Toyo Ito and Shigeru Ban's designs for dogs

New show unveils “an extremely sincere collection of architecture” for design-conscious domestic animals
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Mobile Home for Shiba by Toyo Ito
Mobile Home for Shiba by Toyo Ito

The archetypical dog house is, now we think about it, probably in need of an overhaul. Perhaps this was foremost in the mind of Kenya Hara, Muji's art director, when he put together Architecture For Dogs, an exhibition of design proposals for one's canine friend, currently on show at The Long Beach Museum of Art in Los Angeles until September 1.

Indeed, Hara's concern for the dog house must be widely shared in the architectural community. This year's Pritzker Prize laureate, Toyo Ito, has designed a doggy push chair for shiba inu dogs; industrial designer Konstantin Grcic has made a vanity set for poodles; while Shigeru Ban has taken time out from his busy schedule to make a modular cardboard construction for a continental toy spaniel.

 

Papier Papillon by Shigeru Ban
Papier Papillon by Shigeru Ban

As Ban puts it, “with just two wires, the paper tube found inside the ubiquitous cylinder of plastic wrap changes shape, making a space for dogs. You can make a bed, a swing, a maze-like environment, even a chair or table for yourself.” Well quite.

The LA Times reports that the show has proven to be a surprise hit, with a 50% rise in the museum's visitor numbers. What's more, pet owners keen to realise these architectural designs can download plans for free from the Architecture for Dogs site, and even share pictures of their creations with other like-minded pet owners.

 

Paramount for poodles, by Konstantin Grcic
Paramount for poodles, by Konstantin Grcic

For more on this go here. If you like canine imagery, then you'll love Dogs, our charming collection of anonymous snapshots of canine companions; if you like viewing the built environment from another species' perspective, then be sure to order our Architecture According To Pigeons book. Lastly, if you'd like to see works by these architects on a more human scale, please do consider our Shigeru Ban and Toyo Ito monographs.


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