The Mist Cabinet by Rachel Harding is a display cabinet that curates your view. The cabinet uses a minimalist construction to create a series of clear cast acrylic boxes that react to various viewing angles. Thanks to a special coating the opacity of each box flutters between transparent and translucent as you pass by, “creating an intriguing choreography of hidden and seen” as Harding describes. I wanted to re-invent the idea of the traditional display cabinet. Instead of simply falling into the background, this cabinet interacts with the objects inside, and encourages the user to take a second look. The advantages of acrylic glass is its capacity to refract and filter light and being light weight. Acrylic glass however can have a ‘cold’ appearance and will not fit in every interior. Rachel Harding works, in addition to her studio work as an in-house designer for Droog Design, creating in-house collections and design concepts. Harding seeks to surprise with her work drawing inspiration from unexpected materials and contexts.
Less is the story of a wine lover who wanted to make good wine affordable for all. His idea was simple: remove the superfluous and keep the essential. By selling his wine in bulk, our client aimed to reinvent the customer experience, inviting shoppers to fill their bottles directly from wooden casks at his shop. This way is how Landor introduces the magnificent branding project that was created for Less — a minimalist identity that reflects the brand’s goals, whilst communicating only what is necessary, removing the superfluous and going beyond aesthetics. Following this discourse, the identity appears only by removing material, either sandblasted on bottles or cut out on recycled paper, showing four slightly modified stripes to form the word Less. The packaging also becomes bespoke with the label customized by a drop of the wine it contains. I also suggest watching the superb video brand presentation, because for this project, D&AD Awards honored Landor’s work by featuring it in their Branding book of 2014.
Aroeira III is an elegant dwelling located on a sunny, arid hilltop in Portugal. The home is designed by ColectivArquitectura, a small architectural office located in Lisbon, Portugal. The thoughtful design seeks to maximize sun exposure and work with the sloped landscape. The structure is u-shaped and divided among two low-lying levels. This building is refreshingly honest about its structure both inside and out. The reinforced concrete foundation is visible throughout the exterior, while steel support beams puncture the wood and glass facade. These classic materials continue on the interior. Exposed concrete walls and floors are juxtaposed with wood panelling and stairs. The floor to ceiling windows keep everything bright and airy. Aroeira III embraces a design that is as beautiful as it is timeless. This is surely a home that will be admired for years to come. Photography by FG+SG Architectural Photography.
Belle Langford — @hellablissed — is an Australian writer and illustrator based in Sydney. Her Instagram collection Hellablissed is a refined stripped back collection of minimalist illustrations and vignettes. We caught up with Belle to discuss her work. What is your muse for creating minimalist work? I’m fascinated by the beauty in things that are pared back, simple and understated. I’m always drawn to the incomplete or the undone; when you have to look closely to find the beauty in something — there’s no feeling like the surprise of discovering it unexpectedly. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist illustrated work? I’m an intensely nostalgic person and memory is probably the biggest source of inspiration for me. I’m not really concerned with recreating the most realistic or accurate depiction of something, but rather a feeling of that thing; its essence. And I put that solely down to the fuzzy pictures you get when reminiscing – intense sensation and an impression of what was, but no real particulars. How do your surroundings impact your creativity? The Australian landscape really can be quite harsh, rugged and weathered but whenever I’m away from it, I can’t really function. I’ve always felt a connectedness...
Danish design-house, Normann Copenhagen have expanded the award winning Geo range with six new products by Danish designer, Nicholai Wiig Hansen, which is characterised by its minimalistic style and sharp, masculine edges. The Geo Vacuum Jug is now being joined by a tray, milk jug, sugar bowl and lidded jars in three different sizes. Geo has a precise, geometric feel where all unnecessary details have been stripped away to create a stylistic design. Comprising of a lightweight plastic material with a glossy inside and a lovely mat finish on the outside, the whole Geo range fits beautifully together. Nicholai Wiig Hansen explains: The idea behind Geo was to make a range of products with character. I’ve worked with the lines, circles and shapes of the products to create a geometric harmony. The very shapes give the Geo range an edgy and graphic look, and the combined use of classic and light colours help to soften the masculine appearance. Wonderful work.
Singapore based womenswear label MAX.TAN focuses on minimalist ideas converted into novel but refined tailoring and exquisit artwork. Details are deliberately blown out of proportion creating unexpected silhouettes and austere moods. The MAX.TAN Spring Summer 2015 collection explores the conceptual idea of infinity. Is there a way for a garment to have no ends, no conventional hems or cuffs? So its key looks combines morphing two-piece garments with volumes inspired by the curves of the infinity symbol. I love the way designer Max Tan manages to stick with minimalist lines and shapes while having a very consistent and particular use of form.
