Soft Minimal ­ – A Sensory Approach to Architecture & Design

Guided by the purpose of wellbeing, the essence of Norm Architects’ style is balance: richness focused by restraint, simplicity imbued with warmth, complexity heightened by order. Be it architecture, interiors, or furniture, Norm’s unique brand of soft minimalism speaks to the mind as much as the body, creating and curating spaces for all.

If you read my blog over the last years, you will know I am a huge admirer of everything Norm Architects creates and wrote several times about their homes and different design collaborations. Have a look in my Norm Architects archives to see the different projects I covered.


Soft Minimal

The first self-curated monograph by Norm Architects, Soft Minimal showcases a range of works which facilitated their establishment as key figures within Nordic design. Presenting residential and commercial projects throughout Scandinavia, Italy and Japan, Norm reflects on Nordic traditions, modernist principles, and the importance of natural materials. Exploring a creative process that makes the visual speak to all senses, the book becomes insightful, inspirational, and deeply poetic.


Norm Architects

Soft Minimal organizes Norm Architect’s work into eight thematic chapters which can be read chronologically or visited at will. Each chapter stands alone, but all the ideas culminate into their design philosophy. Over 300 photographs have been painstakingly chosen and laid out to best illustrate our values and make tangible what are often intangible notions. Great care has been given to image combination and flow and everything on the page is intentional. With this Norm Architects hopes readers will spend time noticing the details within the visuals and imagining what it feels like to stand in the spaces and touch the objects.

Norm Architects: “We are a product of our environment. The spaces we inhabit and the objects we live with influence the way we feel, think, and behave, while they create the framework for our lives to unfold within. Guided by the purpose of wellbeing, Norm Architects’ approach to architecture and design is therefore based entirely on the idea that spaces and furniture should, first and foremost, serve its user rather than merely be a means of artistic expression.”

“With an intention to share what we have learnt and achieved as designers thus far, we want to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about human-centric design, with a broader goal to re-sensualize the built environment. We believe design should be sensory, simple, and functional, and this book published by gestalten is a manifesto-come-monograph outlining what these ideas mean to us and how we work with them. Serving as a sourcebook and aesthetic inspiration for design professionals and enthusiasts, Soft Minimal offers a nuanced perspective on minimalism that is warm, sensory and enduring.”


New Mags Store in Copenhagen

When I was in Copenhagen last week, I visited the beautiful New Mags store, I previously had the pleasure to choose and style some books from their collection of table books and I loved seeing the store with my own eyes. The book collection in the store is pretty amazing and I spotted so many amazing books, including some that are on my list for ages.

Designed by Norm Architects, the launch of ‘Soft Minimal’ took place in the store! Using recognizable elements from the library – like the long-stretched study tables, continuous shelving in wood and library lamps. Norm Architects created a contemporary atmosphere with an inspiring and welcoming feeling, where the curated coffee table books serve as appropriate wall art on the shelves, accompanied by unique sculptures and carefully selected furniture.



An impression of the works and interiors covered in Soft Minimal

For a short impression I selected a few images from this amazing book. Being a real admirer of everything Norm Architects created over the years it is such a beautiful reference book. And the eight thematic chapters which can be read chronologically or visited at will really make you understand their design philosophy.


Written in collaboration with Norm Architects
All images by Norm Architects
Images of the New MAgs store by vosgesparis