“This isn’t just about housing. The house is merely an arena where different industries can come together.” That’s Kenya Hara, the luminary Japanese designer, talking – 2 years ago – about his ambitious House Vision project. Now he’s picking up where he left off with House Vision 2, a similar initiative to rethink housing by pairing various companies with some of Japan’s top architects and designers. The result is a sprawling installation of homes, now on display for the public, that are all built to real life scale.
Now through August 28, 2016, you can visit all 12 structures nestled together in the temporary House Vision 2 exhibition. It’s located just steps from Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line in Tokyo (general admission is 1,500 yen). The theme this year is “Co-dividual,” which addresses the question of how we can bring together and re-connect individuals, urban and rural areas, and fragmented technologies.” Here are some of the highlights of the exhibition:
Yoshino-sugi Cedar House (Airbnb x Go Hasegawa)
Perhaps one of the most significant projects is the collaboration between Airbnb and architect Go Hasegawa. Not only does it represent the first foreign company to participate, but it’s also the inaugural project of Airbnb’s new design studio Samara (more on that here). Yoshino-sugi Cedar House is a communal housing project designed to revitalize the small Yoshino town in Nara Prefecture. After the exhibition the structure will actually be trucked away and relocated in the actual town.
Rental Space Tower (Daito Trust Construction x Sou Fujimoto)
Japan is currently seeing a surge in popularity of shared housing where public spaces are not just limited to passageways. Architect Sou Fujimoto, together with one of Japan’s largest real estate companies, redefine rental housing by proposing private and shared areas that “are clearly divided, and then recombined anew to provide a glimpse of a comfortable and relaxing rental housing.”
Tanada Terrace Office (MUJI x Atelier Bow-Wow)
“It is not that rice was cultivated within the Japanese culture, rather it is Japan’s culture that was born from the rice paddies,” says MUJI, Japan’s pre-eminent minimal retailer. The company interacts with small rice-farming villages to try and get millennials who have moved into the city, back out to the farms to help Japan’s aging rice farmers. As an extension to those efforts they designed an office, together with Atelier Bow-Wow, that can be built on or near tanada (terraced rice fields). The idea being to provide workstations where where people can jump on their laptops while taking a break from rice farming.
“Iced Coffee Shop—Sen” (AGF x Go Hasegawa)
Providing some cool relief to exhibition-goers in the summer sun is beverage maker AGF. Architect Go Hasegawa has built them a beautiful wood and linen tent where you can relax in the shade with some ice coffee and mizuyokan (sweet bean treats).