The Many Face of Engawa

Engawa, the narrow wooden strips attached around the periphery of a house has been an indispensable part of the traditional Japanese house, functioning as a sun porch, a workshop, a venue for socializing and a buffer to shield the house from harsh weather. Learn more about its various faces and versatile applications.

Kenya Hara and the aesthetics of “emptiness”

Kenya Hara is a Japanese graphic designer who helped cement the philosophy of Japanese brand MUJI by leveraging the concept of “emptiness.” Even though these concepts might appear similar, “emptiness” in Japanese aesthetics is different from Western “simplicity,” observes Hara. Ultimately it has to do with how we perceive our relationship with nature.

How sweet is deliciously sweet? AISSY quantifies sugar in cookies

We are eating 450 times more sugar compared to the Middle Ages. Do we need this much sugar in order for our body to function best, when our body hasn’t changed much since the Middle Ages? Is 450 times more sugar “delicious,” rather than too much? AISSY, a Japanese food consulting firm measured sugar content in our sweets.