Minimalissimo


Created in New York City and inspired by Scandinavian esthetics, Kunst K is a contemporary apothecary concept that connects individualism, beauty and a unique creative vision. Scientifically developed over several years of extensive research to best suit individual skin regimes and to highlight the importance of vitamins, as a result each person has the freedom to custom blend their own formula. The concept was developed by makeup creative director Kiril Hristovski, who is also responsible for the design and branding of Kunst K. The line of products consists of two base creams, an eye cream, a mask, and five vitamins (A+D3, B, C, E and K) that are individually packed in breakable ampoules, which are to be mixed in with any of our four products. Easy, simple and personable – a refreshing and enticing concept, all wrapped up in bold and minimalist packaging.


Desnahemisfera is a design studio collaborated by Dejan Kos, Damir Islamovic, and Klemen Smrtnik. With a simple and quirky aesthetic to their designs (and even their website), who would have guessed that the process is composed of multiple conversations about the little details. Symbiosis is one of their latest products, which was specifically made for Kolpa, a company specialized in bathroom furnishes in Europe. With the catchphrase of “Coexistance of Waves,” this pristine bathtub shares its figure with a washbasin to form a sleek silhouette. The transition from the tub’s curvy contour to its abrupt geometrical end brings attention to the cantilevered basin on top, creating a harmonized uniform for the design. Not only appealing to the eyes, this hybrid was made to also please the skin — with a button that controls water pressure and temperature, and the ears — with a built-in audio system for one’s favorite music. Technologically advanced and beautiful-looking, to me, Symbiosis is almost a monumental piece of sculpture on its own and a cherish of functional minimalist design.


It is not easy to romanticize veneer, but Netherlands based studio Oato succeeded by designing this minimalist coat stand, aptly called Peel. Created in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier, the peace makes the best of the material - Finnish birch plywood. Here is how the designers describe their approach: We call our way of design a search for ‘the poetic side of industrial design’. Our goal is to reshape the everyday objects that surround us, by balancing emotion and industry. The Peel coat stand is definitely a harmonious equilibrium between aesthetics and utility. Inspired by the way veneer is created (carving thin strips of wood from a log) we returned the strips to a stem, from which small parts seemed to be peeled to create the coat hooks. I love the fact that the function here arises from the quality of the wood, and because of that, it looks spontaneous and, yes, very poetic.


Look carefully or you might miss the tiny Yokaya restaurant and residence in Fukuoka, Japan. This humble white rectangle is nestled on a busy street between several tall condo buildings. Designed by rhythmdesign, the structure is a mere 135 square meters and houses a restaurant on the ground floor with an apartment above. The front facade is entirely opaque on the upper stories, while a cutout on the ground floor invites passerby into the restaurant. Wood and concrete are the main materials used in the interior. In the restaurant, the simple design allows the food to take center stage. The apartment above is arranged with a similar aesthetic: built in storage keeps the space uncluttered and the furnishings are limited to essentials. I love the modest design of this duplex building. The clean lines of the architecture and precise use of materials come together quite elegantly. Yokaya is quiet and reserved, but it is its little form that stands dignified on this bustling street.


Kebei Li’s Bronze Cable Holder reinterprets the utilitarian. Fusing functionality and form, this piece helps to express the beauty in the un-ornate. Simplistic in finish and beautifully crafted, Li has really crafted something minimal, from an everyday untapped opportunity for assistance. Inspired by his daily frustration of charging cables falling off of the table, the intent was for this to be a very function-driven design approach with clear affordance. Rhode Island-based Li is very passionate about the use of raw and genuine materials and the absence of decoration. I find this approach very interesting, especially his quality of honesty with the materiality. His work focuses on the human-object interaction and how the reliability of use and the making of the design all connect in some way. The material itself, being bronze was specific due to its layer of patina that forms through use over time. There is also an emphasis on the controlled geometry which I appreciate on many levels. Photography courtesy of Kebei Li.


Cathérine Lovatt is a Belgian freelance ceramicist who’s work we previously featured towards the end of last year. We have since kept a close eye on her ceramic creations and today I would like to share with you her beautifully simplistic ceramic wall vase, designed for Belgian interior decoration brand, Serax. The minimalistic cylindrical design of this hanging vase, part of Lovatt’s Episode One collection, certainly adds an elegant touch to any wall. Measuring only 11cm, this fabulous little object is available in grey, but could quite easily be painted to match a particular aesthetic in one’s home. If you enjoy just a hint of greenery, this would make for an ideal and subtle decorative solution for the minimalist in you. Photography courtesy of Ale Besso.


