D&V Concept Store is a Retail project designed by Swedish architecture team Guise. The volumetric interior is the result of duplicating every display surface 4 times, clever syncing a multi-level table, floating shelves on a console system and window platforms within this would-be shop. As described by the architects: The first step in the process was to take an area of 400×400 mm and extrude it and let it grow to 800×800 mm, then to repeat the process until a desired height has been reached. The demand for flexibility was met by introducing a custom made changeable shelf system. A system of L-profiled beams were designed with a perforation running along the beams as a stitch. It is the sequence of the photography that helps tell an interesting story of the relationship between all these elements of display, especially without any merchandise: solid and void, heavy and light, slender and massive, grounded and floating. I love the fact that such simple, minimal forms can create such a dynamic space. Information courtesy of Guise. Photography by Brendan Austin.
The brand identity for The Contemporary Austin, a new museum in downtown Austin, is a project by the international design consultancy Pentagram, the result of which I think is wonderful. Like the name, the new identity system is built around a simple wordmark, a sans-serif typographic solution that spells out the museum’s name in upper and lowercase but highlights the “A” in the word Contemporary with a capital letter and a change of color. This capital “A” makes reference to Art and the city of Austin, and the blue color is inspired by the lagoon at Laguna Gloria, tying in nicely with the lighting featured in the building’s facade. The capital “A” can work by itself as a icon for the museum and The Contemporary can and is already being used as a shorthand version of the identity. No doubt, this is extraordinarily clean and simple work with plenty of subtle references.
Edition One is a series of minimalist pastel toned linework on rich metallic paper. The pastel colors, printed with matte ink, give a nice contrast with the background and throughout the day the appearance will change by the light. Like the name says Edition One is the first edition of metallic prints by Yield. The series is produced in a limited edition of 100 pieces. Yield was founded in 2012 by Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming. The co-founders met at California College of the Arts, where Gant studied Industrial Design and Deming studied Design Strategy.
This That Other collection has been created by Munich based designer Stefan Diez for the German furniture brand e15. The line is comprised of a dining chair called This, a low lounge chair called That and a high stool called Other. The pieces are made of molded oak-veneered plywood. The idea was to make a resilient and at the same time ergonomic seating. Designer Farah Ebrahimi developed the colour palette, which includes natural wood, neon pink, navy, white, light grey and dark grey. I love how the curved backrest creates a delicate silhouette and makes these chairs look weightless. I also like the versatility of the design. The chairs could be equally attractive at home, in the office or in any public place.
Cardal Holiday House is a striking home built into the hilltop in Bemposta, Portugal. Designed by Cannatà & Fernandes, this building is defined by contrast. The upper and lower level are opposites in color, structure, and material. The lower level is a smooth expanse of concrete that juts out from the hillside. The second story is a light and airy form that appears to float stop the concrete which supports it. A parking garage and small garden are located on the ground floor. The main living areas are contained on the upper level, accessed by a dramatic staircase at the entrance. Cardal Holiday House is a gorgeous pairing of opposites. The different forms and materials come together seamlessly and blend perfectly with the surrounding environment.
Established and evolving artist, Dion Hortsmans is continuing to make leaps and bounds in the world of contemporary sculpture. After a veritable amount of time in the sun; sailing and searching, his feet firmly landed firmly back on soil, before plunging into his sculptural artistic pursuits. With a recent exhibition, Night Rider under his belt, his work has graced audiences in galleries and publications since 1996 across Australia. He notes that to be able to ask, and then to listen and believing in your passion are two of the prized earnings from his process. An idea is a nano-second, the journey is in making the idea, formulating it, working out how to do it, mostly when you’re on that trip you have a gazillion other ideas. Hortsmans has an extensive CV of work, spanning commissions and galleries in Melbourne and Sydney. His work is a combination of lines, embodying movement in still objects and responding to notions of want; a dynamic want. The line work is a geometric explosion of shapes resulting from lines, extrusions and playing with elements of scale. I am biased, but not blindly so, in saying that Hortsmans is a genius and his work a manifestation...
Milan based architect and industrial designer Monica Armani, internationally recognised by the precision of geometry, the purity and consistency of her work, designed in 2010 the minimalist, sleek and stunning WGS Stool for Italian furniture brand, Gallotti&Radice. The WGS Stool is designed in bright stainless steel as well as embossed white or grey aluminium, which can be covered by felt, 3D Tex, leather, suede or fabric in a variety of colours and patterns. Measuring 45 x 30 x 45 cm, the low stool is a simple and subtle piece of furniture that would surely compliment any contemporary interior. I really enjoy the thinness of the design, its smooth rounded corners, and the iced 3D Tex finish is particularly beautiful.
