Back in March for almost three full weeks, the House Vision 2013 Tokyo Exhibition , a groundbreaking collection of seminars, installations and an expo, organized by Kenya Hara and Tsuchiya Sadao took place. House Vision seeks to introduce the current Japanese urban lifestyle and discuss how traditional Japanese design elements can be pulled into its future.
In the U.S. our connection to our homes and urban lifestyle is based on the “melting pot”, we take in influences from everywhere. However, in Japan, the relationship between home design and preservation of traditional Japanese culture is strongly connected.
A few things about this exhibition were very interesting to me. First, is the idea of how “housing literacy” needs to be taught to the now maturing Japanese urban dwellers with emphasis on the “proper lifestyle” that is more a fit with their mature identity and thus will bring in happiness to their lives. This “identity” anticipates children moving out of the home and parents giving up having too much stuff. The mature Japanese urban dweller should be able to live in a smaller space that includes multipurpose appliances in a traditional Japanese living space design format.
This is totally different from the latest trend in the U.S. of generations families living together, as demonstrated by Lennar’s very successful NextGen homes. In a Nextgen home, a complete suite that includes a separate kitchen and living space can be added to the home.
In a way, our homes can be said to be ‘curated” by us; after all, we fill our homes with items that we hope represents our aesthetics and beliefs. Is it right to have all that stripped from you at a certain age because it is the “proper” way to live is a question that comes up when listening to the House Vision discussions.