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Is This How We Will Live?

Kenya Hara’s HOUSE VISION exhibition returns to envision 12 home designs of the near future with Japan’s top architects and industry giants. Joanna Kawecki writes.

Is This How We Will Live?


August 25th, 2016

Top Image: Rental Space Tower by Daito Trust Construction and Sou Fujimoto for House Vision 2

Following the inaugural HOUSE VISION exhibition in 2013, HOUSE VISION 2 returns to explore new solutions for social and living situations in the future, to further “think about how to create new connections between individuals,” explains exhibition director Kenya Hara.

House Vision 2
Entrance of House Vision 2

Curated and led by Kenya Hara, the creative director of MUJI and a pivotal design figure in Tokyo’s thriving architecture and design scene, House Vision 2 is themed CO-DIVIDUAL – Split and Connect/Separate and Come Together. House Vision 2 exhibits 12 future home designs, pairing top architects and designers, such as Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban, with industry giants in lifestyle goods and construction, such as Panasonic, MUJI, LIXIL, TOTO, TOYOTA and Toppan Printing, to connect and reimagine home and living environments.

However, the exhibition is more than an architectural showcase, as it offers insights into the technologically-advanced and progressive movements of Japan’s electronic and manufacturing industry within a time of uncertainty in Japan’s economy.

Shigeru Ban
Open House with Condensed Core by LIXIL and Shigeru BAN for House Vision 2

The exhibition is held in the spacious port-side location of Odaiba, Tokyo, where each house is presented as full-scale models, providing a realistic understanding of design and construction.

House Vision
Rental Space Tower by Daito Trust Construction and Sou FUJIMOTO for House Vision 2

Amongst the projects, Rental Space Tower is a collaborative effort between Daito Trust Construction Company and architect Sou Fujimoto. A multi-level group housing project was created to refine the concept of rental housing. The Jenga-like building minimises private spaces to create substantial social spaces, such as a large library, kitchen, bathroom and gardens to encourage ongoing communication and interaction between residents.

Nomad House
Nomad House by Isetan Mitsukoshi and Makoto Tanijiri/ Ai Yoshida of Suppose Design Office for House Vision 2

Retail giant Mitsukoshi Isetan partnered with Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida of Suppose Design Office to create the Nomad House for the “new nomads of the world,” people who travel extensively for work, and upon returning to a permanent home, reanalyse the home and find importance in basic elements, such as a Tea Room or Wooden Deck for hosting guests and friends. Nomad House is a contemporary response and future outlook for the current renovation and remodeling wave in Japan, where many new generation homeowners are finding a renewed appreciation for Japanese aesthetics and a simple lifestyle.

Panasonic Yuko NAGAYAMA
Hiragana-no Spiral House by Panasonic and Yuko Nagayama for House Vision 2

One of the more technology-informed designs, the Hiragana-no Spiral House by electronics manufacturer Panasonic and architect Yuko Nagayama reimagines conventional spatial compositions with a spiral structure and tent-like design, which is lightweight and moveable. The curved wall guides visitors into the home while serving as a screen to play video links, movies or newscasts anywhere within the house, in a move toward future lifestyles.

Yoshino-sugi Cedar House by Airbnb and Go Hasegawa for House Vision 2

The two-storey Yoshio-sugi Cedar House by Japanese architect Go Hasegawa with Airbnb welcomes the visitor with a strong scent of cedar wood. The entire structure was built using wood sourced from the local town of Yoshino, located in Japan’s Nara Prefecture. Yoshino is known for wood and sake production, including cypress (hinoki) wood, which was used as the interior construction material. After the exhibition, the house will be opened as a guesthouse in Yoshino town, available through Airbnb, in support of local tourism and to further connect the community.

Kenya Hara
Woodgrain House by Toppan Printing and HARA Design Institute for House Vision 2

Hara Design Institute paired with leading Japanese printer Toppan Printing to create the Woodgrain House, a box-like design completely printed with wood grain pattern, in collaboration with Toppan’s specialised in-house team of wood grain experts – and in which no actual wood was used. Not limited to book publishing, Toppan has developed a new haptic coat technology that enables the detailed printing of wood grains on various architectural surfaces.

House Vision
Reiryo Kohiten-Sen by AGF and Go Hasegawa for House Vision 2

The centrally-placed Reiryo Kohiten-Sen Iced Coffee Shop by AGF and architect Go Hasegawa’s provides a space to rest and contemplate about design in between experiencing the different houses. Designed with the same Yoshino cypress wood and lightweight linen shades, the shop provides a space for visitors to reconnect and reconsider the place of design in contemporary lifestyles.

House Vision
Tanada Terrace Office by MUJI and Atelier Bow-Wow for House Vision 2

The concept of the exhibition has also been extended to House Vision China, which aims to reimagine China’s future housing and lifestyle situations.

House Vision 2 is on show in Odaiba, Tokyo till 28 August 2016.

House Vision

Hara Design Institute

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