally finished or dyed with charcoal. Like Fju the products of design studio Kaschkasch, founded Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider, are characterized by precise lines and geometric shapes.
Beller’s Equal seating ensemble personifies minimalism, emphasizing a sense of delicate sensibility. The collection is a set of chairs and stools all made from retracting wood in a tight grip of a single, seamless piece of cast metal. The philosophy of the strength between the relationships between objects, and people, is the basis for material selection and composition. The ash wood and the cast aluminum stand as these opposites, united in the Equal chair. Norway-based Lars Beller Fjetland studied at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts focusing on furniture, interiors and lighting, and his Norwegian coastal roots are clearly overt in his work. It is typical of the beautiful Scandinavian tone of combined considered tradition, restrained form and impeccable and seamless detailing. Equal is the spawn of this fascination with detail and a timeless aesthetic. Photography courtesy of Magne Sandnes.
Parisian architects duo Betillon/Dorval-Bory took on the renovation of a 20 sqm apartment with an unyielding minimalist grip. The white color feels fresh and does a marvelous job infusing amplitude to a narrow space, whilst not losing sight of a bold conceptual statement. It’s all about two simple light installations calling the shots. It is satisfying to behold a small apartment project with special care to lighting, considering the usual method of installing ready-made product design; this case in particular brings to the forefront tailor-made raw and naked lamps fixed on a small partition. The dividing barrier defines the living area and kitchen from the sleeping area and bathroom. For the larger area seven fluorescent tubes are tasked to light the way, with its colder blue-ish glow. In the private area in the corner, it’s up to a warmer glow to fill the space with two low-pressure sodium lamps (aka SOX), the same technology used on street lighting. The effect of the SOX lamps are unusual and daring for a residential project, since it annuls and reduces every color down to a monochromatic variation. In this case, the minimalism sensibility isn’t limited to a adornment free interior design, but to...
Shiro Studio is a London based design practice established by Andrea Morgante, committed to the creation of unique architecture and objects. Shiro means ‘white’ in Japanese, but here it implies a philosophical translation where white is perceived as the purest creative approach. An approach which has seen the design of the award winning Nivis — a strikingly sleek and minimalistic bathroom sink for Italian manufacturer Agape. Nivis pays homage to the most intimate and fragile sculptural qualities of snow, its unblemished whiteness and deep blanket fallen on everyday objects. Comprised of white cristalplant, Nivis’s surface becomes a soft, fluid mass where water can seamlessly flow, from the main to the secondary basin by rotating the overflow hole on the horizontal plane.
An exciting balance between Scandinavian minimalism and slightly melancholic drama: that is what Copenhagen based womenswear designer Vibe Johansson light-handedly fuses in her current summer collection. Maybe it’s due to her growing up in the Hamlet city of Elsinor, or maybe she just perfectly manages to integrate the impressions of her extensive travels into her northern soul. Whatever the cause, Vibe Johansson’s designs radiate a subversive elegance which makes its wearer stand out without being invasive. Questioning beauty and looking for it in dark places, physical as well as mental, is where it all began for me. — The Kinsky Interview I simply love the way this collection combines expressive textures with pure geometric shapes and a soft flow of fabrics. Vibe describes the behavior of her garments as defiant, yet controlled. And I feel like this is an attitude which might nicely mark off onto its wearer. Photography by Emil Monty. Art Direction by Marlo Saalmink. Styling by Vibe Johansson.
When elements of nature come together, the role of a designer is to become the spectator instead of the author; he or she no longer has control of the process, but the idea and power to transform the incidents and accidents that occur along the way into a product of growth. Martín Azúa, perhaps with that idealism, understands this very well with his Vase Stone design. Using physics as an element to deform the clay mold, the Barcelona-based designer place a stone around the peripheral of each vase’s mouth. The minimal bend and indentation then creates something strange, yet whimsical. Vases with new forms then become something more than just regular objects: sculptures with a complexity in form. That new figure is a result of nature affecting nature, rather than something that the designer superimposed onto the process of producing. To me, there’s something so modest and respectable about that. As a collaboration between Martín Azúa and Marc Vidal, the series of Vase Stone blends the rugged beauty of nature into a minimal manmade product. The result is both unique and impeccable.