Since first opening at Design Miami in 2012, Architecture for Dogs, an exhibition which asks world-class architects to design objects and experiences for dogs, has gone on to to gain critical acclaim. This Saturday, the exhibition finally comes to Europe, opening at Japan House in London, having previously shown in Tokyo, Shanghai and São Paulo.
The free exhibition features work by some of the biggest names in the architecture world, including Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimoto and Toyo Ito, with the addition of a brand new piece by eminent UK architect Asif Khan in this latest iteration. “I think that cross-cultural exchanges of creativity are vital to us growing as individuals, and Japan House London is one of my favourite places to experience this,” Khan says. “There is always something fascinating to see there, but Architecture for Dogs may be the most unusual! The exhibition is a growing collection of some of the most interesting architects and designers in the world, it’s an honour to join them and contribute to the project.”
His contribution to the show is titled I See You and is “a minimalist seamless black felt surface that sits halfway between carpet and table, and features a crater in which a dog can nestle”. The idea is to place the dog at the heart of the home, and reflects how dogs gain their understanding of the world “from the ground upwards” using their nose.
Other works include Who’s the prettiest of them all?, a mirror created by Konstantin Grcic which allows dogs to gaze at themselves, built upon the knowledge that poodles love their own reflection. There’s also Candy floss cocoon, a hideaway where dog and structure blend into one, which is inspired by the Bichon Frise and created by Kazuyo Sejima.
A number of the exhibits will be available for dogs to interact with, and the Japan House shop will feature a range of canine-related items from Japan. What’s more, the exhibition allows visitors to becomes architects themselves, with blueprints available to download and opportunities to design your very own architecture for dogs. A series of virtual experiences is also on offer, including a 3D Tour (available later in the autumn), online talks and “live” guided tours.