Cords and cables are notorious destroyers of visual peace and laconic beauty in minimalist designs. That is why it is so unusual to see a minimalist idea sprang from a humble cord and not much else. Petrus Palmér Jonas Pettersson and John Löfgren of Swedish studio Form Us With Love created the Cord Lamp for the brand Design House Stockholm. A textile cord is merged with a steel tube, holding aloft an oversized globe bulb. Here is how designers describe the concept: You can let it irritate you, break your neck tripping over it, or you can surrender, hide it behind the skirting board or press it into a groove. But it’s smarter to make friends with the enemy. Cord Lamp turns the cursed flex into a simple eye-catcher. If there’s any message to a lamp, just for the fun of it, what about ‘make peace not war’. I love how delicate the piece looks. A simple cord and a simple bulb, just by being made a focal point, appear quite exquisite.
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.
Inspired by Greek mythology and the god of sleep Hypnos, Italian industrial designer Alessandro Zambelli has created this cute new table clock with an almost hypnotic feature: an internal pendulum that, functioning as a balance, sways the case in perpetual motion and transforms aptly-named Ipno into a ‘rocking’ clock. It is like a contemporary evolution of the pendulum clock of past ages, but wry, dynamic and creative. Here at long last is a clock free to move in space and support its own harmonic motion. Designed for Diamantini & Domeniconi, the clock first went on show at Maison et Objet in Paris from 6–10 September. It can stand alone, dispensing wall-mounting, and is available in its natural birch case finish, painted in various colours, or alternatively in walnut or mahogany.
Cereal Magazine and Protein have recently launched Forest, a project to collect and curate woodland photography from around the world, creating a gallery of imagery filled with serene textures, moods and light. Both parties invited their readers to submit photos with a forest theme to be considered for inclusion in an exhibition that will take place at the end of September 2013 at 18 Hewett Street, Protein’s London Gallery space. The chosen images will be published as a photo essay in Cereal Volume 4, and prints of the final photography will be sold on the night of the event, with all proceeds being donated to the International Tree Foundation.
Based in New York City, artist and designer Doug Johnston has been focusing since 2010 on a process of coiling and stitching rope into a variety of functional and sculptural objects. From this new bag collection, photographed by Brook&Lyn, each piece is handmade and hand-formed one at a time in Johnston’s Brooklyn studio. The rope works are made from sewing thread and braided 100% cotton cord, stitched on my vintage industrial zig-zag sewing machines. The fabrication technique was learned from the crafting community and adapted for my sculptural and formal explorations. His work spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture and music – Johnston has conducted explorations in the varying worlds of installation, fiber art, sculpture, photography, collaborative performance and even architectural metal fabrication. Such a multidisciplinary background obviously informs everything he makes, helping him create thoughtful and functional pieces that have become widely sought after.
Devon-born and London-based fashion designer Charlie May (of the blog Girl a la Mode fame) launched her Autumn/Winter ’13 collection in the beginning of the year, giving continuity to her signature minimalist, androgynous style. The collection plays with solid, pure colors and instances of sheer transparency, gravitating stoically from pure white to pure oxblood, going through blacks and grays. In counterpart to the contained color palette, May plays with layering and materials, adding texture and depth to her pieces. The collection is bold and equally ethereal, two interesting contrasting sentiments. The collection’s styling and makeup, achieved with the strong red lip look, add an impeccable finish to the whole. I’m quite enamored with the featured long white dress myself!
Designed by Japanese master Naoto Fukasawa, the ±0 (Plus Minus Zero) wire ware collection consists of beautifully simple black wire tableware objects (a bread basket, a toast stand, an egg cup and an egg carton) that you wish you’d thought of first. Plus Minus Zero seeks, essentially, balance as a leitmotif. With their brand and their ±0 symbol they want to communicate the concept of just right - be it in shape, in size, or in price. ±0 believes that designing things that coexist together is natural. It’s not just about matching colors or shapes; it’s about designing the harmony between these devices and life. Photography via designboom.
This light-filled apartment in the Bialik area of Tel Aviv was refurbished by Italian-born and London-based Chiara Ferrari Studio. The open-plan arrangement and the expansive surfaces with no visible joints allows for the original concept of seamlessness desired by the designer. The high-ceilinged space was split and used to create flexible and functional niches, and there is also a glazed extension, providing the master bedroom and bathroom with beautiful natural lighting. Set within a historic building, the project used locally sourced materials, keeping the design true to its surroundings. Images courtesy of Chiara Ferrari Studio.
Developed by Korean studio WV Design, the Holder Series is designed to improve the ease of management and organization, with the ultimate focus to create ease of access for all desk objects: Whether it is a pen or important documents, the Holder Series aims to reduce the trouble of finding, sorting and tidying. Combining powder-coated steel plates, natural plywood and aluminum plates, the design achieves an interesting balance both in materials and shape. I would most definitely benefit from this system!
When you look at the shelves of skincare products in a shop, they’re normally so full of information and busy designs that a mere glimpse of Swedish brand Verso Skincare‘s packaging is already refreshing and interest grabbing. Championing the innovative Retinol 8 formula (it helps the skin cells to mimic how young cells behave and is an improvement on the standard retinol formula, 8 times more potent and with none of the famed drawbacks like having to avoid sunlight), Verso is Latin and means reverse, a clever metaphor reflected on the elegant packaging. The brand identity & packaging design were developed for over a year (!) by Swedish studio Today Creative, resulting in a thoughtful brand image that reflects the product’s uniqueness.
NY-based multidisciplinary creator Joe Doucet strikes again: this deck of regulation playing cards called MINIM is an exercise in editing and stripping things down to the edge of comprehension. The already fairly straightforward and classic signs for hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades have been reduced to minimalistic geometric symbols. My personal favorite is the spades, and the diagonal mark across the back of the cards is so brilliantly simple it could’ve always been there. The deck will be available as a limited edition along with seven other products at Doucet’s Play exhibition in the Wanted Design NYC pop-up store in from May 17th-20th. Photography by Ode to Things.
There isn’t anything quite like the pleasure of beholding the careful and considered crafting of a beautiful, solid object, and that is exactly the sensation brought by watching this video for the construction process of London-based luxury accessories brand Oliver Ruuger‘s umbrellas. The incredibly sleek and elegant line of umbrellas was comissioned by LN-CC, a progressive retail concept comprising of clothing, music & books. After honing his craft producing exclusively made-to-order pieces, this is the first retail collection from Oliver Ruuger. The collection launches with four distinct umbrellas, in a custom range of materials. The umbrella is such a traditional, everyday object that it has almost been forgotten in design, but this brand reintroduces the familiar item as something luxurious and indulgent, with an according price range.