Minimalissimo


Frederico Traverso’s Pandora is a multiuse minimalist collection of lamps, tables and seating ornaments. Based on the philosophy of concealing the material composing them, each piece seems to have its own ethereal quality and lightness. Each piece is available in multiple sizes and when selected as the lighted version, each piece can be transformed into a feature lighting element. The illumination comes from LED technology and controlled through a remote device to ensure the sculptural piece itself is formally left uninterrupted. Available through Myyour, the collection is based on timeless design with hundreds of possible color combinations. Each element can be used internally or externally, maximizing its use and versatility also. There are 3 available sizes and each can be finished with either embossed detailing a smooth surface. Together in form and function, these pieces are beautiful and unobtrusive. And that is very beautiful. Photography courtesy of Frederico Traverso.


Los Angeles based photographer Nicholas Alan Cope, whose superb book, Whitewash, we featured last year, has again grabbed our attention with another superb photographic series, Vedas. A collaborative project with fellow photographer and designer Dustin Edward Arnold, Vedas — meaning knowledge in Sanskrit — marked their move into fashion imagery through photographing sculptural garments of their own design, and to challenge ideas of what is acceptable against what is possible. In a recent interview with Dezeen, Arnold explains: It was the idea that knowledge is at once both expansive and contractive. For some it shakes foundations, de-stabilises values and opens up the sheer terror of possibility. For others it signifies hope, advancement and discovery. The materials used for this project are flexible, yet manage to hold shape to achieve interesting structures with often blurred, ghostly silhouettes. I like this. We wanted to restrain the palette by focusing entirely on form rather than colour. I will certainly be keeping a watchful eye on this duo’s future collaborations. Fascinating.


The Australian queens of staple wardrobe have done it again! Mary-Lou Ryan and Deborah Sams of Warriewood based label Bassike — spoken Basic — seem to get more distinctive with every collection they design. They effortlessly stick to the brand’s core business by creating a wardrobe of relaxed, minimal pieces, while at the same time implementing new ideas and a fresh styling for Spring/Summer 2014. It seems like some new colors and patterns were mixed into the current collection: Bassike’s signature neutral palette is carefully complemented with some earthy tones and patterns abstracted from classic menswear. The silhouettes are even more loose-fitting and oversized than before. However, the overall look is still luxurious and elaborate, which is probably due to the carefully chosen fabrics, mainly produced in Australia, Italy and France. So if you want to take your relaxed beach feeling downtown with style, Bassike’s SS2014 collection is definitely the right choice for hitting the bars and clubs.


You might be familiar with London-based photographer Bruno Drummond and set designer Gemma Tickle‘s work through their contribution to Printed Pages magazine’s spring 2014 edition, but the pair’s collaborations span many other playful projects. Very informed by a minimalist aesthetic, their collaborations often use graphic, formal arrangements, clean sharp angular lines, plain untextured surfaces, and as with Printed Pages, repeat the same elements again and again as a stylistic device. Continuing my on-going investigation about the process behind minimalistic work, Bruno shares with us that he wouldn’t necessarily describe their process as minimalist — It is often quiet elaborate, with ideas being discussed extensively but it does tend to result in a specific vision prior to shooting.  A lot of the work is pre-visualised with ideas, materials, colours and lighting discussed in advance, although they always leave room for the unexpected, which isn’t surprising considering the joyful nature of their work. Unsurprisingly, their individual portfolios boast several other beautifully simple projects — head over to be further visually delighted!


Norm Architects, which was founded by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn in 2008, is a multidisciplinary company that focuses on products that reflect the traditions and timelessness of Scandinavian designs — not only aesthetically, but also qualitatively. I was lucky enough to encounter the New Norm Dinnerware series that consists of jars, plates, bowls, and many other affordable minimal utilities. They all hold the colors and cleanliness that reflect the Nordic cultures. If one argues against the counter-complexity of the designs, one is missing the point. The craftsmanship being put into these pleasantly familiar pieces calls for a combination of materials — glass, wood, metal, stone, ceramic — that is not entirely alien to the users, yet still gives off an elegance of modernity. Launched back in 2011, this series still remains relevance in this contemporary design era, because Norm loyally stayed with their creative philosophy. In order to showcase these beautiful products, Norm collaborated with Cofoco in Copenhagen, resulting in Höst Restaurant. Like the New Norm Dinnerware themselves, Höst meshes the new and old Nordic traditions to inspire the upcoming generation, as well as call for an evaluation of time’s intervention in the design industry. Photos Courtesy of Norm...


Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.