Berlin based studio The Medley Institute is found and led by fashion designer Jana Patz. Since 2010 she has developed a constantly growing variety of sculptural but filigree accessories and bags, which she presents at Paris Fashion Week. She finds her inspiration in materials untypical for fashion, such as wood or porcelain. Her main aim is to make these materials correspond to the wearer and the surroundings. That is why – she claims – communication and conversation are the basis for all her work: There will be new ways of reflection and unexpected suggestions for wearable objects, accessories and pieces of jewellery. That is how the design will get to be a stunning single piece in an outfit and there will be a chance of a fusion between body, textile and object. The brand name incorporates these ideas perfectly. Besides the concept, I am very taken by the fundamental clarity and powerful appearance of pieces which are visually very subtle. The latest collection, Fold & Pleat, is a mix of pure and elegant leather bags accompanied by a selection of various accessories shaped by a clear geometric rhythm. A rhythm you can easily tune in to. Photography by Patrick Houi
The unique challenge of designing on a site with a 300 year old Beech tree was something Govaert-Vanhoutte Architects were up for. Their style, reminiscent of Mies Van Der Rohe’s post-war modern minimalism with the use of glass and its transparency, seems perfect to bring the experience of the landscape, the context and its history into this hotel with 4 suites in Diksmuide, Belgium. To prevent as little disruption as possible to the 300 year old monument and its landscape, Hotel Notarishuys was erected 50cm recessed from the ground level. The minimalist architecture allows the exterior to become part of the interior, and the building disappears in its understated demeanor around the tree. As described by the architects: The presence of the building is reduced and merely defines spaces in terms of: in and out, in front of a wall, between a wall and glass, on one side of the inner (outer) space or the other, etc. As an extension of an existing restaurant, I love the idea that this hotel manages to maintain its privacy without being secluded. The concrete interiors and homogenous colors of the suites create a calm, reflective presence to be under the Beech tree without being...
Some things are so ubiquitous around the internet that they just get taken for granted, even – or especially – in the design world, which is a small one indeed. So let’s set that aside for a moment and talk about Garance Doré‘s fashion illustrations. I’m not a fashionista particularly, but I do enjoy fashion design, and to me Ms. Doré’s work has always brought an extra dose of fun to that world. The line work is simple and direct, and the use of color is always limited, usually with a pop of bright tones, just enough to give it life and movement. The story of her persuit of illustration as a career is also an interesting read – her writing style is humorous, open and lighthearted, even when looking back at difficult patches, and that is always inspiring.
Overall, Fashion Month was very disappointing. However, perhaps the fall of big houses give rise to smaller brands, such as Cédric Charlier. Rather new to Paris Fashion week, the Belgian designer’s collections have been solid, with evidence of impact from his two years workmanship under Michael Kors for Céline. His runway for Spring Summer 2014 might not be minimal or even sophisticated, but the clothes completely contrast this. With Eastern inspirations, very clean cut garments were sent out, primarily in black, white, and navy. The hanging belts seem extraneous sometimes, but subtle elements like the black elastic blazer holder in look 10, with a starch white base, grab my interest. The trend for this season seem to be sheer blocking, and this can again be seen through the striped dresses toward mid-show. I especially love the sequin dresses at the finale, due to their ironic image. Here, they are matte, mute, and modest – a perfect way to leave the audience wanting more. The collection only consists of 30 looks and I must give praise to Cédric Charlier for the ability to edit. Some can argue that he didn’t have enough people or budget to curate 70 looks at once...
100m3 is a Madrid apartment, created by studio MYCC. This urban dwelling is minimal, both aesthetically and spatially. The narrow pad is only 21 square meters in footprint, so designers had to explore vertical space and build several levels, creating a non-linear path. All functional zones are connected and open to view, even the bathroom is within sight. This openness contributes to the illusion of a much more generous size. The all-white colour choice is another smart way to visually expand the interior. I love the flexibility of each room. The bed slides underneath the living zone, the office on top turns into a lounge area. Every segment doubles in function, creating more ways to experience this small space. Watch the animation, showing how the apartment functions in different social situations.