Forminimal is the brain child of the design firm black+blum. The company creates unique and original design collections, all characterized by a great functionality. Based in London's Oxo Tower, their studio and shop offers a chance to meet the designers and discover all new collections.
Forminimal is an atypical kitchen collection in a contemporary style designed by the British designers Black and Blum. Architecturally iconic, Forminimal is characterized by the timeless practicality of beautiful and functional designer objects.
Black and Blum
Dan Black and Martin Blum are the British designers who founded 'Black and Blum' in 1998. After meeting at the University of Northumbria, where they both studied industrial design, the two designers have found their meeting point that can be synthesized in the formula "products for the right reason". The intent is, in fact, to use design as a kind of "problem solver". Their first line was a series of lamps, but since then many different lines of products have been designed, from the water bottle Eau Good to the Hot Pot BBQ. The couple work in separate offices for most of the time, so as to divide work spaces, but thanks to modern technology it is as if they were in the same room. Dan Black lives with his family in Stamford, about two hours away from London, one of the least polluted areas of the UK, chosen for being particularly quiet. Martin Blum, on the other side, goes to work by bike, since he lives just a few minutes away from the main study of the brand in London. They form a successful team, which has made of close cooperation the strength point for the implementation of highly original objects with a strong personality.
The Forminimal working style
The headquarters of Forminimal, one of the most popular sectors of reference for the brand Black and Blum, is in the Oxo Tower in London. Here you can meet every day designers engaged in updating and finishing projects, as well as discover the latest products. In the office there are designers working on new ideas through the use of the latest technologies for design modelling, such as the CAD software. Despite the common trend in the design world to develop concepts from digital files, at Black and Blum's you can still find on the desks notebooks full of notes and sketches. In fact they always realize the first drafts with the traditional "paper and pencil" method, to help the visualization of the ideas in the development phase. Only in a second time the sketches are computerized. The professional style adopted is an element that provides a lot of information about the origin of every accessory made by Forminimal: it is the three-dimensional expression of drawings which by nature are two-dimensional. An important working technique used by the Forminimal team is brainstorming: the final product is the result of a series of informal sketches that quickly emerge from a white sheet used first of all to communicate and exchange ideas. A paper roll with a stick attached to the wall is enough to make the work easily shared.
The Forminimal collection
The Forminimal collection was born from the need to make production work sustainable and environmentally aware. Since the original idea is that of producing objects for everyday use in the kitchen, they must be particularly resistant and durable. So, these products are designed to be used for a long time. Although the design is done in the United Kingdom, the production and realization of the pieces take place in specifically designed industrial facilities in Taiwan and China. The Museum of Art in New York hosts in its permanent collection several objects from the Forminimal collection by Black and Blum. Flexibility and openness are the main ingredients of a working formula. The will to remain out of any specific frame of reference makes Forminimal designers free to work as they prefer and to create a wide range of items for the home. Lunch-boxes, as the Appetit Box, are meant to contain and conserve different types of food and sauces, with a lid that keeps the food warm and an upper clip to close it. The daily use of this object has highlighted the need to combine Appetit with a bag that, when open, can turn into a handy washable cover to spread on the table before eating. A perfect example of that attention to detail for kitchen utensils is Spudski: a practical masher that resembles an old racket, with an ergonomic handle and easy to grip from above and from the side. This tool comes from the experience of using potato masher in which the vegetable remained blocked because of the holes in vertical position: the angular form of Spudski, instead, pushes the vegetables without the need for further aids. These two examples give an idea of Black and Blum's will to meet the practical and realistic needs of everyday life. Also packaging is for Black and Blum something that deserves proper attention: all Forminimal products are enclosed in boxes made of recycled natural cardboard, ingeniously designed with the purpose of reducing waste as much as possible, and the original recipe written on the box is a further practical help in the kitchen. In April 2015, Forminimal also launched a new range of dishes that are characterized by an extreme functionality and minimalism, inspired by architecture thanks to collaboration with Santiago Calatrava.