Dogs are frequently called a human’s best friend. They have been with us for centuries and give us company and unconditional love. Often considered as part of the family, they mainly live in a manmade and specifically adapted space. Thus we often build objects that will satisfy our needs and longings and not theirs. For this reason, Japanese curator and architect Kenya Hara decided to gather a group of architects and designers to join forces in a project called Architecture for Dogs.
Through the conception of 13 projects, the architects aimed to give different breeds of dogs adapted shelter solutions and to put humans more in contact with nature and their animal friends. The different spaces and objects vary from classical shelter solutions, to more intricate wearable habitats. All of these projects come hand in hand with “DIY”(Do it Yourself) tutorial videos and with a free downloadable manual. People can therefore, for the love of their companions and without a big investment, start a personal project aiming to protect and attend to their dog’s needs.
In order to respond to the different breeds requirements, Hara provided the group with a guide on the specificities of each one of them and then established an ongoing conversation to arrive to a viable concept. The dogs of course, tested the structures, and in some cases they refused to embrace them and the design had to be changed.
Pritzker Prize wining Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima designed a shelter for the bichon frise taking into account the “fluffiness” of the animal’s fur. By creating a cocoon like structure and adding a small entrance adapted to the dog’s size, the animal feels protected and comfortable. Another interesting project was the one made by architect Toyo Ito for shiba dogs. The cute basket like design is aimed to serve different purposes for the dog. When at home it can be used as a comfortable bed. When going for walks, if the dog feels tired, he is old or even if “the asphalt is hot” the dog can gracefully sit inside his “carriage” and enjoy this bonding time with his owner.