Many designers express a commitment to simplicity, but few discuss it with the devotion of Henry Timi. “I constantly preach pure forms,” he says. “I think it’s intriguing to achieve beauty and to run after the charm of aesthetic perfection.”
Henry launched his eponymous Milan-based practice in 2009 to explore his minimalist vision through beautifully handcrafted furniture and objects. His products range from tables and chairs to minimalistic kitchens systems and bathroom vanities. “I just think of pure products,” he says. “Purity as the beauty.”
Henry grew up with a fascination of built forms. “Since childhood, I loved to understand and preserve the charm of built things,” he says. “I always observed the world with interested eyes, inspired by nature.”
A respect for local craftsmanship ensures all HENRYTIMI designs are made in Italy from natural materials, such as Carrara marble and oak. Henry describes himself as a “simplicity lover” and a “careful investigator” of the beauty in “shapes, materials and functions, especially of design, fashion, and architecture”.
His kitchens are like functional works of art. Each luxurious design is reduced to its simplest form and the material – solid wood, stone or metal – is always the star. His monolithic HTGR604 Kitchen system, for example, heroes solid marble – the countertop features an integrated marble sink and clean lines are maintained by concealing cupboards behind marble slabs without handles. As Henry describes, the principal function “is invisible but intrinsic”.
Functionality is also concealed – but not compromised – in the Corpo kitchen bench. It features smooth, clean lines and a sculptural basin that appears to be carved in situ.
“All the [kitchen] models show just how important the choice of material is in determining each design and production,” he says. “Material, restraint, purity and functionality are at the basis of the entire collection.”
Henry describes kitchens “not only a place where you cook, but where can live and be yourself”. As a result, his designs can be customised for individual requirements. “The concept behind the design can be translated into other forms, sizes and finishes, according to the bespoke design principles that inform our philosophy,” he says. “HENRYTIMI kitchens are not furnishing items but unique pieces with a high artistic value.”
Timi’s handcrafted bathroom designs are equally restrained. His HT705 vanity, for example, features two perfectly spherical basins that seem to balance on a solid stone plinth, while his rectangular HTGR703 freestanding bath appears to rise from a rocky terrain. “Each product displays unquestioned excellence and the special manufacturing process we bring through our know-how,” says Henry. “I use natural materials to revert to the pristine state of things: monochromatic elements and single materials build objects over trends.”
Unlike much of the kitchen design industry, Henry says he refuses to follow trends.
“Unfortunately, the kitchen industry will be increasingly boring, repetitive, globalised and distorted by any origin and coherence, devoid of creativity and based on plagiarism,” he states. “The future of these companies will increasingly be characterised only by a continuous battle of prices and advertising.”
Henry’s ambition is to continue following his own unique design path and, while he plans to grow his practice through research, he says his approach to design will not change. “My projects of today or tomorrow are always the same – to be the most exclusive world reference for the luxury of simplicity and formal rigor,” he says. “Living in beauty is one of the greatest pleasures of life.”
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