M Residence is yet another stunning dwelling by acclaimed architecture firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates. Completed in 2013 and located in Fukui, Japan, M Residence is a remarkably simple home for two families. One half of the structure houses a young couple and child, while the other is home to the child’s grandmother. Both halves of the home are nearly identical. The interiors feature an open-floor plan. The lack of walls lends a fluidity to the space and cuts out cumbersome square footage. Furniture is limited to only the necessities. Sliding panels are placed along the southern wall of the home, allowing the space easy exposure to the outdoors. Shared spaces include the porch, car park, and garden. M Residence is the perfect solution to living with extended family. Both families can enjoy the comfort and convenience of living so close, yet their divided spaces can easily feel a world apart. That Shinichi Ogawa & Associates were able to achieve this while maintaining the design’s effortless and minimal aesthetic is equally impressive.


Swedish designer Thomas Sandell celebrates the beauty of marble with his Melt Bookcase. Originally from Finland, his architectural and design background has found him responsible for numerous subtle minimalist industrial design pieces. The piece was produced for the Marsotto Edizioni collection, and is made from white carrara marble, with a matt polished finish. The piece is also available in a black marble, and measures 70cm x 37cm x 90cm high. Since graduating with his Masters in Architecture, Sandell has been challenging the conventional design business model. His work includes several acclaimed interiors, contributing to a portfolio of commercial and residential work with gusto. His industrial pieces have also seen mass acclaim throughout Europe, and rightly so, together with a healthy body of international published work. Photography courtesy of Miro Zagnoli.


Hampus Hoh — @hampushoh — is a Swedish student and blogger at online magazine, Radar. Besides studying, Hampus works at a clothing store in his home town. He is also very passionate about arts and photography. And it is Hampus’s photography that we are excited to introduce to you today, gaining an interesting insight into how his stylish collection materialised. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? Minimalism is not only about what is essential, it is also about what is natural and untouched. I’m drawn to things that are raw and unedited by humans. This might not always seem the most minimal, but it is a significant part of my photography. I believe the common definition in most of my photos would be effortless and slightly off. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Having lived in Scandinavia my whole life, I am by nature drawn to tranquil surroundings. A clear space often equals a clear mind to me, which is what I want when I really need focus. On the other hand, people, movement and noise can be very inspirational. When and how do you decide to take a photo? Whenever I see something that I...


Casa No Tempo is a family farm passed down through the generations that underwent a renovation under the care of Joao Rodrigues and family, with the architect Manuel Aires Mateus. The now-converted home stay is located on a magnificent site an hour south of Lisbon in Montemor o Novo, Alentejo, known as the unspoiled Portugal with the pristine landscapes filled with oak and olive trees. The connection to the earth and the surrounding terrain is a significant part of the design in this house. The expanse of the landscape fill the rooms with views of cork trees, pastures, wild fields, dams, ponds and streams through the massive windows. While the clean, minimalist architecture details allow nature to make its presence within, modern interior fixtures and fittings allow this rural getaway to be most comfortable and luxurious. I cannot help but fall in love with all the simple yet significant touches of this farmhouse. The frameless openings of the interior emphasizes the depth of the rooms, making the height of the rooms feel infinite like the sky above. Instead of tiles, the swimming pool is spread with a sand colored plaster right up to the edge, emulating a shore line that compliments the farmhouse in site. I hope to visit this beautiful site one...


I really have no words to express my fascination by Richard Serra‘s latest work — East-West/West-East — a permanent sculptural installation in Qatar’s desert, approximately 60 kilometers from Doha at the Brouq Nature Reserve. The installation is a set of four 50ft steel towers that connect the two seas and the two parts of this ancient landscape. Serra explains: The placement is not geometrical, it’s topological; they can only be placed where they are to achieve the curvature of the land. If one walks through the pieces; he will understand not only the rhythm of himself in relationship to the landscape but also the rhythm of himself in relationship to the height and the length of the pieces. Serra has developed this stunning installation, even though it is situated in the middle of the desert, and is quite possibly the largest scene where he has expressed his art work. Photography by Sally Crane.


The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban created an innovative, minimalist and elegant floor lamp for FontanaArte, named Yumi. In Japanese, Yumi means “bow” and that is exactly what this floor lamp looks like. Delicate, the stem is only 10mm thick, and strong. A clean design and simple shape that blends into a lightweight structure. The slim shape was made possible by the use of LED lights, integrated in the black composite and carbon fibre coated structure. The base is made of black lacquered metal. All wiring is hidden within. I love that. I think a lamp with such a minimalist appearance fits in any environment. Would it fit in your interior? It is said Shigeru Ban is not interested in the newest materials and techniques in designsbut he is definitely innovative and need the newest tools to make his ideas come alive. The fact Ban was the first architect in Japan to construct a building out of paper illustrates his innovative thinking.