Ever since Art Basel Miami Beach burst on the scene in December 2002, Miami and Miami Beach have become the site of the world’s largest art and design fair/idea generator/party. This year, in addition to Design Miami (the global forum for design since 2008), two dozen satellite fairs, representing artists and designers from the world over, are joining the six-day event, December 4th through 9th.
With a total of eight art fairs in Miami Beach and 17 in Miami—not counting the special exhibits in public and private spaces, museums and galleries—a visitor can easily get lost in the revels. With that in mind, over the next few days V&M will present an extremely selective, highly personal preview of don’t-miss art, design, venues and events.
For centuries man’s best friend has gone without architecture. Sure, there’s the dog house, but consider the cultural connotations!
To fill the void, Kenya Hara (among other things, the Tokyo-based art director of MUJI) called on 12 top architects and designers (including Shigeru Ban and Toyo Ito), armed them with a special compendium of the specific needs and traits of individual breeds (compiled by Imprint Venture Lab of Los Angeles), randomly assigned each designer a specific type, then unleashed the pack.
A deeply thoughtful man, Kenya Hara loves to explore how architecture can improve our day-to-day lives, making them more comfortable and joyful. Among his other investigations into design concepts of daily objects was an assignment of noted designers to redesign macaroni.
Kenya Hara notes that most Architecture for Dogs projects—assigned three years ago—change the way humans and dogs interact, “making dogs and their people happy”. A few designers had to be sent back to the drawing board (one rejected design, “a crazy concept”, was to be suspended by a helium balloon, another shelter involved Saran Wrap.)
The final results of Architecture of Dogs will be built on site during Design Miami. Dog owners can download blue prints, available online at architecturefordogs.com. For those who are not quite so handy, Imprint Venture Lab plans to sell kits of some of the designs in the future. Other possible projects: another iteration of designs for larger dogs—sorry, none for cats…they’re too independent in their choices of rest spots.)
Herewith, some designs for Architecture for Dogs to which we bow—WOW, WOW! (And no, Kenya Hara doesn’t own a dog; he travels too much.) For more, visit www.architecturefordogs.com.