Muji enters the tiny house game, showcases its line of wonderfully minimalist ‘Muji Huts’

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RocketNews 24 (by Philip Kendall):

Japan does small better than pretty much any other country in the world. From intricate origami to beautiful bonsai to sushi made with barely a dozen grains of rice, the Japanese people are known for their dexterity and attention to detail.

It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that Japanese retailer Muji is now getting into the tiny house movement and recently showcased its range of prefabricated ‘Muji Hut’ minimalist homes and hangouts.

As a keen follower of the tiny house movement, I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours poring over videos, plans and concepts of small, minimalist homes built either out of financial necessity or by those who wish to simplify their lives. These micro-home owners have an altogether different view of what a house should be, keeping their possessions to an absolute minimum (or creating clever storage solutions to keep them out of the way), designing their homes so that rooms function differently depending on the time of day, and embracing a lifestyle that favours the use of shared spaces. It’s not what you’ve got but how you use it, they maintain, and it’s hard to argue when you see how happy this approach to life makes them.

Although its name is more likely to conjure up images of beige rugs, plain lampshades and stationery than one of architecture and floor plans, Muji—known as Mujirushi Ryouhin (lit. ‘no-logo goods’) in its homeland—has been building pre-fabricated homes for quite some time in Japan under the name of Muji House. These simple yet stylish homes are light, airy and functional, not to mention much more affordable than typical homes in Japan, and they seem to be growing in popularity every day.

And now, for those who want to downsize even further, the company has unveiled Muji Hut—a series of three prefabricated buildings of varying styles and dimensions suitable for either straight-up minimalist living or as weekend retreats or shelters.

First up is the ultra-small Arumi no Koya (lit. “aluminium hut”) by industrial designer Konstantin Grcic.

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As its name suggests, the building is covered with in sheets of aluminium on all four sides, with a front that can be folded out to create additional shelter and a small deck, or closed for additional privacy and security.

The interior, while incredibly bare-bones, is surprisingly light and cosy thanks to the shoji paper doors on the front of the unit. The Arumi no Koya comes minus any kind of fittings besides a simple wooden ladder, but with its high ceiling and private loft space up above, this could easily be used as anything from a simple, single-person weekend dwelling to a artist’s studio or office space.

▼ You might want to add a few more bits and pieces to make it more homely…

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▼ The shoji paper doors allow light to pour in while giving the owner privacy

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Next up is a design that fans of Japanese interiors will no doubt immediately fall in love with. The Koruku no Koya (“cork hut”) was designed by English product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison and features, as its name implies, cork cladding on its exterior as well as a narrow, distinctive Japanese-style deck which surrounds the building.

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Morrison’s design features a simple kitchen area, dining space and spacious living/sleeping area fitted with soft tatami-mat flooring, perfect for lazing around on while the wood-burning fire in the corner gets the place nice and warm.

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The third and final structure, Ki no Koya (“wooden hut”), was designed by Japan’s own Naoto Fukusawa and is perhaps the most livable of the three designs, even for those unfamiliar with the tiny house movement.

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The interior features a kitchenette, bathtub, wood-burning stove and dining area. The entire front of the house, meanwhile, is covered in glass to allow for plenty of natural light to enter. It looks wonderfully snug and inviting and we desperately wish we lived here.

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They may appear unfeasibly small to some of our readers in the west, but in actuality many of the “one-room” apartments let out in Japan’s urban hubs offer less floorspace than the Muji’s two larger weekend retreats here, so with some careful planning and cutting back on one’s worldly possessions living in one would be quite possible.

MUJI features simplicity and functionality in its 2015 “MUJI to GO” Collection

Known for its plethora of offerings covering everything from home goods and toiletries to snacks and stationary, MUJI has added to its product range with its “MUJI to GOcollection for 2015. As the video above shows, MUJI has a traveler covered every step of the way, with notebooks, suitcases, neck rests, windbreakers and more aiming to make your travels as pleasant and minimally tasteful as possible.

Shop the entire collection here.

Muji (Japan) furnishes Narita International Airport’s new Terminal 3

Muji announces reduced pricing on over 650 items

Distinguished by its minimal designs that avoid waste in production and packaging, Muji has offered quality household and consumer good for the past 30 years. The Japanese retail company recently announced that it’ll be carrying out a permanent price cut on over 650 items in its U.S. locations. One in four products will be re-repriced. For example, notebooks will be marked down from $5.75 USD to $4 USD, clothing bushes from $24.25 USD to $18 USD.

The price reduction aligns with Muji’szutto yoi ne’ — Japanese for “always good price” — philosophy to always provide affordable items to its customers. While this is a common practice in Muji’s Japanese retailers, it is the first time Muji’s introduced this system to the U.S.

MUJI 2015 Spring/Summer “Cotton of MUJI” lookbook

 

MUJI (Japan) updates its Air Purifier design

MUJI designs vertical house in Tokyo that accommodates city living

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

 

Making use of little space, Japanese retail company MUJI has designed a home for the city dweller in mind. Making proper use of natural light and sectioned floors, the three-storey home maximizes living space and assembles functions of the daily life in close proximity to ensure an efficient home. Free of internal walls or doors, connecting activities are built around the same floor; storage area connected to the utility room, dinning room with kitchen and living room next to a large north-facing window.

As building out was not an option, the home takes on a slim and vertical facade that is both simple and very natural looking — a definite translation from its design philosophy seen in home products.

 

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

 Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living

Image of MUJI Designs Vertical House In Tokyo That Accommodates City Living