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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Japan’s Micro Homes

Mickey’s got a Minnie Mouse, and Japan’s got a mini house.

My pal Matthew sent me a neat piece by CNN on-line showing off some of Japan’s modern, but extremely small footprint architecture.

Well… maybe small footprint isn’t correct. While the base is small, the CNN story shows a plethora of photos describing how these artists/architects designed very livable and workable home and office spaces in Japan that don’t merely go straight up.

I love Toronto, but damn there are a lot of boring-looking houses and skyscrapers (with many exceptions, of course)… but all of the many monster homes going up nowadays—which they dare to call ‘Custom” even though they seem to come from the same cookie-cutter box of six home designs, and are being sold as ‘custom’ builds even though the buyer ain’t getting their own customization… well, Toronto is becoming or has become quite stale with design innovation.

I’m not saying Japan is the be-all, here… I’m sure there are many cities with the same problems in Toronto as there are in Japan and elsewhere in the world as far as architectural design, still, it seems like there are more and more instances where Japan’s land-owners and architects are pushing the boundaries.

Or maybe the land-owners are the ones who deserve the kudos for trying to construct something less cookie-cutter.

Check out the CNN article written by Kate Springer, and published on August 23, 2016 - HERE.

No… wait… I take that back.

The entire CNN piece appears to have been written as some sort of press release/homage to Japanese architect firm Atelier Tekuto.

Damn… that’s too bad.

While it’s NOT a case of Japanese architects getting to show off some mad design skills, we do at least get to see one.

So… let’s see… Tekuto - the obvious Japanese word, is, according to the architect company, how you say the word “architect” in Japanese: 天工人.

The Japanese terms 天工 means ‘laws of nature, and 工人 means “a person who makes things” - so “nature-skill-human”.

Now that’s how you design a word!

Anyhow, there’s a Japanese, English and Chinese-language website for Atelier Tekuto for your viewing pleasure at

Andrew Joseph  

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