Torafu Architects’ Jack Russell hammock involves a stretcher that turns your old clothing into a hammock, thus indulging your pooch in your own scents. You can also substitute warmer clothing in the winter.

The Hara Design Institute fashioned this wallless shelter for a Japanese Terrier. It can be constructed from a single sheet of heavy paper, hanging from the ceiling, to offer the dog its own territory while providing a unique half-sculpture, half-dog object for the human to enjoy.

Konstantin Grcic’s piece for Teacup Poodles is a natural extension of a truism: Dogs are often the stars of their households.

Toyo Ito created a "mobile home" or a "doghouse for walks" for Shibas. Their short legs make long walks tiring, so this piece allows the dog to relax, shaded as if in a tree. They’re also riding extremely close to the ground, meaning they can hop out at will.

Sou Fujimoto’s piece for the Boston Terrier is made of Japanese cypress, and it serves as a shelter for the dog, a shared piece of furniture for dogs and humans and an architectural piece to someone’s garden.

Kengo Kuma’s piece for Pugs creates a nest for the dog. It needs no nails or bonding agents, and the structure protects the dog while offering a place to hang food and toys.

Shigeru Ban’s structure for Papillons can transform from a maze to a bed to even a chair or a table for yourself. It’s also created from something we all have around the house: Plastic wrap cylinders.

Hiroshi Naito’s piece for Spitz is a way to amplify the cold tile effect on a hot summer day. The aluminum tubes can be filled with ice to create a conductive, cooling sensation.

Reiser + Umemoto designed this "cloud" to follow the Chihuahua around. It serves many functions, bulking them up, keeping them warm and, when attaching to a leash, giving the owner visual feedback of where their pulling is affecting the dog.

It’s also quite fetching. (Get it?)

Aterier Bow-Wow created this series of ramps for the Dachshund. It’s a means for the dog to gain elevation without straining its long body.

It also lets dogs sit eye level with their owners, for more soul-stirring conversation.

MVRDV’s rocker dog house responds to the dog’s presence with a satisfying feedback. The rocker bottom allows has less friction with the ground, so it can be dragged by the attached rope.

Kenya Hara’s own piece is for the Teacup Poodle. It’s what he calls a "scale modifier," a set of stairs that a small dog can run up to see an owner face-to-face.

That idea is particularly compelling, as chairs, couches, and other home furnishings are made at the human scale--even if dogs do climb onto them every once in a while.

Kazuyo Sejima’s piece for the Bichon Frise is meant to resemble the dog itself, right down to the fluffy fur. When they climb inside, the dog completes the structure’s shape.

Co.Design

Amazingly Weird Architecture For Dogs, From Muji's Creative Guru

Kenya Hara, art director for MUJI, wants to reconsider the dog house. The canine world will never be the same.

We’ve all heard of dog houses, but you’ve probably never heard the phrase "dog architecture." This divide is something that Imprint Venture Lab and Kenya Hara, art director at Muji, want to change with their latest project, the aptly named Architecture for Dogs.

In the hands of a Redditor or a snarky Tumblr blog, the new website, full of high-concept dog dwellings, could be easy fodder for a joke. But for Hara, who doesn’t even claim to be a dog lover himself, reconsidering architecture from a dog’s point of view is a very pure way to rediscover “what architecture really means.”

Projects on the site challenge traditional notions of scale, perspective, and function, ranging from a variegated rug of aluminum tubes--a dog cooler for those hot summer days--to a pair of ramps for short-legged dogs, which double as a shared recliner for human and dog alike. The projects are united with care. Each is crafted to a dog’s concerns. For instance, a hammock for Jack Russell Terriers isn’t just a hammock; it’s a hammock stretched from the owner’s clothing, meaning the dog can appreciate their smell while resting. A "mobile home" for Shibas looks like a stroller at first glance, then you realize its materials are meant to mimic the natural shade of a tree and the carriage has been designed to carry the dog as closely to the ground as possible, allowing its short legs to hop out at will.

“We chose dogs because it’s a universal topic. Wolves interacted with humans, and it changed the course of their history,” Hara tells Co.Design. “Dogs are man-made creatures forced to cohabitate with humans, so architecture for dogs is a reasonable inquiry.”

Each design is downloadable as a free blueprint, and next year, the collection will be available in flatpack kit form.

Where exactly the project is headed is still uncertain. Is Architecture for Dogs a purely academic endeavor? Are people meant to actually build these pieces? Is it more a beacon for the pet industry? Is it a beacon for the architecture industry? Could the site possibly serve all these roles? We can’t say, but the overarching lesson is notable:

Dogs are a species made for humans, forced to live in houses also made for humans. With Architecture for Dogs, Hara has assembled a team of elite designers to reconsider the dog’s experience in an otherwise human world. And reconsidering dog-level design, in turn, is a means to allow humans to be more mindful of their own environments.

See more here.

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2 Comments

  • Tom Maiorana

    I love that this emerges from the intersection of design, DIY and dogs. But I also love that they created this site with such care and design without really knowing where it's going. We need more of that kind of playful spirit and building in order to think rather than the other way around.
    So fun. So well executed.