This collaboration between French lingerie line Maison Lejaby and Belgian designer Lea Peckre has bred an Autumn Winter 2014 collection focusing on a sophisticated use of light toned neutrals in see-through bodysuits, with sheer fabrics in asymmetrical drapes and geometric volumes. The figure-hugging shapes emphasize the female curves in a feminine, ethereal and seductive way. Paris-based creative studio Twice were responsible for the art direction and graphic design of the lookbook, framed in simple and elegant graphics that highlight the collection’s power. Photography by Harley Weir.
When one thinks of incorporating nature into one’s home, that thought often involves trees. However, Amsterdam-based studio Formafantasma by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin has a different direction for that thought. Specializing in designs that fuse tradition and local culture, while regarding sustainability and the objects’ significance, their products incorporate the most unusual materials—such as the Fossilium series. Made from cooled lava rocks from the eruption of Mount Etna in November 2013, these volumetric sculptures are the work of a collaborative effort that involves special processes. While minimal in form, the porosity and grain of these products propose a complexity in material execution. The elegance of simple geometric silhouettes is highlighted with accents of brass against the monochromic base of the basalt colors. These tables and tools are a part of a greater collection that includes clocks, bowls, and mirrors that are available at Gallery Libby Sellers in London. I find a fascination in the loyalty of Formafantasma to their philosophy of locality. Not only they were able to produce an amazing array of minimal sculptural furnitures, the sustainability aspect of material transportation also speaks about the work ethics that created Fossilium.
Shot by Flemish photographer Frederik Vercruysse, this temple of modernism was built in the 1950s by Andre Wogenscky, a renowned architect who worked with Le Corbusier for a long time. Although it was built about 60 years ago, it seems to belong to a current concept. All the furniture is custom-made in a clever contrast between materials and forms, while remaining in absolute rigour. The modernist spirit plays with the position in the middle of the countryside and the view from the interior give a timeless touch to the house. Located just outside of Paris, House Saint-Forget was designed according to the golden section of Le Corbusier and the measure of a man, known as modular. A staircase leads to an exquisite black and white living and dining room, which is open to the outside, and features a corner fireplace in the original steel roof. Remarkable.
A gorgeous white form is located in a hilly, rural area of Luxembourg. Simply called Luxembourg House, this structure is designed to create dynamic spaces inside and out. The home was designed by the infamous Richard Meier, an architect who has received worldwide recognition for his minimal buildings. Long walls of white tile and full length windows form the exterior structure. This layout anchors the home to its site and creates panoramic views of the environment. On the interior, the layout defines the public and private spaces. A large staircase rests inside a light-filled atrium; this staircase is the main mode of circulation throughout the home. The lower level of the house is mostly utilitarian: it contains parking and a fitness center. The living and dining rooms are nestled along a wall of windows on the ground floor, and the kitchen and playroom sit on the north side of this level. The uppermost story contains the bedrooms and study. Terraces on all floors embrace the light from the large windows and balconies. I love the thoughtful design of Luxembourg House. Every space in this structure was deliberately designed by Richard Meier and his team. The result is a house where every corner is full...
UK-based Industrial Facility introduces the Branca Chair and its younger brother, the Branca Stool. Conceived together with the well-respected Italian Mattiazzi as their client, the brief was to design a chair that turned to nature, where complexity thrives on reason, where beauty is simply a reason for constant growth. Available in black, white, green and a natural ash, both pieces are a collaboration on dedication to craftsmanship. The stool features a low back, a subtle element, together with a metal footrest for durability. Industrial Facility is a firm that works with international companies of all sizes in a wide ranging set of industries. Their portfolio extends beyond the original plan of industrial design products, and now reaches to collaborations in interiors, public furniture, medical devices and exhibitions. Formed in 2002, their work is based on exploring the junction between industrial design and the world around us. The resulting pieces are beautiful, clean and express function but in a quiet unassuming way. I like this. Photography courtesy of Industrial Facility.
Swedish design studio, Form Us With Love, who’s incredible studio space in Stockholm we featured a few years ago, have recently designed this beautiful stool with clean-cut lines, interrupted by a recess that serves as a footrest, which brings to mind the cutting of a tree trunk, ‘fura’ in Swedish. Designed for Italian furniture and lighting brand, Plust, the Fura stool is matched with the Fura table, both of which express rational, clean and geometric forms. The Fura furniture, comprised of polyethylene, is available in a variety of colours that include white, rosemary, sandy, ashen, and pearl black. Brilliantly simple garden furniture.