Magneto is a minimalist table lamp created by French studio Hekla. The piece is comprised of two parts – a metal base and an autonomous lighting source, made out of wood and fitted with an LED strip. Thanks to the magnetic component inside the wooden part, you can freely move the light, attach it at any angle and easily customize the direction of the light. I love how versatile the piece is. You can put it together in many different ways as a table lamp. You can also take it completely apart and attach the lighting component to any metal surface around the house. Very clever.
This sleek home is located on a sandy site in Comporta, Portugal. Designed by RRJ Arquitectos, this structure meets the needs of living in a harsh environment. Sun protection is a main concern in the scheme of House in Comporta. The single story home sits low on the site, maximizing coolness and minimizing sun exposure. The thick, concrete walls guard the home from the sun at the most vulnerable points. All the windows are recessed in the facade for extra shade during the brightest parts of the day. Clean lines, white walls, and hardwood floors are featured on the interior. I love how this home merges perfectly with its environment. The concrete facade appears to emerge directly from the sandy floor. The home is also sized so as to enhance the view of the trees and sky, rather than distract from them. House in Comporta is a perfect example of a structure inspired by the unique characteristics of its site. Photographs by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura.
Nendo’s Key Calendar challenges the way we track time. The Key Calendar is a device that both requires interaction, and encourages it. The use of keys to indicate the month, days and days of the week are indicated by inserting each key. Originally produced in 2004, this piece still embodies the minimalistic aesthetic that deems it timeless. Nendo is a master of this. In a way, the traditional advent calendar also requires the user to create a relationship with the time piece, whereby the behavior of opening a door each day, then reveals its contents. Similarly, Nendo plays by similar rules. Each day, the calendar requires the user to actually move sequential key pieces, to update the time indicated. This challenge of engagement helps change the interface of how time is tracked and requires the user to search for it, engage with it, and be aware of it. The key is also a symbol of the unlocking of a new door, ie. a new day. I like this. Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Iwasaki.
It has been quite some time since we last featured some beautiful minimalist art pieces on Minimalissimo, so today I would like to introduce you to the remarkable painted works of New York based abstract artist, Augustus Nazzaro. Nazzaro’s work over recent years predominantly features dark, minimalist, abstract forms, a number of which are inspired by military campaigns. His most recent project titled, In Pursuit of Shadows, is particularly striking. For me however, his Rifle Locker series from 2011 stands out as some of his strongest work due to the intricate texture of the black surfaces and the repetition of subtle silhouettes. More of this series along with other examples of his paintings can be found on Nazzaro’s website. Photography courtesy of Saatchi Online.
The Hongkun Art Gallery is a stunning interiors project by architects Penda, located in Bejing. Its monolithic exterior gives the first hint of the arch – a typical architectural element – at the entrance of the gallery. However, what appears on the inside takes one for a pleasant surprise. How can one make an art gallery more interesting? Penda’s solution implements a volume of continuous curves defining the space as walls, partitions and even into the cove ceilings. I love the consistency of the design that molds the typically white space for viewing art into a piece of sculpture itself, its curves as if a reflection of the landscape. Even the utilitarian areas maintain the proportion of the arches with the single use of wood for all surfaces, making it a beautiful, minimalist art gallery, which is as if art on its own.
Some months ago Moving Brands designed a new identity for Blank Digital, a New York-based boutique retouching and digital capture company. Blank were seeking a more effective strategy in order to help establish relationships with the top luxury, fashion and media businesses of the world. Moving Brands explains the design: We defined their brand narrative as ‘realizing image potential’ – an ambitious stance that focuses on the real business benefit they offer. The monochromatic identity system has an attitude and an edginess to appeal to their high-fashion audience. The mark references Blank’s own editing process; it appears to be at the point of mid-creation, but still elegant. The soft colour palette and typeface nod to the family-focused values and love of tailored, crafted elements, and characteristics of the business that were often referenced in workshops with the Blank founders. Most importantly, the system provides a sophisticated, flexible foundation from which their own work can shine. A wonderful piece of work, from the physical to the digital media, that set a guide for all applications of the brand, being a perfect mix between sophistication, simplicity and neutrality.
