Minimalissimo


The late Dutch industrial designer and sculptor, Aldo van den Nieuwelaar, characterised by geometric abstraction, a systematic approach and a minimal use of image resources — consistently represents simplicity and clarity of form in his work, reducing the design of all his products to their very essence. When I discovered the quite wonderful and minimalistic Cirkellamp by Aldo van den Nieuwelaar, I was surprised it hadn’t already been featured here on Minimalissimo. Originally designed in 1968 and consisting of a perfectly proportioned circle and square, Cirkellamp was produced in 2010 in honour of the great designer by Dutch lighting brand, Boops. The lamp has been updated with modern technology and makes use of a stepless dim button by a pulse dimmer. Beautiful, elegant and masterfully minimalist. Expect to see a few more Aldo van den Nieuwelaar designs celebrated in the future.


Simple but iconographic. That is what the team at Italian fashion accessory brand Design Digest aims for. It results in contemporary, monomateric jewellery, which is committed to simplicity, but reflects the Design Digest background in architecture and fine arts: The women who wear Design Digest accessories leave nothing to chance. They love to be ahead of the times with careful consideration and a strong intuition to recognize beauty through research. I am drawn to Design Digest by its minimalism. But at the same time I am impressed at how much the pieces stand out in an outfit, how much of a clear statement they are when worn. It’s like wearing an agile object of art.


London-based designer and British bone china specialist Richard Brendon has been developing a number of studio collaborations with Patternity, a specialist organization dedicated solely to pattern, the latest being a bone china collection with the British traditional luxury homeware shop Fortnum & Mason. Resulting from Brendon’s dream of rejuvenating and repositioning the British bone china industry, the collection warps perceptions of what bone china can look like, featuring a precise, pure geometric pattern in Fortnum & Mason’s signature delicate color Eau de Nil, and are available for purchase. Born from a drive to use pattern as a tool to inspire, explore and innovate, Patternity comprises a pattern research/consultancy department, a pioneering events and education hub, and an award-winning creative studio, frequently developing collaborations with designers on a number of different fashion, interior, and product design projects.


Fou de Feu, founded by Veerle Van Overloop, is a ceramic studio based in Belgium that takes in the influences from architecture, photographic, and food culture. Inspired from water drops and their effects on a liquid surface, Rhythm was produced as a series of minimal tableware products. The fusion of white porcelain with leather, wood, and marble is rather an uncommon combination that works so well together, contrasting the pure white and the textured brown. With different functions, these products, ranging from something large like a cutting board to something small like a tea spoon, all share the same basic shape of a rounded square with an extended corner. The layering of materials is something quite clever that helps elevate the playfulness of these items. I found the synergy of these products, when put on top of one another to create the rippling effect, a very simple and effective method of display. Just like the name of the studio suggests, Rhythm not only has the right amount of minimalism, but it also intrigues those who are fun and whimsical.


These simple and well-thought-out glasses were created by young designer Félicie Eymard Ericsdóttir for Belgian glassware brand Durobor. Called Sopp, which means mushrooms in Norwegian, the glasses feature curvy shape. Designer claims that this shape makes them easier to handle. Sopp comes in three sizes, which are made from the same mold. Thanks to this unified base, the glasses can be stacked. The product is a 2014 Mad Surprize Young Belgian Design Product Design award winner. Photography by Julien Hayard


Zeren Saglamer’s Grill is a beautiful combination of lines. The materiality and the expression of its composition, is beautiful. Described as a half solid surface and half cage-like table, this piece is available in both a carrara marble and wooden surface. The metal bands that accompany the solid surface also act as a hanging surface for reading material. Saglamer is located in Istanbul and has a background in Industrial Design and Fine Arts. Her works are a combination of furniture, industrial design products, interiors and lighting. She heads up XS Design studio with an ethos to create products and interiors that integrate form and function in harmony. Grill is available through Selectivism. Photography courtesy of XS Design.


Danish furniture manufacturer Askman, successfully collaborate with some of Denmark’s best contemporary designers. Along with their 100 years experience in woodworking — which offers the base foundation for all their products — Askman have produced these wonderfully minimal furniture pieces; Square, designed by Jørgen Møller. Having been designing for Askman for more than 25 years, Jørgen Møller has created a remarkable collection of elegant, functional and minimalistic products. His Square series is a brilliant example of his work, which includes a magazine holder, box, and a nest of tables. It’s the quiet simplicity and the one primary shape (square) used throughout these pieces that has the minimalist in me appreciating everything about Møller’s designs.


The Los Angeles label Co have created yet another stunning collection for Resort 2015. In a theme of luxurious fabrics  molded into these sculptural forms and volumes, giving ubiquitous styles of A line, empire lines, slips and puffer coats an elegant yet sporty twist. Coming across this collection by chance, I could not believe these were the same designers I had featured 6 months ago. Co’s Resort 2015 is so beautifully styled and photographed, the images have such incredible depth. While the fabric reflect the light so the texture is highlighted, the details of each piece though minimal are pronounced. I could not think of a more beautiful way to present this collection.


Sostre is an urban canopy designed by the Spanish studio Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, that references traditional structures of mediterranean cultures to provide service to a restaurant with more space. When it is not in use, it gives service to the citizens as a meeting point, playground or a shade to stand, and not interfering with their transit because of its geometry with only two support points. Sostre is comprised of a solid surface material that covers a metallic structure, generating a minimalist and continuous block. In addition, Sostre has lighting, sound, air conditioning as well as a retractable shading device to produce a more intimate setting.


Los Angeles based West of West created, in cooperation with Chris Noell, an experimental surfboard; Aero. A board built around the streamlined image of speed. The classic outlines of a planing hull blend with an asymmetrical split tail. The top is minimal while the bottom is extensively contoured. Ridges and valleys emerge from the bottoms surface, forming a new topography that reacts to speed and flow in unique ways. It is the contrast between top and bottom, connected by the striking split tail that I particularly like. Notable is the fin missing at the bottom and I wonder how that influences the directional stability. I imagine it can take a while to tame the board before you can head out and conquer impressive barrels. Aero was built for and displayed at the Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles.


This beautiful example of minimalist graphic design has been created by Sydney based Zé Studio for the start-up technology company Connected Apps. The project included identity concept and development, as well as an icon set and animated monogram for use within the company’s app framework. Designers explain: In defining the identity for Connected Apps, we avoided obvious connections from point A—B. In our strategic research, we came across a formula known as Dijkstra’s Algorithm which finds the shortest connecting path using a series of placed nodes (commonly used to find the shortest path for navigation maps). This formed the basis of the visual identity. I really like the subtlety of this approach. Instead of illustrating the concept, designers stimulated our imagination by the clever use of the dotted grid. The nodes do not visually appear to connect until the monogram animates from a start to end point in the shortest path – a way in which Connected Apps aim to reach their clients’ audiences.


This florist’s home in Japan’s Mie prefecture was designed to inspire the resident’s craft. The dwelling was completed by Japanese firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates in May of this year. Florist Studio utilizes a refreshing simple design to offer seamless views for a creative live/work space. The most stunning feature of the home is the glass walls that span the entire length of the building. The glass is held in place by the floor and roof slabs; this structure eliminates the need for view-impeding columns. The long stretch of windows is reminiscent of a painting in a gallery. The gallery aesthetic continues throughout the home. A cantilevered counter runs the full length of the structure, forming a bed headboard and bathroom vanity on one end, and an office desk on the other. Carefully chosen furniture is placed in the other rooms. The attention paid to each detail makes the whole home feel like a work of art. Florist Studio a perfect dwelling for its resident and its environment.