Launch Slideshow

Architect Presents: A Gift Guide for Minimalists

Architect Presents: A Gift Guide for Minimalists

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    Love your country, but struggle with red, white, and blue as a color scheme? This monochromatic U.S. flag is perfect for the picky patriot. • $185, stampdla.com

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    If the phrase, "You can never be too rich or too thin," matches your personal philosophy, then consider making an investment in Hans Harald Rath's paper-thin 1952 Alpha glassware for Lobmeyr. • $78, kneenandco.com

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    Manufacturer Kaikado has been making this elegant storage solution since 1875. Whether it’s made of silver, brass, tin, or copper, each container requires 130 to 140 steps to complete. • AU$220, amnasia.com.au

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    Japanese White Charcoal, or Bincho-tan, is made by carbonizing wood at a lower temperature than the regular variety. The end result is as hard as metal and serves as an air freshener, among other uses. • $20, sortofcoal.com

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    For clean-desk obsessives, designer Hiranor Tsuboi has created an elegant suite of leather desk accessories. Available in black or brown. • $106.21, gekoko.com

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    Every architect has a favorite pen. This is one of ours, for its relatively low price, its no-fuss 1979 design, and the steady flow of its ink. • $10.49/dozen, staples.com

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    Like most everything from Japanese retailer Muji, this timepiece exemplifies the aesthetic principle of Kanso, or simplicity. It also comes in beach wood. • $97.50, muji.us

When you're buying a gift for the minimalist in your life, start from first principles: Pick your wrapping paper first, then choose the gift that goes inside accordingly. No, wait, don't do that: Instead, pick a present that expresses your affection best, and trust that there's a designer whose aesthetic fits your loved one's ideal. There is no limit to the directions that minimalist designers are taking applications for the home and office. Hironao Tsuboi's leather mouse pad is a fine example of the latter. But gifts for the minimalist do not need to come with a maximalist price tag: The 1979 Uni-Ball roller pen is a cheap stocking-stuffer that never goes out of style. 

Minimalist gifts don't have to be all business, either. Hans Harald Rath's 1952 Alpha glassware for Lobmeyr includes a sleek crystal tumbler. Nor does minimalist mean masculine, always. Kaikado's chazutsu containers come in an array of metallic colors that could be graceful notes in even a non-minimalist's kitchen. An all-white American flag manages to be both minimalist and decorative at the same time.

Best of all, minimalist gifts don't have to be serious. Muji's walnut clock certainly isn't; a black cube made from Bincho-tan (a special Japanese charcoal) would be stern if it were not, first and foremost, an air freshener.