Lapka has introduced another clever health tracking accessory: the Breath Alcohol Monitor. The Lapka BAM is an accessory for your phone that allows you to track alcohol metabolism over time and compare and share your measurements with friends. Another piece where technology and aesthetics come together in harmony. Lapka BAM is a minimalist black ceramic cylinder, that uses inaudible sound waves to communicate wireless with a custom app on your smartphone. The use of the Lapka BAM is easy: hold it in your fist, take a deep breath and blow for four seconds. The edge of your hand becomes the mouthpiece. The BAM icon on your phone screen will fill up completely when finished. The design of the app is cleverly done: the more drunk one is, the simpler the appearance of the app becomes. One sees an indication of the current blood alcohol level along with a description of what that means in practical terms.
This beautiful collection of geometric jewelry has been created by Phoenix based designer Melanie Shelor. Called Laminar, which means smooth, layered flow, the collection includes series of earrings and rings, all crafted by hand from silver. Here is how Shelor describes her work: Laminar is a project I began in 2009 as an exploration into the assemblage of shape, color, and texture in the form of jewelry fabrication and objets d’art. While jewelry at times is meant to be a signifier, I prefer to see it as an intermediary between the person and her environment – a kind of pattern or rhythm that visually negotiates the discrepancy between the two. I love the unadorned simplicity of these pieces. As if drawn in a single line, they appear airy and effortless.
House in Daizawa is located in a residential neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. Designed by The Archetype, lead by Nobuo Araki, this structure aims to maximize outdoor space while creating a private environment for the residents. The home is situated in the middle of the site, allowing for a roomy patio in the front and a lovely backyard garden on the southern half of the lot. Concrete walls on both ends of the site separate the home from neighbors and the street. The interior features an open floor plan with large windows and hardwood details. I love Nobuo Araki’s simple yet thoughtful design. The outdoor spaces are perfectly framed by the concrete walls and large windows of the house. Inside and outside, the structure evokes a sense of seclusion reminiscent of a country dwelling. In a city as busy as Tokyo, the peaceful House in Daizawa is truly an accomplishment.
Canadian designer, Lukas Peet brings us his effortlessly beautiful pendant lamp. Everyone, meet Rudi. The lamp fixture is a combination of brass tubing bent to an extruded-oblong shape, together with a moulded cathode lamp. The pendant is then suspended from its own cord, which is knotted around the brass, at its top pivot equilibrium point. Peet’s portfolio consists of a combination of lighting, furniture, objects, graphic design, installations and photography. His work has a contemporary edge and a minimalist feel. Conceived in 2013, the structural halo that Rudi creates both a geometric and a streamlined nod to illuminating the space. Rudi is available in single, large or double loops and currently available through Roll & Hill. I have a feeling Rudi is destined to make quite a few new friends. Photography courtesy of Joseph De Leo.
Brands evolving out of a personal need for something not available on the market are usually the best. One of them: Berlin based spectacles manufacturer OWL. The team consists of three friends – a designer, a strategist and a coder – who were looking for timeless, classy frames offered for a reasonable price on the web. They consider a pair of glasses to be an important part of any outfit. That is why, from their point of view, it does not make sense to own a hallway full of shoes but only a single pair of spectacles. So they got to work and founded OWL: We create enduring pieces of the contemporary, well crafted and attainable. We sell the frames with high quality lenses in our beautiful and easy to use online shop, directly to good folks across the EU. However, when I look at OWL, I don’t just see the beautiful glasses. It’s the personal, relaxed and friendly way the brand communicates which really sets them apart from other online optic brands. That is why I am very curious about the carefully chosen real-world places they will find during the coming year, where they will make trying on their...
Ode to Things is a microstore specialised in well-designed, quality lifestyle accessories, and when I recently discovered one of their objects in the form of the Futagami Brass Bottle Opener designed by Masanori Oji, it lead me to a store full of beautifully minimalist and simple accessories. A collection that I have no doubt many of you will also appreciate. Ode to Things explains: We love objects that add function, style, and fun to your life. That’s why we created this concise collection of everyday items that are special in the way they bring form, function, and elegance together. From Hidetoshi Takahashi’s Kami Wood Cups, to Lovisa Wattman’s Iris Hantverk Concrete Bowls, to Christina Weber’s Studiopatró Kitchen & Café Aprons, this range of household objects have been superbly selected, and as a relatively new online store, I will be keeping a close eye on how Ode to Things develops throughout the year.