Shigeru Ban , Japanese architect who received in 2014 the most honourable prize in the field of architecture, is widely recognized for innovative use of materials. One of them is idea of using paper tubes as element of buildings construction. This innovative use of the material creates ecologically friendly solution.
Ban has worked on his Disaster Relief Project around the world for two decades and provided housing for victims who lost their homes in disasters like earthquakes . Cardboard catherdal in New Zeland is the newest project. Most of the buildings included in ‘Disster Relief Project’ are made out of water resistant paper tubes . Paper is very cheap and easily accesible material. The architect has also used shipping containers.
the Carboard Catherdal (2013)
In the video below, the architect talks about using paper as a constraction material in the buildings which he designes.
Beyond ‘Disaster relief project’ Shigeru Ban has done a lot other architectural project which are worth attention. One of them is ‘Curtain Wall House’, which Ban designed in 1995. The house is located in Tokyo, Japan.
The ‘Curtain wall house’ is very unique because of the idea of using curtains as external walls. These unusual walls regulate flow of the air to inside of the house and provide privacy for the inhabitants.
Elements of traditional Japanese interiors
Shoji screens and tatami mats are the inherent elements of traditional Japanese Interior design. In contrast with the Interior spaces in Western world of interiors, where roles of rooms are distinctly defined, in Japanese house one room might be used for a few various purposes. The freedom in transforming spaces is possible thanks to usage of shoji screens and light furniture .
In Japanese houses open-air style is created by minimum amount of walls and usage of furniture . The traditional interior spaces are not divided by solid walls- Shoji screens are more practical solution. Tatami mats are multi-functional, as they can be used for sleeping, sitting . Japanese people cultivate custom of sitting on the floor and tatami mats are used as chairs, beds, tables. Because of their light weight, they are easily movable. This multi-tasking furniture might cause feeling of emptiness in spaces , as traditional Japanese interiors furniture is limited to minimum. In the evening, cushions and beddings are brought to the rooms and laid on tatami mats. In the morning soft furniture is removed and placed in the storage, and the space can be used for different purpose. Meals with family can be held in the same space, by simply bringing in low table and cushions.
Like it’s shown on the picture above ( A Japanese touch for your home,1982; p.43) one space can be used various in-door activities and arranged for various situations by moving light furniture and partitioning. Fitted wall closets which are in every room are used a storage for small furniture pieces. Minimum amount of furniture and creates the feeling of calmness and relax, because of lack of distractions.
Touch of nature
Wood, bamboo and paper are a few of the main materials used in Japanese interior spaces. Organic materials and neutral colours and flower arrangements provide the feeling of closeness to Nature.
Translucent sliding doors -shoji screens
Shoji screens allow the air to blast through the houses and provide natural ventilation. Their aim is also to control amount of light which gets inside the house. They can provide privacy and create imaginative frame for all kind of spots and type of weather. In addition they protect from the sun.
( A Japanese touch for your home,1982; p.43)
(Pictures taken from : http://remodelinghouseideas.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/japanese-translucent-sliding-doors-05.html , http://www.bigbobz.com/japanese-style-sliding-door-semi-transparent-design/ )
Richard Sweeney gets inspirations for his work from nature : mounds of snow and clouds are sources of inspiring ideas. Sweeney is currently part of a touring show titled Above the fold. He’ll be showing his work at the Coda Museum in Apeldoorn this summer. What I like about it the most, is that when I look closer and focus on particular parts of these extraordinary sculptures, I see that because they are three-dimensional, each part looks different, depending on the angle I look . Depending if I look at the whole piece or close-up, we perceive it in different way.
I think that these paper sculptures have potential and if developed further, could be applied to something else like furniture, architecture.
Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid is one of the leading names ,who gives totally new understanding of architecture, bringing out curved, organic shapes in buildings and furniture. Her name has gained worldwide recognition in architecture and design because of incredibly inventive and very exciting for eye buildings.
She is the first woman in this industry, who received the Pritzker Architecture Prize (in 2004).
Architecture was always inspiring me , but with the time I started to do my uni projects, it gained new dimension. It became influential for my design projects and it’s source of ideas and inspirations.
Zaha’s Hadid futuristic architecture is very inspirational for me and each of her projects is so exciting and aesthetically challenged. Flowing asymmetric domes are one of characteristic of her architecture.
When I look at the pictures of her work, I can clearly see, that she has developed her own unique style. But also here appears question in my head : what this style is? It’s hard to classify it and generally work of contmeporary architects , as the new architecture often has wild forms with he use of new materials and often a few curved lines are associated with organic forms, which do not necessarily have to be organic. I think there is a problem, what to call the style.
How can I link her work with my project ? I want to look and link architecture and other disciplines and try to develop them further to find solutions for my new project about tiles and modular forms. I’m aiming to transfer the inspirations from nature and architecture . In the project I would like to expand three dimensional modular forms and tiles and find some innovative solution which will end up with some extraordinary final piece. Underneath , the most mind blowing architectures of Zaha Hadid.
This very luxury design brand is the world leader in the production of glass mosaics for the decoration of interiors and exteriors. I think that the work which this brand produce is just amazing. Maybe I won’t do anything similar for my project , as instead of designing a mosaic I’m thinking more about three dimensional outcome , this work is just so beautiful. I tried to pay attention not just on the mosaics by themselves, but generally how they work as a whole in connection with interiors and furniture. The visual language of the interiors suggest one thing: luxury. I’ve attached a few pictures which entirely have blown my mind 😉
In a nutshell luxury in each inch.
For the start of the secondary source research for he new project and and with refer to the themes of tile, modular form and multiply, I found piece of work by Japanese designer Kenji Mizuno ,who is the founder of MizMiz design studio. which I relate to the respond of these three concepts.
This piece is cake table, which (as the name says) which looks like cake , cut into slices. For me, it wouldn’t seem to be so interesting beyond the fact, that the purpose of the table is that people can interact with it. How? The answer lies in various tables-style, which this Cake table can have by a combination. Each piece has triangular form and it can be transferred into larger unit by combining them to make a larger surface. What else I like about this design?? The fact that the audience takes part in design as they play with it. I believe that it’s also very practical solution for `coffee table` as it can be arranged in any way .
Design means fun. Would You agree?
In praise of shadows by Tanizaki, the author describes Japanese toilets and compares them with the Western ones. After I’ve read the text ( which is full of positive comments about Japanese interior design and architecture I started be more interested in Japanese aesthetics of design. I have seen some pictures of Japanese interiors I realized that there are a few common features: purity, simplicity, in one word minimalism, which creates great balance for human mind, as there are no elements that would distract. Symmetry of composition of décor an design are parts of Japanese interiors .
Two words which I would use to describe Japanese interiors? Peaceful & restful.