Magpie Anthology

Architecture for Dogs

Juliet Bawden explores art and architecture for dogs… Yes really!

I went to see this totally bizarre, and beautifully curated, exhibition Architecture for Dogs, at Japan House, London. It is as the name suggests a series of houses for dogs designed by architects. I think it should be called IN THE DOG HOUSE. However that said, what is it about dogs at the moment? This week from 2nd Nov at 22.45 Monday – Friday on Radio 3, Professor Fiona Stafford explores famous Composers and their Dogs, for example Richard Wagner’s turbulent early life on the run, dragging a massive Newfoundland dog with him.

Designer Joy Fitzsimmons is about to have her book based on her dachshunds Ned and Henry as they take an energetic romp through the world of art, encountering famous paintings and sculptures from a four-legged perspective. A Dog’s Guide to Art, published next month. Publisher: Pavilion Books

Anyway I digress, Architecture for Dogs, was devised by Hara Kenya, President of the Nippon Design Center and Japan House Creative Advisor. The exhibition is making its European debut at Japan House London. It offers guests a light-hearted and insightful exploration of architecture and design that can be joyful for both dogs and their human companions.

It features the works of celebrated architects and designers including Ban Shigeru, Kuma Kengo, Itō Toyō, Sou Fujimoto, Atelier Bow-Wow and Ma Yansong as well as London-based architect Asif Khan.

To quote Hari Kenya, the inspiration behind and exhibition director of Architecture for Dogs. ” Dogs are universal. almost everyone living on earth knows about dogs and can find something of interest in them. Architecture for Dogs is not merely a project for making kennels, but a global architecture initiative with a them familiar to everyone. Humans have created their environment on a human scale. Human engineering, or ergonomics, is a vision for environmental organization based on the human body. However when i see a small dog standing next to a person, I somehow sense new possibilities for architecture:what would come of imagining dog-scaled architecture? I had been incubating the idea of Architecture for dogs for rather a long time and the arrival of the internet helped spur my interest in developing this project online. “

The exhibition is interactive and great for children and adults alike. Architecture for dogs allows anyone to download the design blueprints from the internet and assemble the architecture for themselves.

Japan House says, ‘ Our Architecture for Dogs exhibition will soon be ‘open’ virtually, with a full 3D tour accessible from our website in the coming weeks. It will also be possible to submit your own Architecture for Dogs online, with the chance of it being selected by one our world-renowned architect judges as the ‘design of the week’. 

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