The other day I googled ‘Sejima House Plans’ and this popped up:
It peaked my curiosity, so I clicked on it. A video started showing Sejima and that dog. It showed that what I had at first thought was the result of an eccentric visit to the groomers was actually an elaborate dog-bustier. It showed the dog modeling the object and then it showed how one could construct the object at home.
At first I imagined that this was someone with free time and enthusiasm for dogs & famous architects. I assumed that they were making objects for dogs in the spirit of famous architects. Oh, how wrong I was! It turns out that Kenya Hara, the creative director of MUJI for the last 10+ years, started, “Architecture for Dogs,” a year ago. He solicited designs from 11 very famous architects (MVRDV, Atelier Bow Wow, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban, and on). Each one comes with the video I described, which is worth a watch for both the cuteness factor and the artistic direction: the colors are right, the compositions and typography are nice, and each one features a striking animation showing how to assemble the object.
These assembly animations got me thinking about the relevance of contemporary architectural representation. For built projects, architects provide printed construction documents and three-dimensional (digital) Building Information Models. But this model is only relevant in the developed world. With recent technological advances that have lowered the price & infrastructural requirements of computers, one can imagine the assembly animation negotiating the vacant territory between conventional means of representation and the site-supervision model that currently prevails in the developing world. As 3D-modeling programs become more accessible (e.g. SketchUp) and more integral to the way we interface with the world (e.g. Google Earth) we can also envision a future in which the Google Warehouse becomes a repository for construction knowledge, rather than just a bank of forms.