'The artwork-panels satisfy intellectually with their superb #graphic designs and interesting backstories. Their interchangeable nature will keep the look fresh, and further differentiates these objects from other throw-away electronics.' — Minimalgoods blog.
Our Dutch studio developed the interchangeable artwork panels using a guiding principle: All pieces should have a deeper meaning or a special connection with the products. These panels are made in The Netherlands using a special process whereby cutouts are made from solid materials to form an image, a bit like sculpting.
Artistically, the pieces extend our form-follows-function design approach, in that there is a golden-thread connecting the artwork pieces with our audio products, specifically their functions (music-making or noise-absorption).
Our artwork themes include the Japanese notions of 'Ma' and 'Aimai'. The first, Ma, is seen as an emptiness full of possibilities. It is said that music, for example, cannot exist if the notes do not have an empty canvas of silence in-between them. Similarly, the cutouts within our artwork panels could be seen as the space ('emptiness') that allow sound to flow through it.
The second, Aimai, is to perceive as positive, something which is somewhat obscure or unclear. Fog, for example, could be a little scary to some, but it has an inherent beauty in the way it affects familiar things. Renowned impressionist artist, Claude Monet, famously said that London would not be beautiful without its fog. Likewise, our artwork panels' cutouts also induce a little 'moire' distortion, a simple visual effect, which makes the images seem to move slightly (for acoustical reasons, it doesn't). Many observers see this as a positive enhancement of the underlying (audio) function.
Specific pieces then build on these notions and explore them further. And so, some artwork pieces are intended as an 'Ode to Silence' — to that underrated, rare and underestimated quality, which is silence. In turn, other pieces 'Celebrate Sound', by exploring music, natural- and man-made sounds; energy levels from soft to loud; from the things making sounds to the things shaping it; from the harmonious, to the melodic, to the discordant.
We feel that the artwork themes and products can be mixed — by choosing for an artwork that explores silence paired with our WiFi-Speaker, for example. This is because, in an artistic sense, sound and silence could also be seen as complementary opposites, cosmic twins, or positive- and negative space counterparts.
Explore the collection here.