Japanese Architects Explore the Future of Housing
Bringing together some of Japan’s top architects and leading domestic and international companies, HOUSE VISION 2016 is underway in Tokyo. Made up of 12 housing and public space prototypes, the month-long exhibition, with the theme “Co-Dividual: Split and Connect / Separate and Come Together” encourages thinking about how new connections can be established between people, particularly across demographic and cultural divides. Aging, village decline and a shrinking population are major issues in Japan, so it comes as no surprise that these issues figure prominently in the exhibition. Innovative concepts include Atelier Bow Wow’s and Muji’s Tanada Terrace Office that is designed for placement in rice paddies and encourages white collar workers to work remotely during harvest season, as well as Sou Fujimoto’s and Daito Trust Construction’s Rental Space Tower, a modular concept that creates larger shared spaces and supports multi-generational living. While aging and efficient use of space are particularly acute issues in Japan, they are also challenges facing other developed countries to varying degrees. Further, pairing architects with major brands, not all of whom are involved in urban development, presents an innovative development funding model, worth broader consideration. Set in a Japanese context, HOUSE VISION is an exhibition with global potential.