The program guidelines for the Pocinho Centre for High Performance Rowing was to design a complex that not only facilitated training and preparation for the Olympics, but also to provide residential quarters and social interaction areas. Architect Álvaro Fernandes Andrade had the task of delivering the 8,000m2 project with a possible subsequent expansion phase of the housing area, without a significant impact on size and the landscape. Divided into 3 zones: Social, Housing and Training, the complex is built mostly into the terrain of Douro Valley in Portugal. I really appreciate how the structure echoes the undulating geography with deep respect to the context of the low buildings and slopes around it. The minimalist building of angled roofs and wave-like volumes blend in seamlessly with the terraces while the pristine white dry-stone walls give the Pocinho Centre an identity that is modern and chic yet functional at the same time. Photography by Fernando Guerra.


For the fashion house Rubens Luciano, Italian architect Simone Micheli has designed this spectacular office and showroomm inside a 19th century building near Venice, Italy. Its main feature is perhaps the careful use of light and glass, emphasized by the large open working spaces, the white furniture and walls, and the rounded edges and organic shapes along all elements of the building. On the other hand, the integration of these contemporary elements with the antique building is perfect, achieving a balance in some rooms and contrasting in others — yet always in harmony and very meticulous with each detail and finish. All previous elements of the building give to the project a great personality that makes it unique and distinguished. I like this.


Strike is an eye-catching collection of redesigned matchboxes in seven different dimensions and colours. Clara von Zweigbergk and Shane Schneck joined forces for Danish design house HAY to rethink the ordinary matchbox. They combined the original functionality of a matchbox with a colourful cardboard box. The striking area once was just functional now it is part of the design pattern on each box. The common matchbox is used almost exclusiving for advertising while the intricate red phosphorus pattern along the sides are secondary to the advert. Strike honors the activity of creating a flame. Strike is available in the colours fluorescent red, fluorescent yellow, fluorescent orange, turquoise, light blue, mint green and apricot. Strike was recently awarded with a Wallpaper Design Award 2014 for “Best Fireside”. The awards are an annual celebration of things that caught the magazines eye over the last year.


Oki Sato, the creative force behind Nendo, recently teamed up with chopstick manufacturer Hashikura Matsukan to reinvent the ancient utensil and rethink the way we use it. The result was the collection of six beautiful designs, out of which we would like to point out two – rassen and kamiai. Both are marked by the same principle – combining a pair into a single entity. Nendo explains: Chopsticks ordinarily come in pairs, but the rassen chopsticks are a single unit. They’re separated into two for eating, then rejoined into one form when not in use. Unlike the rassen chopsticks, that intertwine via spiral rotation, kamiai utilize an external element. The chopsticks interlock thanks to the magnets placed at the base of each piece. Kamiai simply snap together when they are flipped and fitted to each other. The magnets are inserted towards the outside of each chopstick, so that the chopsticks don’t get locked accidentally while someone is using them to eat.


B House is one of the few landmarks on the soft, rolling meadows of Segovia, Spain. Designed by CH+QS Arquitectos, this home was inspired by a prominent color in the natural scenery: yellow. This environment is speckled by yellow in every season. Flowers, wheat, leaves, sheep and sun brighten the terrain with their pleasant hues. B house accentuates these hues using warm wood and soft lighting. The structure is small, almost miniature. Eliminating unnecessary space allowed the architects to shrink the home’s footprint. Indoor and outdoor common areas are situated in the center of the home, with oversize openings framing the views to the east and the west. The private functions of the home are pushed to the outer edges, while the basement den accommodates the children’s playtime. House B is a humble home which enhances the beloved fields that surround it. The architecture emerges from the ground almost organically. With a bit of imagination it’s easy to picture the home growing from the earth along with the yellow trees and flowers. Photographs by FG + SG Fotografia de Arquitectura.


Melitta Baumeister’s White Collection is a play on light, texture and shape. The main focus of the collection is a strict minimal palette of white, which is adhered to with rigor. The collection is a combination of oversized and exaggerated cuts and drapery that seem to use the human figure as a hanger, more than the focus. The fabric is the centerpiece, the adorned is the accessory. Originally from Germany, Baumeister recently graduated from Parsons New School with an MFA in Design and Society. Her work embodies the minimalist spirit and her discipline to the discipline is courageous and beautiful. This collection has been beautifully captured by UK photographer Paul Jung. Currently living and working in New York City, she is definitely one to watch. Photography courtesy of Paul Jung.