MIAMI BEACH — Although his day job is creative director of Muji, Japan’s less flamboyant answer to Target, designer Kenya Hara still feels the need to explore other creative pursuits, particularly those that enlist his intellectual peers to stretch the possibilities of the world around us. Following the ill-executed “Architecture for Macaroni,” a collaborative effort to build a better noodle (a failure, since it turns out that macaroni is already perfect), he’s recruited 1o designers — including the likes of Shigeru Ban, Atelier Bow-Wow, MVRDV, Toyo Ito, and Konstantin Grcic — for a new project: Architecture for Dogs, a series of absolutely un-ironic structures that cater to the special needs of man’s best friend.
Hara’s earnest mission was to give dogs equal footing in a world built for two-legged creatures. After doing substantial research, each designer built a work of architecture to specifically meet the needs of a certain breed: For the smallest dog, the teacup poodle, Hara himself crafted a teacup-sized set of stairs to bring Fido (or Fifi) eye to eye with his (or her) master. Because Jack Russel terriers love nesting in their masters’ clothing, Torafu put together a simple framework humans could slip their own sweaters over to make a very simple hammock; and Grcic, rewarding poodles for their ability to recognize themselves in mirrors, has given them a circular, self-lighting vanity, complete with oriental rug.
During Design Miami/, Hara was on hand with a few four-legged accomplices to show this canine architecture in action. Best of all, Reiser + Umemoto finally explained to us what that body-hugging chihuahua Lady Gaga suit was all about.
To download blueprints and instructional videos of these prototypes, click here.
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