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.
Named for the river it sits above in Austria, Schanerloch Bridge takes a functional structure and transforms it into pure sculpture. Designed by marte.marte Architects, the bridge is a simplified version of a traditional stone arch bridge. The arch has been used in bridge making for centuries due to its structural abilities. This design uses the basic engineering of the arch but in a modern, graceful form. I love the subtle elegance of this design. When driving on the bridge the unique silhouette is hardly noticeable, but when viewed from the river the twisted form is dramatic and full of motion. The reinforced concrete structure is the perfect compliment to the picturesque river.
Auckland-based design firm Resident has nailed their latest pendant offering. The Hex, Cross and Tri Pendants are all equally minimal and slight. The elements consist of tubular stems of finely crafted metal, housing various strips of light sourcing. Each piece has been created with folded metal elements that seem to grasp ever slightly their corresponding light tubes and are suspended from ceiling fixtures with thin metal cabling. These pieces are reminiscent of the halo style that is trending heavily architecturally at present. The attention to detail given by Resident is to be commended and a lesson learned. Beautiful pieces executed with a disciplined appreciation for materiality. Photography courtesy of Toaki Okano.
Australian artist Matthew Allen, currently based in Sydney, is a colour based painter. His work, which has been consistently exhibited at Sydney’s Sullivan+Strumpf gallery since 2008, consists of a beautiful collection of minimalist colour combinations. Allen’s paintings are absent of any formal composition and physical elements of the artist’s hand to present an ongoing enquiry into the pure materiality of paint upon canvas and the fundamental structure of painting itself: colour, medium and process. The painting is delicately handled to produce soft gradients of tone that in turn creates an atmospheric, sensory and emotional experience for the viewer. Some of the gradients Allen has created, particularly in his 2010 works, look absolutely superb.
You can trust Jil Sander to deliver the right amount of minimalist language to the youthful, sportier line, Jil Sander Navy, at the recent New York Fashion Week for her Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection. Blocks of subtle pastels coordinated within the collegiate identity of A-line skirts, mod collars and bomber jackets. Capped sleeves and boatnecks hint at stronger femininity, defining the chic in its overall design direction. Even the introduction of tropical prints are subdued, embedded in the texture. It is the masterful proportions of the clothing that reveal Jil Sander’s minimalist identity which remains the protagonist within the playfulness of the collection, even in the art direction of the presentation. It is simply lovely. Photos courtesy of Style.com.
Pure is a new shoe collection by the French architect, Jean Nouvel for the Italian brand, Ruco Line. The minimalist shoe was unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week gaining great relevance, and strong opinion. This is Nouvel’s first footwear project as he looked for basic and essential lines to apply to the shoe design, which is a characteristic often seen in his architectural work. The result is an incredibly simplistic shoe with a strong identity. Pure is made up of high-quality calf leather with a rubber sole. The collection is available in a variety of colours, including; black, white, yellow and fuchsia. The shoe also features the abbreviated name of the design at the top along with its style, colour code, and date of production.
Berlin based Björn Meier created a minimalist, light, modular shelf-system named Dike. Dike is composed of several components, each made of a coated top and bottom shelf, two side elements of acrylic glass. The rear and blind are made of aluminum. The system invites you to make your own composition. The open transparent shelves encourage us to store beautiful and well crafted objects though. Else it is hard to keep the clean, uncluttered appearance. Meier founded his Berlin Product Design Studio in 2007, after his graduation in product design from the University of the Arts Bremen in 2006. Photography by Axel Köhler
Sound1 bluetooth speakers were designed to please the eye as well as the ear. Created by studio cloudandco and produced by South Korean company 11+, the minimalist device has been thought out to the last detail. The bottom edge of each speaker is cut at an angle, allowing it to tilt and project sound at an ideal trajectory. Thanks to magnets embedded in the speakers, they can be joined into a single tube and stored compactly in the included pouch. When not in use, the cables can be neatly kept within an empty space at the bottom of each piece. I love the fluidity of this design. Each element is a functional continuation of the other. I imagine these speakers being a nice compliment for iOS devices.
All four walls of the Light Walls House in Aichi, Japan are nearly void of windows. Yet the interior of this home is surprisingly bright. Natural light pours down from strategically placed skylights in the exposed wooden beam ceiling. Designed by mA-style Architects, the shady site made introducing sunlight into the home quite difficult. The well-designed skylights distribute and direct the light throughout the structure. Lovely light patterns are formed on the floors and walls, creating natural artwork that changes throughout the day. Freestanding white boxes, accessible only by ladder, form private spaces above the ground floor. Light Walls House solves a common problem with a beautiful solution. I love the how all the elements in this home work together to enhance the natural light. The hidden rooms and built in furnishings allow the home to maintain a sleek, pulled-together aesthetic.
Building Block has delivered once again with their AW 2013 collection. Los Angeles sister duo, Kimberly and Nancy Wu, has launched yet another line to add to their seamless and beautifully crafted curation. Their latest offering is again a fusion of handsome leathers and considered disciplined design. Their signature wooden building blocks also make the cut, of course. There exists a particular drawcard in the collection, in the unique form and functionality of the Wooden Sphere Clutch. Its execution and innovation of use are to be commended. In a similar and rightfully considered vein as the rest of the collection, the integration of natural elements, namely wood and leather, are spot on. The clutch includes a seamless magnetic closer and rubber handle with smooth black leather exterior. Measuring 12.5cm in height by 25cm in width, it stands as a statement piece. With the intent of magnifying essentials and editing out excess, Building Block finds continual inspiration in returning to square one. And for this reason, I am happily along for the ride. Photography courtesy of Kimberly and Nancy Wu.
During this week’s London Design Festival, London based design brand Minimalux have announced the launch of a range of new minimalist products. One such announcement was of their natural vegetable tan leather sleeves for the iPad, iPad mini and iPhone. This is the result of a collaborative project with leather goods specialists, MES. Traditional hand skills and saddlery tools are used to make these tough, durable leather sleeves. Each one is hand stitched with strong beeswaxed linen thread, hand burnished and hot stamped with the Minimalux mark. The leather is untreated other than a light coating of mink oil to protect it from moisture, allowing it to age naturally and develop a rich dark golden colour. Admittedly, not the cheapest of accessories, but there’s no denying these are high end, beautiful sleeves.
JR Loft is a project located in Brussels, Belgium and was awarded to Nicolas Schuybroek Architects with no specific design architectural qualities in the brief to start with. The original site was a former carpenters’ workshop separated from the adjacent neighbors by a very high separation wall. After obtaining permission to demolish half of the separation wall, the architect took the opportunity to design an extremely large steel framed window over both floors to maximize the amount of light let into the loft. It is the architect’s detailing of the interiors that make this such a beautiful project. The architecture of the loft is expressed within the clean lines of the polished concrete, Carrera marble and reclaimed oak, and the datum of the joints within the materials delicately highlights the contrast of their textures and surfaces – the wood cabinets vs the marble backsplash; the black steel framed shower wall vs the thin edges of the square white tiles etc. Noted by French magazine Architectural Digest in the 2013 Collector Issue as one of the 100 best interior designers, Nicolas Schuybroek had decorated the loft with furniture from Jean Prouvé to Pierre Jeanneret, adding a little mid-century personality to this minimalist loft. Additional...