“Almost everyone living on the earth knows about dogs and finds some interest in them. Humans have created their environment on human scale. However when I see small dogs standing next to a person, I somehow sense new possibilities for architecture.”
Yep. Kenya Hara, art director of MUJI, knows what is up. The world-famous designer has been attracting praise from dog aficionados, designers, artists and architects alike for his travelling exhibition Architecture for Dogs since first launching in 2012. As the curator, Hara has dubbed the project a way to rediscover “what architecture really means”, exploring the nature of architectural process through a series of 14 dog houses constructed with a particular care for a dog’s enjoyment and unique use.
That’s right. How about we just step back from our self-important human bubbles for a moment and consider whether that pooch is adequately cooled in their backyard hotbox; if the foundation is flexible enough for their naturally playful disposition; and while we’re at it let’s also question if the walls are intellectually stimulating for those smarter pups in town. It’s a fun and equally provoking concept and definitely updates the classic idea of the very basic doghouse ala Snoopy.
Featuring 14 sets of kennels, playthings and beds for our canine friends designed by heavyweight architects and designers, Architecture for Dogs is making its sixth stop, this time at the Shanghai Himalayas Museum. Along with old favourites, there a few new additions including a meat rug designed by Chinese architect Ma Yansong. Created specifically with Labradors in mind, Ma says that the raw, marbled steak designs embody “the ultimate reward” for these dogues and we reckon probably the equivalent of rolling out a deluxe Persian rug in the Dog World.
Architecture for Dogs is in the Shanghai Himalayas Museum from August 8 - October 11.