TAKEO Paper Show: SUBTLE

TAKEO Paper Show “SUBTLE” was originally held in 2014 in Japan as part of the exhibition series that has been presented by the Japanese paper company, TAKEO, since 1966. It was brought to the newly opened...

What is Zen?

Zen is a school of the “Great Vehicle” branch of Buddhism that focuses on meditation. While its core tenets inherit Buddha’s teachings just like others schools, Zen occupies a special space in modern society...

Kengo Kuma Exhibition: a LAB for materials

The report of Kengo Kuma’s exhibition “a LAB for materials” at the Tokyo Station Gallery. As the Japanese title means "Kuma’s things: materials that whisper and talk", the exhibit focuses on how Kuma leverages...

House Vision 2016

At House Vision 2016 - the second of an exhibition series, directed by Kenya Hara and held in Tokyo - prominent architects such as Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimo and Shigeru Ban collaborated with companies including...

Church of the Light by Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando re-created the “Church of the Light,” one of his landmark works he designed in 1989, at the exhibition “Tadao Ando: Endeavors” held in Tokyo in 2017. It is stunning to see how light meets concrete,...

Happiness through the lens of Minimalists

“Happiness” is elusive. No one knows for sure how to get it. So, we have assumed that “more makes us happier.” But an increasing number of people are realizing that that recipe does not necessarily work. They...

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...

Tofukuji kare-sansui by Mirei Shigemori

Japanese artist Mirei Shigemori (1896 – 1975) infused fresh energy into the traditional Japanese Zen rock garden (kare-sansui). Tofuku-ji Hojo garden in Kyoto is one of the most acclaimed works of his that...

MUJI “Wood House” model home in Kanagawa, Japan

We visited MUJI’s model house in Kanagawa, Japan. The model, the “Wood House,” is a “tiny house” of about 1,000 square feet that delivers edit-ability and flexibility you could never have expected in other...

MUJI Hut: tiny house dissolving into the environment

MUJI released a “hut” in 2017 which is even tinier than a “tiny house.” Coming with the interior size of 9.1 m2, it delivers agility, mobility and flexibility you would never expected from a house. “Place it...

Beauty of ambiguous architecture: Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto, one of the most sought-after Japanese architects today, has the incomparable ability to define spatial dimensions and to let a unique kind of abundance emerge even from limited spaces. He often...

My Neighbor Totoro: honest face of nature

Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s drama-free, anti-climax “My Neighbor Totoro” reminds us how humans used to interact with nature. Totoro was not imaginary 50 years ago. He was next the kids who used to...

Kintsugi: Repair beyond repair

Kintsugi” is a traditional Japanese technique to repair broken ceramics, but it’s something that will change your definition of “repair.” Using glue and gold or silver powder, Kintsugi “heals” injured ceramics...

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...

Why is MUJI’s minimalist design called Zen?

The Japanese household brand MUJI is often dubbed “commercial Zen” for its no-frills, minimalist design and approach. But exactly what kind of Zen aesthetics are seen in MUJI? Two prominent designers Kenya...

Welcome to zero = abundance, your online resource to re-define “happiness” by exploring the potential of “less is more,” leveraging Japanese Zen aesthetics. We offer a variety of ideas and stories on the minimalist lifestyle, design/architecture, business and social change that will help design your own happiness without relying on “more stuff.”