Design Mecca Muji Gets into the Prefab Game
And they recruited superstars Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic and Naoto Fukasawa to help out.
Architects and designers go gaga over Muji, the Japanese retail store cum temple of minimalism. So when the chain (they now have two stores in Canada, sadly both in Ontario) decided to dip its toes in the prefab (another thing architects love) people went bananas. They recruited some big-name designers, Brit Jasper Morrison (probably best known as an industrial designer and for these cork stools he designed for Vitra), Konstantin Grcic (who actually started with Morrison and then went on to design for Magis, Vitra and Flos) and Naoto Fukasawa, who, to be honest, I had never heard of, but a Google search shows him to be something of a big deal as well, with a resume that includes Muji, B&B Italia and Hermann Miller.
The task set by Muji was, not surprisingly, simple. Each of the designers would be assigned a material: cork for Morrison, aluminium for Grcic and wood for Fukasawa. The key was to strip these structures down to the bare minimum, which not only jives with Muji’s spare design ethos, but also helps bring the idea of an affordable escape back to the concept of prefab. They’re not available yet, but you can sign up on this website for updates on availability. You’ll be then sent an email that’s unintelligible unless you speak Japanese. Until then drool over these pics.
Jasper Morrison’s House of Cork
Konstantin Grcic’s House of Aluminum