Importance of Small Architecture by Kengo Kuma

Kuma’s book, “Small Architecture,” is full of inspiration that questions the myth of modern architecture, which has become excessively big, hard and alienating. He advocates small architecture as an alternative, due to its boundless potential.

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 Hara and Naoto Fukasawa give us inspiring clues.

MUJI x UR: MUJI beautifully fixes-up old-fashioned urban apartments

MUJI has been working with the Japanese UR (Urban Renaissance Agency) to re-define and re-invigorate danchi, old-style condo complex that house thousands of residents at one location.

Toyo Ito Omishima Project: Omishima Minna-no-Winery

Architect Toyo Ito founded the Omishima Minna-no-Winery in 2015, an inspiring endeavor to convert abandoned orchards in a small, rural yet history-rich island in the Seto Naikai into vineyards, so that the relinquished assets can be transformed into new values and opportunities for the island.

Rural is the new black: Toyo Ito Omishima Project

After decades of progressive endeavors exploring new opportunities of urban living by translating the “modern” in a unique way, Toyo Ito is going rural. And there is a profound reason behind this. You will discover how he’s come to see the end of the modern system, and how he is finding a new future on the small island called Omishima in Western Japan, that still retains people’s potential embraced by a unique local environment. Going rural is the new black beyond modernism.

Toyo Ito Omishima Project: Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie

大三島 憩の家 (Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie) is one of the few visitor accommodations in beautiful Omishima Island in Seto Naikai, Western Japan. Architect Toyo Ito is heavily involved in the revitalization activities in Omishima, and Ikoi-no-Ie is one of the flagship projects that renovated old elementary school.

Big ambition from a small island: Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari

The Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari is located on a small, traditional island in West Japan. After decades of progressive architectural experiments based in Tokyo, Toyo Ito is pursuing the future of architecture on this heritage-rich island that has been preserved from aggressive modernization.”

Chapter 4-3: Absence in business – Nissin Cupnoodles Museum