The Japanese House Chapter 4: House is a work of art

“A House is a work of art.” It is a famous declaration made by a maverick and legendary Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara (1925-2006) who significantly influenced Japanese modern architecture.

The Japanese House Chapter 5: From closed to open

Kazunari Sakamoto and Toyo Ito led Japanese architecture in the 70’s and the 80’s, experimenting alternative ways to design houses in a drastically changing social environment.

Chapter 2-8: Sparking joy by subtracion – decluttering and minimalists

If it sounds counterintuitive that “having less” results in a happier life; simply flip the coin and think that “owning more” means “more stress to manage.” We are surrounded by too much stuff, information and relationships that are beyond our capacity to manage in comfort. Having less means adjusting your assets to a manageable size.

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 are starting to reject owning more to feel happier. How can this be possible?

MUJI capped gel-ink ballpoint pen

MUJI’s simple and sleek gel-ink ballpoint pen is a popular item that lets your rediscover the joy of writing: it’s smooth, smear-free and colorful.

MUJI solar cooking scale – inspiring everyday product

Many daily household items are not a feast for the eyes, and you are not inspired or excited when you use them. But does it have to be that way? The MUJI cooking scale is just beautiful in design and delivers great functionality (and is semi solar-powered). It is inspiring to find how just one aesthetically pleasing cooking scale can uplift your life.

“Simplify!” Steve Jobs’ relentless quest for Zen design

Steve Jobs is known to have practiced the Soto-school of Japanese Zen, and is also known to have loved the kare-sansui garden of the Saijo-ji in Kyoto, which was founded by a prominent Zen priest/garden designer in the 14th century. Find how Jobs leveraged Zen philosophy to design simple and minimal Apple products.