Nov 7, 2015 by

Japanese retailer MUJI’s bread and butter is simple, neutral colored, no-frills household products, furniture and the occasional piece of clothing. As part of the “Tokyo Midtown DESIGN TOUCH” event, the company is dabbling in house design, showing off three tiny houses–MUJI Huts–that embody the brand’s stark but elegant aesthetic. The size and the lack of decor aren’t a function of laziness, but the company’s exploration into “what it means to live a more sustainable lifestyle through minimalism,” according to Inhabitat.

The three prefabricated MUJI Huts were designed in partnership with leading designers Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic, each of whom built their huts around a central material: wood, cork and aluminum, respectively.

The idea behind the concept is to create an easily-moved tiny house that can be set up in nature, giving harried city folks a tiny retreat to breathe. But I hope the sophistication of these designs bleed into the collective thinking of tiny house design worldwide. Too often–but not always–it seems like tiny house designers assume people want a mini Victorian home. What the MUJI Huts show is that tiny architecture and design can be every bit as sophisticated as the conventional stuff.

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